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Denver police defend decision to stand down at marijuana giveaway

Denver police are defending their decision to stand down while dozens of people lit up marijuana cigarettes at a free pot giveaway in Civic Center park.

Deputy Chief David Quinones tells the Denver Post the department didn't want to incite a riot Monday over a petty offense.

Hundreds of people lined up to get free pot during an event organized by opponents of a statewide ballot question over taxing retail marijuana sales.

The measure on the November ballot asks Colorado voters to approve a 15 percent excise tax plus a 10 percent statewide sales tax on all retail marijuana purchases.

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