Denver NORML Files Marijuana Social Use Initiative For 2016 City Ballot

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Associate February 29, 2016

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 29, 2016

    Jordan Person

    Would Legalize Private Marijuana Social Clubs and Special Events Where Marijuana Could be Consumed

    Denver, CO – The Denver Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Denver NORML) submitted an initiative today that would legalize marijuana clubs and special events in the city in 2016.

    “Denver residents and visitors alike need places other than private homes to legally and responsibly enjoy legal marijuana with other adults,” said Jordan Person, executive director of Denver NORML.

    “This submission to city council is the first step. We’ll get feedback from the city, finalize the language, then start gathering signatures to put it on the ballot,” Person said. If Denver voters approve this November, private 21+ marijuana social clubs will become legal, as will private 21+ events where marijuana can be lawfully consumed.

    “The city will be able to license and regulate private marijuana clubs and special events to ensure public health and safety,” Person said. “But we want to be sure that the regulations are reasonable and consumer-friendly.”

    Clubs would be stand-alone venues which could not sell or distribute marijuana, and bars, nightclubs and restaurants could not become private marijuana clubs, Jordan said. “We expect there will be a wide range of clubs to serve Denver’s huge and diverse marijuana market,” Jordan said. “What can’t continue is the current situation that leaves so many people frustrated, angry, and tempted to violate the law so they can enjoy a legal product.”

    Since its founding in1970, NORML has been the leading voice for marijuana consumers, and for the end of prohibition that treats otherwise law-abiding marijuana smokers like criminals.


    22 responses to “Denver NORML Files Marijuana Social Use Initiative For 2016 City Ballot”

    1. Don M says:

      Myself and a friend, we’re both from Virginia, plan to go to CO for a week of liberty! We will spend around $5000 to $6000 total; including plane fare. This is money we might otherwise be spending here in Virginia if only we weren’t considered criminals here for our choice to use cannabis.

      • David says:

        Just remember that since you will be out of state visitors, you can only buy a quater ounce of flower a day per person. Some places might let you buy concentrates/edibles from them but it all depends on the individual dispensary policy. on top of that make sure you do not possess more than an ounce total for each person at once.

    2. Mark Mitcham says:

      I’ve been to several of the “meet-and-greets” that are arguably legal in Denver, but have been shut down by law enforcement, or forced to keep their locations secret.

      Organizers rented a theatre or similar venue, charge $10 cover fee, and then multiple vendors would set up booths, from dispensaries to glassware, and give out free samples of their bud, wax, vape pens, edibles, etc. And I typically brought along at least a half ounce of quality bud of my own, with multiple joints prerolled, and a glass piece, ready to go. There was a crowd of maybe 100 people more or less, all smoking up and listening to music, DJ’s and dancing…
      …lemme tell you, that was a blast. There were no fights or problems, everyone seemed to be chilling and enjoying themselves. And I thought, “This is what they’re afraid of? People listening to music and pigging out on cheeseburgers? Where’s the threat?”
      I’m looking forward to finding my favorite cannabis club!

    3. Evening Bud says:

      To those only support perfect or near-perfect legalization: this is an example of the way laws can be tweaked to improve them, after their initial passage.

      This also shows that oftentimes the tougher laws, the more egregious restrictions, are those imposed at the LOCAL level.

    4. Voice of the Resistance says:

      I believe Norml wants what is best for us. Even here in Idaho with our state lawmakers publicly announced hard line against any form of marijuana law reform, people are coming out, its an exciting time for me having new friends, Thanks Norml.

    5. mexweed says:

      “responsibly enjoy legal marijuana”

      1. One colleague on this blog has made the point that there is a definition of “marijuana” as smoked cannabis– question is does that mean VAPED cannabis is not marijuana? Perhaps the wording of this initiative can help clarify?

      2. Does “responsibly” mean “in a way that does not harm others”? If so, VAPING is more responsible than $moking, precisely because it reduces or eliminates that ONE most noxious of all deadly gases, effusions, mists and clouds: CO Carbon Monoxide.

      82% of Americans selfdesignate as “Non-$moking” (at least tobacco, heh heh)and surely it figures these voters would possibly compromise if they see the proposed Clubs were non-$moking but Vape-Encouraging? Have choice of good 25-mg-serving-size Vape utensils around for member use, no 500-mg-per-lightup hotburners needed?

      (Hey, you can VAPE with a flexdrawtube one-hitter made with #40 screen, 1/4″ pvc tube and $1.29 worth of parts left lying around in your Garage by previous god, see “12 Easy Ways to Make Vapetoke One-hitters from Everyday Objects”.)

    6. Julian says:

      AlRIGHT! Road trip from Denver to DC 2017!

      Speaking of road trips, I just drove back to Central Texas from the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo in Fort Worth, Texas. I was privileged to meet and pick policy questions with several cannabis legalization leaders that are united in legalization despite a broad difference in policy and political affiliations ranging from public consumption to scheduled medical use.

      What blew my mind, was that in the midst of individuals visiting Texas from industries in states where marijuana law has taken off to the point of introducing public consumption, and after looking into the eyes of several these capitalist/activists, is the internal conflict that we all share between providing medicine and profiting from it.

