Since marijuana was legalized in Colorado, one of the biggest problems they have run into (next to the edible’s label catastrophe) is the fact that there is nowhere for people to consume marijuana in a social setting. If the true idea behind Amendment 64 was to treat marijuana in a fashion similar to alcohol, then it is only reasonable to think there should be somewhere to consume socially with friends and to meet like-minded individuals.
While Colorado Springs has just started an initiative after the city passed a law banning cannabis clubs, Denver has been struggling to bring the idea to the table for quite some time now. Last year, the Marijuana Policy Project started an initiative – but withdrew their efforts after the city agreed to try and come to an agreement without involving the ballots. However, when it appeared proceedings were not going to happen in a timely manner, the Denver chapter of NORML got involved.
It was back in January that NORML announced their involvement and at the time there was no initiative language to be reviewed – but it was submitted on March 25th and has been approved for signature gathering. The initiative would allow cannabis clubs – referred to as “Private Marijuana Social Clubs” – which would be open only to adults 21 and older. I.D. would be required and checked in a similar fashion as it is to get into a bar or club.
The group needs just under 5,000 signatures to be validated in order to reach the November ballots – their goal is to submit over 10,000 to ensure they meet their goal. The best news is that according to the Responsible Denver website, the city of Denver has implemented a system that will validate signatures right on the spot. This should in turn speed up the entire process – landing them on the ballot plenty ahead of time.
Whether people who opposed legalization are ready for it or not, it seems like Denver will stop at nothing to introduce cannabis clubs into their culture. It’s a much needed addition to the current marijuana industry – people who are visiting need a place to safely and legally consume the herb they have just legally purchased. People who might not have space to entertain need a place to get together for a social night with friends or to meet new people with similar interests.
In the end, cannabis clubs are something that will become a social norm – but it’s going to take a while, and quite a few settings in which a model works successfully, before people on the outside of cannabis culture are ready to accept it.