Denver NORML Pushes to Legalize Marijuana Clubs and Events

Marijuana is legal to purchase, possess and to consume in the state of Colorado, but where? Well, if you happen to be in the city of Denver (or most anywhere else in Colorado) the answer is very simple, you can only legally consume cannabis in a private residence. But what if your landlord won’t allow it, or if you are one of the thousands of tourists that visits our great city on a daily basis. Then where do all of those people go? This question is one Denver NORML hopes to help answer this November.

The local chapter of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws spent several months working with various stakeholders to develop a regulatory framework to create a space where responsible adults can consume their legally purchased marijuana products. Denver NORML is currently collecting signatures for the Responsible Use Denver initiative. The initiative will provide a license for the establishment and operation of private, 21-and-over members-only facilities where adults and bring their own cannabis and peacefully consume it in a relaxed, legal public setting.Logo-1-R4

The initiative language was written to provide the city with what it is lacking, a set of rules and standards to open a business and maintain a license for a place for adults to responsibly consume marijuana. There are several businesses right now in the city of Denver operating in a grey area. Currently these businesses have no laws to follow or to protect them. This grey area needs definition. Those same businesses could now open marijuana clubs with their namesake or these businesses could now apply for special event permits where marijuana will be permitted.

Once passed, the Responsible Use Denver initiative will not only provide private marijuana clubs it will also allow for any individual or entity to apply for 24 event permits per year. The private invitation only events would be 21 and up, allow no onsite distribution and allow guests to bring their own marijuana products to consume. What does a marijuana event look like? These events could be catered and be as creative as any party planner could dream up. They could be intimate occasions or it could allow for an entrepreneur to create a large event venue for occasions such as the Cannabis Cup to return to Denver.

The Responsible Use Denver initiative is the answer to an ongoing issue that is not going away. As other states continue to legalize marijuana across the country, we are going to continue to see this as a post prohibition concern in more and more jurisdictions. If we had 200 places to purchase alcohol but no place to drink it, where would people drink? Most likely on sidewalks, loitering in front of businesses, in parks, in their cars and anywhere else they could. This is what marijuana consumers are dealing with. It is time for change and it is time for a solution.

29 thoughts

  1. The obvious solution, I think, is to define vaporization (as opposed to $moking) as Responsible use because even if it doesn’t 100% remove the primary nuisances ($idestream $moke, imposing on others’ breathespace, fire hazard) it reduces it at least 95%.

    Also– and this isn’t meant to be sneaky or cynical– it meets the Concealment requirement– don’t get caught, don’t tempt kids etc.

    Some may object that permitting vaporizers is not enough, they are too expensive, unfair to poor folks etc., but if a flexdrawtube oneheater is accepted as vaporization you can buy a device, on line or at store, for under $5 and put a footlong pvc tube on it yourself. Or check the improvement-needing article-in-progress at “12 Easy Ways to Make 25-mg Vapetoke Utensils from $1.29 Worth of Junk Left Lying in Your Garage by the Previous God”.

    1. Your idea, Mexweed, may hopefully be appropriate one day for a vape section of a hotel lobby, but what Denver NORML seems to be going for is a venue or place where consumers of all types, including those that combust marijuana, can enjoy and feel comfortable in a public setting, which is vital for the progression of our movement to fully legalize at the Federal level. With that said we should invite Republican Dana Rourbacher and Democrat Earl Blumenhauer to one of these events for a “Congressional Marijuana Social,” and see what we can stir up.
      This is what NORML chapters are all about; representing the interests of consumers and recognizing our rights to consume marijuana responsibly… Whether that’s smoking, vaping, ingesting or even enjoying a good craft beer… These rules allow flexibility from club to club. Good work Denver NORML!

    2. Defining vaporization as resposible use is mrally wrong becauswe it seeks to allow all public consumption venues to discriminate against smokers. I say no to discrimination against smokers, of which I am one. I DON’T VAPE! I SMOKE! Why do you want to discriminate against me? Justice will only come when there are public marijuana clubs where people can freely smoke or vape flowers, hashish and other concentrates without fear of legal reprisal. Both smoking and vaporization, not just vaping musty be allowed in those public venues.

      [Editor’s note: It’s not that complicated…can you smoke tobacco indoors at a bar or eatery in CO? Nope. Cannabis, until there is amending legislation and regulation that makes a distinction between the two, is not going to be any different. But, however, vaping is not nearly as banned and regulated as tobacco use indoors, therefore Denver NORML is not seeking to discriminate, rather, it is trying to create a social space for non-medical cannabis use that comports with current social mores and values, .]

