While many states and cities will be voting on whether or not to legalize some forms of marijuana this November election, Denver, CO will have their chance to vote for the 'social marijuana use' initiative, which would allow some businesses to permit toking after approval from a neighborhood committee. The neighborhood would have significant say in the location and operating hours of the marijuana social club, as well as the choice to deny social marijuana use. Permits can be granted for any duration of time up to a year, and they can be awarded to many types of businesses like yoga studios, cafes, concert venues, and art galleries. Bars and businesses with liquor licenses are unable to participate in any other social drug use according to state law, though legislators would be willing to compromise. If passed, the program would progress until 2020 where it must be approved again. If the initiative passes or not, smokers will still be prohibited from smoking on sidewalks and in parks.
Supporters of the “social marijuana use” initiative have gathered the 4,726 signatures required to make the ballot in November, the Denver Elections Division confirmed Thursday.
Key to its possible success is that the initiative would give individual neighborhoods a significant say in where and when these “designated consumption areas” would operate. Anyone seeking a permit would first have to obtain approval from the local neighborhood association, business improvement district or merchant association. Only then would Denver licensing officials consider an application.