Denver approves public recreational cannabis use
The results came in earlier this week. Denver residents passed the measure with 53.4% in favor of public recreational pot smoking. Now, businesses like bars, cafes, restaurants and yoga studios can apply to have marijuana consumption areas. Consumption areas can be indoor or out but there are some limits on them. For example, you must be 21 years or older to even step into a consumption area. However, if you’re old enough and you partake, this can make smoking during your trip to Colorado even easier. Proponents of initiative 300 believe creating more places to smoke will remedy some of the problems with recreational marijuana laws. Earlier this year, the Denver Elections Division allowed a proposed initiative on the social use of marijuana to go to vote. The proposed initiative made the ballot after receiving 10,800 signatures in support.
Problems With Public Recreational Marijuana Laws
The main issue with recreational marijuana laws in Colorado is any 21-year-or-over adult can purchase marijuana. Finding a place to smoke it on the other hand, is another story. Consuming marijuana in public is illegal in all states with recreational marijuana. Besides on one’s private property, there are few places where people can legally consume marijuana in the United States.
So, unless you’re okay with being stuck to the confines of your home every time you want to get high, you may find a problem with this. This is even worse for tourists, who may be visiting the state with the recreational cannabis laws in mind.
“We’ve seen public consumptions citations and arrests increase dramatically here in Denver over the last couple of years,” said Kayvan Khalatbari, co-owner of Denver Relief Consulting, which supports the proposed initiative and it focuses on consumption areas in local businesses.
Will Denver Set A Trend?
Denver is the first city to challenge and change these laws at the local level. Proponents believe Denver can lead the nation by example. Similar to the way several states have legalized recreational marijuana following Colorado and Washington.
“I think this is really going to set an example,” said Mason Tvert, a marijuana activist, during the afternoon news conference held by proponents outside the City and County Building.
“And this is a pilot program,” he added. “This is something the city can experiment with for the next couple of years — and either adopt it permanently or make tweaks to it or decide to take a different approach.”
Surely, other cities could benefit from the added tourism initiative 300 will likely bring. Once the dollars start piling up for Denver others will want to follow.
Before a business can create an indoor or outdoor consumption area, they must first have the approval of neighborhood groups. A neighborhood group needs to co-sign an application before an annual or temporary permit is granted. Neighborhood groups would also have the ability to suggest conditions on the way consumption areas are operated while the city licensing officials to look over a permit application.
Proponents hope this measure will reduce the number of arrests and citations for public consumption of marijuana. Colorado tourists will have at least one city to consume their legally purchased pot publicly. Moreover, residents of Denver whose landlords won’t allow them to smoke marijuana will finally have a place to partake! Hopefully, initiative 300 inspires other cities and states to follow.