Marijuana

Colorado Springs Shuts Down Its Cannabis Clubs…in Eight Years

Unlike Denver, the city lets people use marijuana outside their homes.

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After Colorado legalized marijuana for general use in 2012, Denver became the center of the newly legal recreational industry, accounting for more than a third of the state's retail licenses. Yet local politicians in the state capital still have not seen fit to allow cannabis consumption in any setting other than private residences. Meanwhile, Colorado Springs, a considerably more conservative city that has banned the sale of recreational marijuana, boasts about 15 cannabis clubs. That surprising situation now has an expiration date: Thanks to a ban that the Colorado Springs City Council approved by a vote of 6 to 3 on Tuesday, the clubs must close by March 22, 2024.

The Colorado Springs Gazette says the ban's supporters complained that "many clubs charged 'membership dues' or collected 'donations' in trade for marijuana," thereby violating the city's ban on recreational sales. Such arrangements might also violate state law, depending on how clear the quid pro quo is. Under Amendment 64, Colorado's legalization initiative, adults 21 or older are allowed to give up to an ounce of marijuana at a time to other adults "without remuneration." But sales are limited to licensed stores, where on-site consumption is prohibited.

The legal status of bring-your-own-cannabis clubs is a matter of dispute. State law prohibits "consumption that is conducted openly and publicly," which does not seem to cover a private, members-only club. But Denver officials maintain that any business to which you can gain entry by paying a fee qualifies as open and public. A local ballot initiative proposed by two of Amendment 64's main backers would have changed that policy, allowing cannabis consumption in businesses that exclude people younger than 21. They withdrew that initiative last September in the hope of negotiating a compromise with the city council.

Since the Colorado Springs ban does not take effect for eight years, it may yet be reversed by the city council or by a local ballot initiative. Jayman Johnson, owner of the Speakeasy Vape Lounge and Cannabis Club on East Bijou Street, threatened to run against Councilman Keith King, a ban supporter who represents Johnson's district. According to the Gazette, King, who said he supported the ban mainly because residents currently have no say over whether clubs open in their neighborhoods, "urged cannabis club supporters to organize and get an initiative on the ballot to try to save their social communities."

Reason TV covers Colorado's cannabis consumption conundrum:

Last August I explained how the issue is addressed in the five jurisdictions that have legalized marijuana so far.

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  1. residents currently have no say over whether clubs open in their neighborhoods

    The horror!

    1. What would you expect from a socialist?

  2. I got home last night from bowling and there was a very obvious marijuana smell coming from one of the other 7 units in my building. I live in NH, where the devil’s weed is still a no-no. I closed the door to my condo and the smell was gone.

    That was the extent of my thoughts on the matter.

    1. Thanks for being a good neighbor.

  3. That always pisses me off.A business is private property,unless the state has a axe to grind,or some people don’t like you choices,like letting people smoke.

  4. That always pisses me off.A business is private property,unless the state has a axe to grind,or some people don’t like you choices,like letting people smoke.

  5. That always pisses me off.A business is private property,unless the state has a axe to grind,or some people don’t like you choices,like letting people smoke.

  6. Really squirrels?

  7. Good thing MJ is “legal”, huh?

    1. Yes. It’s also good that alcohol prohibition ended, even though you can still get fined for drinking a beer on your front stoop.

      1. There’s a park next to my apartment. When it’s nice out it kills me that I can’t have a beer there.

  8. Just another anecdote

    https://youtu.be/3AJiRnirxxU

    The cancer/cannabis underground is discussed.

  9. My 10 seconds of google work failed to find the story, but the Colorado Springs city council also recently voted to disallow medical dispensaries using a green cross on a their signage. Their silly rationalization was that international tourists might be confused and think it was a first aid station.

    1. Whoops, my bad, it was the county. http://www.krdo.com/news/el-pa…..s/37827286

    2. Foreigners r dum

    3. Wouldn’t it be anyone with red-green colour-blindness who would be confused? I don’t see how being foreign or local would matter.

      1. But if you used a blue cross, people would think it was an insurance office.

    4. And then they could be poisoned by the dope vapor in the air, before they realize they’re in the wrong place it’s too late! Don’t you see how many lives this is going to save?

  10. But Denver officials maintain that any business to which you can gain entry by paying a fee qualifies as open and public

    Light up at the VFW. The members fought for your freedom to be subject to specious restrictions.

  11. It’s really hard for tourists here. You can’t smoke in public. You can’t smoke in hotels. You can’t smoke in apartments (well, as much as anywhere). So it’s legal, but almost impossible to still do. People still have to hide in alleys or back roads and hiking trails. The woods at ski resorts.

  12. The 8 years is a political ploy to lull the victims into a false sense of security.
    The ordinance immediately imposes regulations on clubs that will shut them all down in a couple months.
    It was written to disallow new clubs in 5 years, but at the meeting where they voted on it it was amended to 8 years, as if that mattered. http://coloradosprings.granicu…..lip_id=427
    The mmj activists here in Colorado Springs are pretty well organized and weren’t fooled, but it’s going to be nearly impossible to get a petition voted on in time to save these clubs.
    Google them – they are more than just party-time hangouts. Many vets and other patients have been helped immensely by these clubs (watch the video above) and this is a really inhuman attack on our freedom of association.

  13. I feel like 99% of all public servants are leaches. In the case of bureaucrats you just have nicely dressed leaches. The United has a poverty draft in place for our governments war efforts. When you (as a bureaucratic monkey leech) institute policies that take away jobs from “The People” you are contributing to that draft.

    What City Council is basically saying is they’d literally rather see you go kill strangers in the Middle East and steal heroine from Afghanistan for Big Pharma. Than working in cannabis here in the city you live in.

    Thanks City Council. Thanks John Suthers. Thank you guys for alllll your “hard work”, and “visionary policies” You wankers are worth every penny…

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