A new policy is being crafted by the City of Denver that would legalize cannabis bars and clubs, which would boost the city’s cannabis tourism while also curbing the rampant issue of illegal public consumption.
Denver Councilman Albus Brooks reached out to Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project — a name you probably recognize from the token pro-legalization quote in mainstream media articles — looking to negotiate a solution to the problem of public consumption.
“It’s been too many years that it’s been the people trying to pass these laws and the city resisting it,” Tvert told NPR. “We were very excited to be able to work with the city together to create a policy that everyone agrees is the best step forward.”
Brooks represents the district of downtown Denver, which houses the majority of bars and restaurants in the city. With no place to consume cannabis indoors, many people take to the streets, exposing themselves to bystanders, fines, and even children.
“The ones playing in the playground right here are the ones I think about,” Brooks told NPR as the smell of weed wafted over to his park bench. “And we’re putting together legalization for their future, so it has to be thoughtful.”
While Brooks won’t discuss the details of his plans for the new policy, having public officials admit the current laws aren’t working is the first step toward the legalization of cannabis bars and clubs, and getting public consumption off the streets.
“Our intention with pursuing this initiative was to reduce the likelihood that adults would consume marijuana publicly on the streets or in parks, and instead consume it in private establishments,” Tvert said.
This change in the law would keep marijuana use away from children (and from those who just don’t want to see it) while boosting Denver's cannabis revenue exponentially with increased tourism. As of now, out-of-towners can walk into any pot shop and purchase weed, but if they want to smoke it, they better find a cannabis-friendly place to stay or risk getting one of the 1,000+ public consumption citations given out by police over the last year — a 471% increase since legalization.
Logically, it’s only a matter of time until cannabis consumption in bars and clubs is made legal. We’ll just have to wait and see how logical Denver’s City Council can be.