By Marisa DeZara
Election season is fast approaching, and Denver voters have a lot to look forward to this coming November. Despite one major unfulfilled promise of Colorado’s Amendment 64, the assurance that the “use of marijuana should be regulated in a similar manner to alcohol,” a new campaign could help level the playing field between marijuana and alcohol regulation.
As Colorado has observed since the passing of Amendment 64, marijuana and alcohol are not regulated in a “similar manner.” From DUI laws to housing contracts, alcohol has the upper hand. In Colorado, it is unlawful to publicly consume marijuana, yet alcohol is sold in nearly every restaurant across the state.
However, Denver marijuana activists have introduced a campaign that would allow “limited social marijuana consumption” in bars and other places that only allow people over 21, according to ABC News. If the activists gather 5,000 signatures, then the question will appear on November ballots.
The measure would allow Denver patrons to consume marijuana in a social environment, but they must adhere to a strict bring-your-own-pot philosophy.
“Marijuana’s now a legal product for adults in Denver, and it’s really time that we give adults a place to use it legally and socially,” said Mason Tvert, an American marijuana activist. “We shouldn’t be requiring that you sit at home if you choose to use marijuana as an adult,” he continued.
Although this proposed ballot measure is a big step forward for the marijuana movement, private marijuana bars, which allow the consumption of cannabis, already exist within the state. For instance, among cannabis clubs in Pueblo and Nederland, Colorado Springs has the Speak Easy Vape Lounge, which the city tolerates.
The marijuana industry, as a whole, lives in a perpetual gray area. The industry remains confusing because individual state laws and city-based statutes govern the market’s environment. What is legal in one jurisdiction could be completely illegal in another. Investors and entrepreneurs must work together to reform the inconsistencies in order to thrive in the legal cannabis sector.
As new legislation matures with the evolution of the cannabis market, a more cohesive industry should emerge.