      I would like to share just a few quotes I took from my emotional experience this weekend, which I will share here in the next 2000 character post;

    7. Julian says:

      Jax Finkel: director of Texas NORML;
      …in response to my question if “turning private prisons into public schools would make an effective message here in Texas”, she replied,
      “What works for one state won’t work for another; What works to convince one Congressman won’t convince another. Do your research and shape your message to each representative so that you know you have their undivided attention.”

      Michelle Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy (MPP):
      “I’m a Libertarian, and don’t believe corporations necessarily have our best interests at hand, yet the growing marijuana industry is our ally and we can meet with common ground.” To which I replied, ” I have met with many so-called advocates that appear to be activists, but they preach anti-corporatism which ultimately divides us when we wish to proceed with a vote. I just don’t want to see us divided in the short term over anti-corporate or anti-monopoly arguments from intelligent agitators from groups like Project SAM,” (to which we had a high five).

      Alexis Bortelli, a 9-year old epileptic and activist returning to Texas from refuge in Colorado where she has received whole plant cannabis as medicine;
      ” I used to have up to 40 seizures a day. After using cannabis as medicine, I am happy to report that after 348 days I have not had another seizure.” (I have a nine-year-old daughter, and I couldn’t be more proud of this magnificent, brave little rebel. She was escorted with security back to DFW airport, as her parents fear that CPS could take Alexis into state custody).

      I listened to conservative mothers with autistic children from MAMMA;
      “Out of all fifty states, only 1 state allows autism to be medically treatable with cannabis, and that’s Delaware. This is unacceptable, and has to change. Anti-psychotics and pharmaceuticals are making matters worse. We cannot allow ourselves to be divided over these issues.”

    8. Julian says:

      Following MAMMA, a 6-year-old girl spoke on stage of how she “helped my sister teach herself” after her little sister began administration of whole plant cannabis contracting a rare genetic disease. Unfortunately, as her mother described, “cannabis can’t cure some rare genetic diseases,” and the little girl passed away this January and was unable to attend the conference. But “If it wasn’t for cannabis, we couldn’t have stopped the seizures to know who are little girl was before she left us; to know what she liked or didn’t like; to see her smile…” …There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

      Next came Veterans for Medical Marijuana

      Veterans like Jose Martinez got on stage, stating, “When I consume cannabis, my family benefits; I can recognize that things I couldn’t tolerate, such as my kids misbehaving, while using cannabis, I realized they were just kids being kids.”
      A veteran with missing limbs who had to be carried by friends reporting that ” With the use of whole plant cannabis, I can go out hunting, instead of staying at home wasting away on opiates.”

      Via livestream, from supporting veterans in Hawaii Dr. Sue Sisley;
      “After more than 30 years of researching PTSD in veterans that consume cannabis, I can say that none of my patients that killed themselves were reported as suicide for their cause of death. We believe that 17 U.S. soldiers committing suicide perday is undereported, and with the rate of addiction overdose from overprescribed opiates, the number should be closer to about 50.”

      • Shelie says:

        I am so happy that they were able to know who their little girl is before she left this world. My heart breaks for her parents. If we study marijuana seriously, we might find a cure for these rare genetic diseases. It’s so sad to lose a child, it’s a parent’s worst nightmare. God bless that sweet little angel.

    9. Julian says:

      Then three NFL celebrities took the stage,

      Marvin Washington; “The worst thing about marijuana is getting caught with it.”

      Ricky Williams, “My history with cannabis is well documented. I suppose why I am here is because I’m tired of seeing my team-mates suffer from opiate addiction, isolation and injuries. Pain is a part of life, but suffering doesn’t have to be. If we can provide medicine to end suffering, we need to do that.”

      Jim McMahon: (In response to how to protect children from concussions and CTE)
      “Don’t wear pads and helmets until high school, because their necks can’t take it. I told my kids I’d rather have them smoking weed than drinking alcohol.”

    10. Julian says:

      Montell Williams;
      “When my doctor told me I had multiple sclerosis, he told me to go home and prepare to die…”
      From that low point, he describes later being injected daily with a clean, pesticide free syringe of whole-plant cannabis “specially prepared” to mitigate the reactions of his MS. When a woman sitting near me asked if he could provide this “special strain” of medicine for her 5 year old son with MS, I witnessed the pain, hesitation and conflict in Montell’s eyes when he said “In about 1 to 5 years I plan to have my medicine out on the market.”
      What an immense conflict and contradiction… to advocate scheduled, medical marijuana in order to market a life saving remedy. Someone else asked him about a President “rescheduling.” I felt his frustration… “Congress needs to do their job,” I wanted to yell. Yet he surprised me by responding “no president will permanently legalize.” I spoke up and got the microphone long enough to say “Senator Sanders has introduced legislation to DEschedule marijuana; Could you explain to the audience the difference between REscheduling and DEscheduling marijuana, please?” To my subsequent surprise, Montell replied he was in favor of RE-scheduling, to keep quality medical marijuana under strict regulation. (A Hillary supporter? I thought to myself) Internally, I agreed to disagree, but suddenly felt threatened by his earlier comment that Montell Williams owns the first issued license on medical marijuana in the District of Columbia. What were his real priorities? Was he bargaining with the Devil to get what he conceives as a better deal? I had so many questions.

      • Shelie says:

        I believe that 88% of the Congressional seats are up for grabs this coming election, in both the House and Senate. It’s time to vote the “do nothing” Congress out of office. It’s time that the will of the people prevail.