Denver to Vote on Social Marijuana Use

Denver voters will decide this November whether marijuana consumption should be allowed in bars and restaurants.

Just days after the rejection of a competing measure proposed by the Denver chapter of NORML, elections officials announced last week that the issue of social marijuana use would still go before voters this fall.

On Thursday, organizers with the Neighborhood-Supported Cannabis Consumption Pilot Program received confirmation from the Denver Elections Division that the group collected enough signatures to earn a spot in the upcoming election.

The initiative seeks to provide the business community with the freedom to set up indoor or outdoor consumption areas in their establishments where people can use cannabis products. However, businesses would not be permitted to sell or distribute marijuana to its customers, only provide them with a space to engage in responsible use.

Last Monday, elections officials determined that a similar initiative supported by Denver NORML—one calling for social use in private clubs—did not have enough signatures to advance to the ballot this year. Although the group submitted more than enough petitions to advance to the next level of its campaign, the Elections Division said that only around half of the signatures were within the range of eligibility, due to thousands of them coming from areas outside the city’s municipal area.

Although Amendment 64 did not come with a provision allowing social marijuana consumption when it passed in 2012, the issue has been a hot topic ever since the launch of Colorado’s recreational pot market. Supporters say that visitors and tourists need designated spots to smoke legal weed, because the activity is currently only permitted inside private residences. However, some city officials are concerned that giving people the option to use marijuana in public may create problems.

It is for this reason the proposed initiative is temporary. If voters approve the measure, it would establish a four-year pilot program that would allow the city to determine what works regarding social use, and what does not. The goal is to investigate a concept that could lead to a more definitive structure for a future social-use ordinance.


  1. Smoking is not allowed indoors in Colorado because of the Clean Indoor Air Act, so this proposal actually does not permit smoking weed inside bars and restaurants. Smoking could be allowed on patios outdoors, but only if the business receives the permit with support from their neighborhood. This will be a very limited pilot program as we continue to overcome the stigmas and fears about cannabis! Great story Mike! Please visit the campaign website to learn more about the initiative

    1. If they vote it in you already know it means the smoking ban is repealed by proxy it’s the same thing. This is what scares you prohibitionists no end

      1. Table 3 : Marijuana and Tobacco Reference Cigarette Analysis of Mainstream Smoke (pg 17)

        Strange Abbr: mcg: microgram C? : known Carcinogen (X means yes)





        (85mm) (85mm)
        Average Weight (mg) 1115 1110
        Mositure (%) 10.3 11.1
        Pressure Drop cm 14.7 7.2
        Static Burning rate mg/s 0.88 0.80
        Puff Number 10.7 11.1

        B.Mainstream Smoke

        I. Gas Phase




        Carbon Monoxide % 3.99 4.58
        mg 17.6 20.2
        Carbon Dioxide % 8.27 9.38
        mg 57.3 65.0
        Ammonia mcg 228 199
        HCN mcg 532 498
        Cyanogen (CN)2 mcg 19 20
        Isoprene mcg 83 310
        Acetaldehyde mcg 1200 980
        Acetone mcg 443 578
        Acrolein mcg 92 85
        Acetonitrilebenzene mcg 132 123
        Benzene mcg 76 67
        Toluene mcg 112 108
        Vinyl chloride ng 5.4 12.4
        Dimethylnitrosamine ng 75 84
        Methylethylnitrosamine ng 27 30
        pH, third puff 6.56 6.14
        fifth puff 6.57 6.15
        seventh puff 6.58 6.14
        ninth puff 6.56 6.10
        tenth puff 6.58 6.02

        II. Particulate phase




        Tl particulate – dry mg 22.7 39.0
        Phenol mcg 76.8 138.5
        o-Cresol mcg 17.9 24
        m- and p-Cresol mcg 54.4 65
        Dimethylphenol mcg 6.8 14.4
        Catechol mcg 188 328
        Cannabidiol mcg 190
        D9 THC mcg 820
        Cannabinol mcg 400
        Nicotine mcg 2850
        N-Nitrosonornicotine ng 390
        Naphthalene mcg 3.0 1.2
        1-Methylnaphthalene mcg 6.1 3.65
        2-Methylnaphthalese mcg 3.6 1.4
        Benz(a)anthracene ng 75 43
        Benzo(a)pyrene ng 31 mj / 21.1 tobacco

  2. Marijuana v.s. Tobacco smoke compositions

    From: Institute of Medicine, Marijuana and Health, Washington,D.C.
    National Academy Press, 1988

    “The smoke from any burning plant contains hundreds of chemicals that may have biological effects . . .”

    “Cannabis smoke is similar to tobacco smoke in that it is a mixture of very small particles and a gas-vapor phase. Both the particulate and vapor phases contain many identified and probably some still unidentified constituents that, based on clinical experience with tobacco smoke, must be assumed to be potentially harmful. The amounts of some materials in tobacco cigarete and marijuana cigarette smoke are compared in Table 3. Toxic substances, such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and nitrosamines occur in similar concentrations in tobacco and marijuana smoke; so do the amounts of particulate material known collectively as “tars”.” (pg 15)

  3. ………“Dr. Duane Carr – Professor of Surgery at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, said this: “Smoking does not discolor the lung.”

    Dr. Victor Buhler, Pathologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Kansas City: “I have examined thousands of lungs both grossly and microscopically. I cannot tell you from exmining a lung whether or not its former host had smoked.”

    Dr. Sheldon Sommers, Pathologist and Director of Laboratories at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York: “…it is not possible grossly or microscopically, or in any other way known to me, to distinguish between the lung of a smoker or a nonsmoker. Blackening of lungs is from carbon particles, and smoking tobacco does not introduce carbon particles into the lung.”

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