SAFE AND REGULATED SPACES Ballot Initiative 300 will allow voters to choose to legalize public cannabis consumption in Denver

cannabis consumptionDenver’s neighborhoods may get designated spaces for adults to responsibly consume cannabis in a safe and supervised manner if Denver Ballot Initiative 300 passes. Also known as Denver’s Neighborhood-Supported Cannabis Consumption Pilot Program (NSCCPP), Denver Ballot Initiative 300 will change laws surrounding consumption of cannabis in Denver, and we’ve been following this issue for months in preparation for this coming election season.

Denver Ballot Initiative 300 would give adults in Denver the ability to consume cannabis in designated spaces, while staying in line with the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act. The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) has been showing tons of support to getting this initiative passed. Executive Director of the CBA, Mark Slaugh, shared his organization’s belief. “When Colorado residents overwhelmingly approved Amendment 64, they voted to have cannabis regulated like alcohol,” Slaugh said. “Now that recreational cannabis has been legal for two years, Denver Ballot Initiative 300 appropriately addresses the enormous need to provide safe space for consumers both residents and tourists to enjoy cannabis outside of the home. The need for safe, cannabis-friendly spaces is clear. The CBA joins Denver voters, businesses and public figures in supporting Denver Ballot Initiative 300.”

Currently, people are only allowed to consume cannabis within a private residence with the owner’s approval. This has caused various people who rent their residences and tourists to consume cannabis in public, which is illegal and had caused an increase in public use tickets. Adults illegally consuming cannabis in public can also cause those who do not consume cannabis and minors to be exposed to cannabis. If approved, Denver Ballot Initiative 300 would fix these issues.

“Now that recreational cannabis has been legal for two years, Denver Ballot Initiative 300 appropriately addresses the enormous need to provide safe space for consumers both residents and tourists to enjoy cannabis outside of the home.”

“This initiative not only creates safe and regulated spaces for consumption, it also requires establishments who want to provide public setting for cannabis consumers to engage their community before acquiring a license,” Slaugh stated. “The importance of community approval is imperative if we are going to work together to better our communities in a world of legal cannabis. By creating safe spaces for consumption, we are effectively taking cannabis off the streets and into social, yet private settings.”

Last year, cannabis activists attempted to get the same type of law passed with the Campaign for Limited Social. What was missing from last year’s campaign is that activists didn’t include evidence of community and neighborhood support where the new social use permits would be enacted. This year, the NSCCPP group turned in over 11,000 signatures when only 4,726 were required to validate the initiative, which officially made its way onto the November ballot on September 1.

The initiative’s website shares how they’ve included community involvement in the permit process this time around. “The NSCCPP was designed with the interests of both cannabis consumers and Denver neighborhoods in mind and requires all cannabis consumption permit holders to engage local neighborhoods before gaining approval from the city, to ensure neighborhood compatibility and to address all community concerns.”

Community support for the bill comes from bars, coffee shops, comedy clubs, restaurants and music rooms, all of which would serve as appropriate locations for recreational cannabis use in Denver. Now it’s up to Denver voters to determine the fate of cannabis consumption in the city.

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