POTITICS: Light Up or Leave Me Alone, The Push For Limited Social Cannabis Consumption

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It’s been almost three years since the now-famous Amendment 64 was approved by Colorado voters. This November will mark the three year anniversary of a regulated system of recreational marijuana in Colorado.

Now, three years later, Denver voters have another big decision to make. Since Amendment 64’s approval in 2012, the public consumption of marijuana remains illegal (albeit probably a lot looser than, let’s say, anywhere in the south). For Colorado residents, it hasn’t been too much of a problem. Even if we can’t light up or vape up out on the town, we can always come back home and smoke our heads off. But for tourists and visitors of Colorado, they have a much more difficult time finding a place to consume.

Think about it; you can’t smoke in public (sidewalks, parks, alleys), at clubs (restaurants, bars, music venues), or even at most hotels, motels, B&B’s, and ski-town resorts. Added on top of that, if you’re visiting Colorado, you likely came from a state where the idea of openly consuming marijuana in public is so foreign that it wouldn’t even cross your mind. So basically, if you don’t know someone who lives in Colorado who would open up their door so you can have a safe haven to smoke, your s.o.l.

That is where the Campaign for Limited Social Cannabis Consumption comes into play. Commonly referred to as the campaign for “limited social use,” this initiative would essentially allow the owners of Denver bars, clubs, and other 21+ places the option of  limited consumption of marijuana at their establishments. The Colorado Clean Indoor Act would remain in place, meaning there would be no smoking of marijuana allowed inside any building. But that’s where things like vaporizers and edibles come in – as both would be allowed indoors. If the building has a patio or smoking deck that is not visible to the street, that patio could serve as a place to actually light up the green; right next to all the cigarette and cigar smokers. So as you can see, this is another big step in placing marijuana on a similar level to all other “socially acceptable” consumption habits like alcohol and tobacco.

The main points of the “limited social use” initiative are:

• It will allow for limited social cannabis consumption by adults in establishments that

choose to allow it.

• It will NOT allow the of use cannabis in public places, such as sidewalks, alleys, or parks.

• Cannabis consumption will only be allowed in establishments or areas within establishments that are (1) restricted to adults 21 years of age or older, and (2) not visible to individuals outside of the restricted areas where consumption is allowed.

• Any venue or business currently allowing the consumption of alcohol will have the option of allowing the consumption of cannabis.

For the past several months, this initiative has been collecting petition signatures from thousands of Denver voters in an effort to get “limited social use” on this November’s ballot. Only needing 4,726 signature to qualify for the ballot, this movement (spearheaded by the Vicente-Sederberg law firm and several other local industry leaders, including WeedStream), collected over 10,700 signatures! So now the attention turns to the Denver city clerk who must verify that out of the 10,000+ signatures, 4,726 of them are valid. And after that, it’s on to November where there will be a major push by pretty much everyone in the marijuana industry to get this initiative passed.

I mean this just makes so much sense it’s crazy. First of all, it’s all voluntary so not every business has to oblige by it. Second, it gives both Colorado residents and non-residents a safe respite to smoke other than at a private residence. Third, it’s another big step in treating marijuana not as some throw-away, tertiary movement, but one that is closer to the “big dogs” (alcohol and tobacco), except, you  know, much safer and much cleaner.

If you would like to know more about the “limited social use” initiative, would like to get involved, donate some money, or anything else, please check out: http://limitedsocialuse.org/.

You can also check out the GoFundMe page set up to help fund this upcoming campaign: http://www.gofundme.com/SocialUseInDenver.

A big WeedStream shout out to the Vicente-Sederberg team for driving this ship. Also shout outs to Mason Tvert (MPP-Colorado), Kayvan Khalatbari (Denver Relief, Sexy Pizza, Sexpot Comedy), Jane West (Women Grow, Edible Events Co.), the multiple dispensaries that housed petition packets, and anyone else who helped collect so many signatures! Next up, getting the vote out!

Want ask a question or suggest a topic to cover, email the author at: potitics@weedstream.net