      1. Assuming “Vape” means no combustion at all (herb heated to about 197C/385F by holding the liydter flame tip an inch below utensil opening) my compromise solution is to vape several seconds with a flexdrawtube oneheater until you have captured the valuable but unflavored cannabinoid/terpene vapors, and then start burning the remaining tasty cellulose which is probably a major reason why anyone likes combu$tion $moking.

        Your and everyone’s handicap is that no one to date 2016 has yet published widely a coherent effective WELL ILLUSTRATED guide to how to perform this function with a flexdrawtube oneheater (One-Hit Literate etc.).

        But yes you can also liydt up & $MOKE with a oneheater, and the advantage is that you personally collect ALL THE $MOKE leaving no $idestream to intrude on others’ pulmonary privacy, which is a major reason for popularity of $moking restrictions (aside from the fact that any tobackgo $moke contains ADDICTIVE nicotine).

        Did you know that $ide$tream $moke contains 5 times as much carbon monoxide, 30 times as much $ulfur dioxide as Mainstream (inhaled directly from the $ig)? Once you inhale ALL the $moke (as enabled by the NARROW screened crater of a oneheater), others nearby get a better deal because your lungs remove ALL the carbon monoxide and most other toxins prior to outbreathing.

      2. PS.– Making (in a side workroom) and $elling flexdrawtube oneheaters (including the Choomette style with a decorated wood, bone or stone chillum-shaped handle in which the (socket wrench or barbed hose nipple) craterpiece is embedded at one end and a flexdrawtube attached at the other) is I think an honourable way the administrators of a public cannabis $moke/Vape lounge can make a little extra money and generate some Jobs for young handworkers.

      3. Vaporizing in the lobby, smoking permitted on the rooftop bar. Aaaahh.. The near future smells so sweet…

  2. I’m collecting signatures now!

    I’m pleased to see that the clubs are precluded from also having liquor licenses; I think that’s best for everyone. Plenty of places in Denver to go get a drink if you want one, as it should be; but the cannabis clubs should be free of the problems that go with along with a bar.

    However, on reading the text of the measure, I’m puzzled to see that they cannot have a food license, either! They’re gonna find out real quick what a mistake that was when patrons start getting the munchies, and everybody leaves for pizza, or starts eating the furniture!

    Either that, or I’m going to make my first million dollars selling peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches!

    Seriously, the food will have to be subcontracted, like hotdog or pizza stands and whatnot. Perhaps that was the idea all along (Is that the sound of money talking?)Inside the club would be best, but if not, then most definitely just outside the door (think food trunks.) I imagine I’ll find that others will come up with creative solutions to that problem.

    Still, overall, I’m very excited and looking forward to dancing to DJ’s mixes in my favorite club!

    1. I would still like to have a drink when I smoke.I think the key is being responsible for ones own actions.

      1. Marijuana Meeting Venues should be allowed to provide airliner bottle two-ounce beer and wine servings for intelligent sipping– just leave out the hurriedgulp overdose moneymad bars push.

      2. I would not try to prohibit drinking alcohol in a cannabis club, just the selling of it there. And that is just to maintain a more civilized atmosphere than a bar, of which there are plenty to choose from in Denver. Even well-scrubbed bars often stink of booze and puke and piss, and you have fights and shit, broken glass, and rude, drunken assholes. (I know because I used to spend a lot of time in bars, when I used to drink! So I know. Takes one to know one, I guess.)

        But it looks like it’s gonna be BYOB anyway, yall! That’s bring your own bud (cannabis), or Bottle (booze).

        I don’t drink anymore, but I’m not “against” alcohol or alcohol drinkers. I’d still hang out with you in a cannabis club if you happened to have a drink in your hand; as long as you weren’t spitting in my face when you talked!

        The cannabis clubs should have a different vibe than a bar: it should be a cannabis vibe, not an alchol vibe, wouldn’t you agree?

      3. BYOB just took a double meaning! Sounds good to me, but I think if every business can choose whether to drug test every business should have the right to choose their menu. The only thing city councils and local governments should do is worry about licensing, proper taxation, representation and zoning.

      4. Yes. None of us own other people.

        Laws which empower an external authority and disempower the individual are not seeking to “free the weed”, they are a form of “prohibition lite”.

  3. I can see that there is an argument for not allowing cannabis users to congregate socially or hold events (I don’t think I agree with it). I assume this is done on the basis of reducing consumption and limiting the number of users – which is thought to reduce harm in some way.
    Surely there must be an equivalent argument for not allowing bars, restaurants or other places to sell alcohol (since alcohol is more addictive and more harmful than cannabis). Now cannabis is legal there can only be a ban based on harmfulness of public consumption and therefore alcohol must be subject to similar restrictions, if not more so !

