After all the campaigning and petitions that have been signed, the ballot initiative to allow cannabis in Denver’s bars, clubs and other establishments has been withdrawn. This may seem sudden to those who have been following the movement, but the city of Denver has been working towards this for a little while now.
Why was the Initiative abandoned?
The only reason that this campaign was withdrawn (for now) was because the city of Denver has made come forward expressing a want to work collaboratively to bring social smoking to the Denver area. Originally, there was no talk about the subject at all – which was why this campaign came about in the first place.
The entire idea was to try and give cannabis users the same freedom that alcohol users get to enjoy as far as a social setting goes. They were not looking to allow smoking marijuana while walking down the street, but more allowing it in limited public venues as alcohol would be. After all, the legal cannabis market has brought in plenty of tourism and none of the visitors have a place to legally smoke their bud while visiting.
What will happen next?
Now that the ballot initiative has been officially withdrawn, the group working to organize the campaign will work together with the city of Denver to come to an agreement that everyone will be happy with. Originally, many business owners were apprehensive about opening their doors to cannabis smokers as not to violate any laws – but these are the demands of the people and they want to see the people happy.
In a joint statement, the Colorado Restaurant Association and the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association said they are willing to work collaboratively on the issue.
“Our respective industries are committed to working with the proponents and the city to find a solution that reflects the interests and concerns of all stakeholders,” the statement said.
What if the city doesn’t follow through?
The good news here, is that if those who agreed to help move this forward without the need for bringing it to the voters decides to back out at any point, the campaign can and will be brought back for the November 2016 ballots. However, for now they remain positive that the situation can be taken care of without all that.
The issue is on the collective radar of both city officials and Denver business leaders. Campaign proponents have had more productive conversations with city leaders about social use in the last two weeks than in the previous 18 months combined!
Since the original plan was only to try and build awareness and to get the industry bosses, the city and the state thinking about the unfairness of the current laws, by all means they reached that goal. After all, why should marijuana smokers be stuck in their homes like an outcast while drinkers can go out to the bar and get drunk night after night?