Denver Group Is Trying to Bring Pot to Bars and Restaurants

By Mike Pomranz |
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The logic goes something like this: People can walk into a bar and get drunk together, so now that marijuana is legal in Colorado, why can’t people do the same with pot?  Or  at a concert venue, a place where weed is often a more logical choice for enhancing enjoyment, why should booze get the green flag while smoking the green is banned?

Well, according to The Cannabist (which is actually part of the Denver Post), the same activists who helped legalize marijuana in Colorado back in 2012 are now trying allow pot consumption in places like bars, clubs and even restaurants – spots where the practice is currently prohibited by law.

This group is hoping to get “The Limited Social Marijuana Consumption Initiative” on Denver’s November ballot.   “We’re proposing a narrow exemption to Denver’s current ban on social cannabis use by adults,” said Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It would simply allow adults 21 and older to consume marijuana in designated areas and venues where only adults are allowed.“ These new venues wouldn’t be able to sell pot or pot products, but they could allow their patrons to consume marijuana on their premises.

The proposal does have some inherent concerns.  One, almost ironically, is that any legalization of pot would still have to adhere to city smoking bans, meaning people would be stuck using only edibles and vaping devises indoors.  Also, there’s discussion about whether this city ordinance would conflict with the state laws already in place. But Tvert insists that second point is a non-issue.

To make it to the ballot, the question needs to be approved by government officials and over 4,700 signatures need to be collected by September 3rd.  Tvert and his colleagues aren’t worried.  “We’re confident that voters will agree that adults should be able to use marijuana socially in private venues when around other adults,” he said.  Munchies spoke with Jessica Catalano, a chef who runs marijuana-pairing dinners and wrote The Ganja Kitchen Revolution.  She thinks Denver is ready: “My guess is that a lot of chefs, restauranteurs, and bar owners have actually been waiting a long time for this moment, and already have some big ideas of how to make this work!”

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