    1. Our society has now tried Prohibition twice — once with alcohol and again with marijuana. What we have learned is that prohibition creates more problems than it solves, regardless of one’s personal views on either drug. For or against alcohol, for or against cannabis, either way, drug prohibition doesn’t work.

  4. Here is a recent article from Leafly providing a Denver tourism medible breakdown;

    HINT HINT Rick Steves!!! What better way to NORMLize pairing a good blonde ale with some Trainwreck than allowing Rick Steves to take us on an historic tour of Union Station for us happy travelers at home?

    Getting back to the previous conversation, Mexweed, Ive been reading your posts enough times over the years to have your acronyms and flextube choomettes tatooed into my brain, and I have to say I am overall impressed that you voice the benefits so persistently, (far more than I insist Rick Steves produce a world marijuana tour), as trends tend to catch on about as slow as it takes to extract the terpenes out of one of these one-hitter vaporizers. Lets just not disparage smoking or vaporizing and simply provide venues for both!
    ..,which is what I love about the flex-tube-ability of Denver NORML’s approach. (You see what you have me saying?) We have to make clear when were gathering petitions and promoting the vote that this is a good public win for everyone. We dont have to blow smoke in the “face of Congress,” we can just invite them to places where smoking marijuana is permitted and let them blow smoke in our faces, y’know, the way Democracy is supposed to work. πŸ™‚
    Let’s keep it real, relative and rational.

    1. And off that note; Here’s a deeper question; Even in private venues, how are owners and budtenders going to ban tobacco smoke in places that allow marijuana smoke? I mean before it escalates to kicking some French tourist out of a venue who doesnt know we dont bang the THC out of our cannabis and poison it up with tobacco? I suppose the smell of tobacco smoke is easy enough to identify and ask someone politely, at first, to respect the policy, but what symbols can we use? A tobacco leaf with a slash through it and smoke coming out of it and a marijuana leaf with a green check and smoke on top? This is vitaly important if Im ever going to fullfil my dream to build a fleet of marijuana-smoker friendly commercial airlines from Denver to Amsterdam or Anchorage to Montevideo… πŸ˜‰ (So much for keeping it real, relative and rational…)

      1. Interesting question. And what about blunts? Banning blunts seems… I don’t know, maybe kinda racist — it’s often an urban cultural thing. Yet there is a legitimate health issue here regarding tobacco that gets obscured, sometimes, by the varying degrees of legality for both the substances. In some circles, it would be considered hypocritical to ban one and allow the other. But the reality is, one is very, very safe (cannabis), and the other is very, very dangerous (tobacco.) And if public health is the issue, those are the significant facts.

      2. Permit, encourage, sell, rent or give the tobacco addicts vaporizers (known in their lingo as e-cigarettes)–

        or, better, let ’em use (if needed teach ’em to use) a fancy artistic CHOOMETTE flexdrawtube oneheater for 25-mg servings of their chosen tobacco (maybe a tiny pinch off a real hot burning overdose $quare)!

        Burn or vape as they see fit, the point is they personally collect ALL the $moke, no $idestream to intrude on anyone else. Herbal equality: treat tobackgo and reachforth equally (25 mg per toke), inhale 100%, only thing eliminated is the $idestream.

        The only difference between a $moker and a Vaper is that the Vaper knows how to $moke, and won’t, but the $moker hasn’t learned how to vape yet, the transeducational oneheater may help. Personal touch: maybe you can serve them a $mooth $low $hared toke on a double-stem oneheater.

      3. PS overriding reason mexweed is persistent about conversion to oneheaterism is it appears to me to be the final remedy for the worst medical disaster in history of human race, $igarettes, 200,000,000 premature deaths since 1853, several times the Black Plague.

        Importance of Marijuana Legalization is: we ganja users are more advanced in learning & Switching to Vape alternatives to Hot Burning Overdose Monoxide Paperpumpf $moking, and if we successfully permaconvert first we may drag the nicotine addicts along after us, prevent millions of deaths, trillions of dollars di$ea$e costs, win NORML a Knowitwell Prize, $1.5mil., to use rehabbing freed drug war prisoners.

  5. The function of cannabis clubs will be socialization and recreation, as well as legal sanctuary. But the underlying principle for legalizing the clubs is about basic equality — we’re not second-class citizens. There’s no reason why we should be prohibited from our freedom of assembly or association.

