While state and local governments in many parts of the U.S. are debating the virtues of legalizing the growth, possession, and consumption of cannabis, in Denver the debate has turned to using already-legal marijuana in public. A new chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) plan to revive an effort that permits marijuana use in bars and other places of business.
A group including the Marijuana Policy Project gave up in September on an effort to get the issue on the ballot, and has been discussing with Denver city officials and some hotel and industry groups ways to allow marijuana use in public. If no agreement is reached, the NORML chapter has said it would refile the ballot initiative this year.
One potential compromise is legalizing private clubs where members could use marijuana products, a suggestion that Denver’s mayor has said he is open to consider.
A Denver Marijuana Policy Project spokesman told the Denver Post:
We hope to reach consensus (with city officials) about a sensible path forward in the coming months, and at the same time we are also beginning to plan for a 2016 initiative should it be needed. We want to work with everyone we can to bring about the best possible law for Denver, so we hope to speak with the Denver NORML folks soon.
Here are other important news stories for the week.
15 Post-Prohibition Wants from Cannabis Consumers and Businesses
It should abundantly clear to all but the most cloistered politically that nearly 80 years of cannabis prohibition is ending with states (notably on the West coast, Colorado, and in New England) leading the way to national legalization.
In 2016, there will be more pro-cannabis law reform bills introduced into both federal and state legislatures than any previous years, and more states than at any previously time will have legalization ballot measures before apparently willing voters (California, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Maine; Gallup polling currently pegs nationwide support for cannabis legalization at 58 percent). In addition, the major political party candidates for the office of President of the United States have been, for the first time ever in American politics, regularly debating the topic of cannabis policy (i.e., Sen. Bernie Sanders favors legalization, and Gov. Chris Christie favors “stopping the states” pot party on Day One).
In the waning days of national cannabis prohibition, historically speaking, cannabis law reform organizations that have been at the vanguard of public advocacy to replace pot prohibition with tax-and-regulate policies, along with the millions of cannabis consumers these groups represent, have 15 areas of concern that will be pursued post prohibition.
Read more at Cannabis Business Executive.