Damian Riniker, with the Denver NORML chapter petitions to get a private cannabis club initiative on the Denver ballot. Brennan Linsley, The Associated Press
Damian Riniker, with the Denver NORML chapter petitions to get a private cannabis club initiative on the Denver ballot.

Pot Clubs: Yay or Nay?

I got pot, but where can I smoke it?

Posted by:
Nanci Chi-Town on Monday Jun 27, 2016

Denver voters may consider a ballot measure this fall to make the city the most populous place in the nation to expressly allow pot clubs.

Cannabis Lounges and Clubs - Good Idea or No Way? from CannabisNet on Vimeo.


Our stance on the Colorado debate on legal weed and Pot Clubs: Bring. It. On!


Yes folks, we need a place to enjoy our medicine without getting arrested, cited, harassed, etc.  Colorado is so breathtaking, why do we have to “take cover” and hide away while enjoying our bud?  On a nice sunny day, it would be awesome to just sit on a bench, stare at the clouds, meditate, just chill and enjoy life.   


After flying, bag check and checking into a hotel room in the promised land, it would be great to be able to smoke up.  But you can’t do that for the most part.  Smoking a joint on the dance floor or in a nice chill environment, sign us up! It would be much safer and more enjoyable than driving around in the car, sneaking around town just to smoke a pipe and “feel good” before going back in the club.  Why not just smoke in the club?   A “pot club” perhaps?


From the capital city of Denver to mountain resorts like Aspen and Breckenridge, police wrote nearly 800 citations in for the new crime of public consumption in 2014, the first year recreational sales began, reports Kristen Wyatt for the Associated Press.


People are getting dinged with public marijuana consumption tickets for toking up on sidewalks, in city parks and in alleys behind bars and restaurants - despite laws against doing so, something marijuana advocates and opponents feared.


"People need a place to go," said Teresa Wright of the Denver suburb of Lafayette. "We deserve to have a place. It's a legal activity." > We agree!



Marijuana clubs have proven a harder sell in Colorado than legalizing the drug in the first place.



The amendment that legalized marijuana doesn't give people the right to use it "openly or publicly," a nod to critics who said legalization would lead to an explosion of Amsterdam-style clubs. However, Colorado's constitution doesn't ban public use, which has created a confusing patchwork of local policies on weed clubs.





So, where can you go to consume in Colorado?

  • Underground! Denver and Colorado Springs have existing pot clubs, but they operate somewhat underground with occasional police busts. 
  • The town of Nederland in northern Colorado, regulates a club that advertises, "out of state, out of country, and of course locals are welcome."
  • Pueblo County allows clubs but has none. Bummer.
  • In Englewood, a Denver suburb, of Englewood, city council members were apparently taken by surprise that the city had licensed a pot club. In June 2016, they voted 7-0 to allow no more clubs.



Other states?

Unfortunately, no other states with legal recreational pot have licensed clubs, either.

  • In 2015, Alaska's Marijuana Control Board voted to repeal an explicit ban on social marijuana clubs, "it continues to be a violation to consume marijuana in a public place, including unlicensed, unregulated marijuana smoking clubs."



Pot Clubs: Why Not

One of the main agruments against legal pot clubs is the age old worry that pot clubs would further encourage minors to try the drug.  However, "There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs,“ according to the Insitute of Medicine's 1999 study "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base"



Pro Pot Clubbers Retort

Pot skeptics should welcome clubs, Jordan Person, head of Denver NORML argues "You don't want it in your face? Great. Let's get it off the street."  Pot Clubs will not "put more people on the road high. They're already there, probably driving while they use it. So this is better than that."

Not all people want to smell it, so it makes sense to give people a place to enjoy cannabis with other adults.


Want Pot Clubs in Colorado - take action

Marijuana activists are trying to get a club measure on Denver ballots and they have until mid-August to collect about 10,000 signatures to put the question on municipal ballots this November. 

Denver NORML has now submitted an initiative dubbed the Denver Responsible Use Initiative, and the committee for Responsible Use Denver has been formed for the purpose of passing an initiative for private marijuana clubs and special event permits in the city of Denver. Support the Pot Club petition




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