    You can sneak a hit almost anywhere. Been doing that forever. And these days, in legal places, the risks are low, even if you are seen, even if you are caught. But it’s less about that now; less about our usage, and more about all of us learning to live with each other respectfully, stoners and straights alike.

    The clubs are one way of facilitating that mutual respect.

  6. Colorado has a 75% non smoking to 25% smoking ratio for its hotels. I share the concern for employees who would be exposed to the smoke as a condition of employment is not acceptable. This has been one of the health concerns of Dutch coffeeshop (horeca) employees.

    Could the same be applied to marijuana clubs?

    Devote 75% of the space–square footage–as non smoking and non vaping area. The remaining 25% of the space is divided into compartments, similar to train compartments like you would see in Europe, for example, except these are modified or made to be air tight to keep the smoke and vapors inside, and they have super ventilation hoods to suck all the smoke or vapors that are exhaled or that are not inhaled up and out of the room. Fresh air is pulled in. There should be an accelerator function inside the compartment to evacuate the smokey air before people exit so that it doesn’t spill into the 75% non smoking/non vaping area. It should also have the accelerator function on the outside for employees who have to go in there to clean up just in case the occupants haven’t properly ventilated before exit. You should have some kind of vestibule or buffer area sealed off from the 75% non smoking area between it and the smoking/vaping compartments.

    Of course, there would be a (rental) fee to use the compartments. Once you’re high, you evacuate the old air to prevent second hand exposure, and then leave the compartment for the no charge non smoking 75% area.

    What are the fine details?

  7. You’ll be using a lot of durable plexiglass or clear plastic for transparency purposed in the vestibule and compartment plan. You want to be able to keep an eye on the compartments for time, cleanup, and behavior purposes. What you don’t want is hard drugs being dealt or used in there. Sadly, you’ll have to keep a camera on the doors to the toilets, and if anybody’s in there too long send someone to check, you knock on the door, inquire, listen and sniff–no crack or meth, no needles, none of that shit. You’ll need line of sight visibility by the staff to the vestibule buffer area–clear plastic walls, clear reinforced glass doors–and the same in the compartments. You can see into the train compartments. I’m not talking about the sleeper car or a couchette compartment.

    You may also want to consider a circular door with bullet-proof glass that can be stopped to trap would-be robbers and troublemakers in there until the police get there.

  8. For outdoor events you coud set up a big tent. The 25% of the space might be under the tent or little tents so many feet apart from the big non smoking tent. The little tents would have added and mofified ventilation. Some small business can make some money producing the equipment and to modify the tents for compliance. Local job$$$. Another small business could rent them out for cannabis event$$$.

    If you can’t smoke in the concert crowd, the designated smoking and vaping area is the next best thing. Once you’re high make room for somebody else and go back out to enjoy the music or whatever at the event.

  9. What’s the rental fee going to be for the compartments or tents? Is the fee, which is taxable by the city of Denver, less if you buy the cannabis there versus bring your own from elsewhere? Are the cannabis consumers charged the fee in 15-minute units, or by the half hour or by the minute only for the time they are in there? Is it going to be a per peron charge in conjunction with the time?

    I realize this is sad to have to think about paying the city of Denver in the form of a horeca consumption tax in exchange for the freedom to consume cannabis in a public club or some other adult venue.

  10. If people really owned their bodies, permission from an external authority wouldn’t be needed.

    If people really owned their property, permission to host cannabis consumers there wouldn’t be needed.

    It sure seems like a lot of people are afraid to conclude they don’t own themselves or their property and spend a lot of time thinking of ways to get master to be a little kinder.

    Freedom and being granted “permission” are two distinctly separate things. If you have to pay to exercise freedom, you aren’t exercising freedom, you are being extorted from.

  11. Here is an interesting article from Leafly concerning the city of Naples trying to legalize cannabis social clubs;

    The tension rises from il sistema, the local mafia, that does not permit competition in cannabis. The Anti-Mafia directorate contrnds the drug war a failure and speaks from a recent popular movie that explaibs if we dont stop illegal drug trafficking we will never stop the money laundering and our Democracy will end up like Mexico.
    I would agree with that, but its worse here in the US when we add Citizens United. Our orange-haired money-launderer mafioso is running for president.

  12. Why are there these kinds of rules in the first place. If you can smoke a cigarette in public outdoors, why is marijuana any different. The whole idea of “tempting children” is a BS excuse to slow down legalization. Real legalization would be to treat it the same as other legal substances. 21 and over do what you want with it how you like it. Just don’t give it to kids duh.

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