Although it has been three lovely years since Colorado voted to legalize recreational pot, there is still the little problem of where to smoke, or shall I say, where not to smoke—which is just about everywhere.
When legal pot was approved by voters, the prohibitionists managed to legislate the banning of cannabis clubs, stating that they should not be exempt from indoor clean air regulations.
But with any luck and the right amount of votes, that could change soon if Initiated Ordinance 300 passes in November. The initiative would temporarily allow “most businesses to establish certain designated areas or designated venues in which marijuana could be consumed.”
The fine print in the initiative requires a business to apply for a license from the city and get approval from at least one registered neighborhood organization. Smoking venues cannot be within 1,000 feet of places where “children congregate” and must still conform to the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, meaning someone couldn’t just light up a joint inside, but could vape and consume edibles indoors.
Kayvan Khalatbari, leader of the Yes On 300 campaign, says the initiative seeks to help create a new culture in Denver and in Colorado.
“By making it more acceptable and getting over these stigmas that we’re talking about that are currently getting in the way of a lot of progress that’s inevitable,” he explained.
The interesting element in this initiative is the part about the registered neighborhood organizations needing to sign off on places where smoking can legally take place. This amounts to a shift in authority from the city to private organizations.
Khalatbari, according to Colorado Public Radio, noted that city leaders could have designed something as restrictive as they liked, but delayed so long that now pot proponents are going directly to the voters.
“We have a right to be here,” Khalatbari said. “We’re not going away, and we’re a pretty damn wide cross-section of society. We deserve that same respect, but we have to earn it, 80 years of prohibition of a drug isn’t going to turn around overnight.”
Stay tuned. This important initiative for Colorado is one among many that will go before voters in November.
So, be sure to vote. This year’s elections could be a veritable turning point for legal and medical marijuana.
You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.
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