Advocates Push To Give Tourists A Place To Enjoy Pot In Denver

Photo: Marijunana 4/20 Day Denver Weed On State Flag (AP)
Colorado's unofficial marijuana holiday Monday, April 20, 2015, in Denver.

It's Colorado's cannabis quandary: People can travel to the state and legally buy small amounts of marijuana in some cities, but they have few places to legally enjoy their purchase. Many communities restrict consumption in public and even in private businesses.

Now, some advocates want to change that in Denver, including Brian Vicente who co-wrote Amendment 64 that led to legalization.

"At the end of the day, this is a legal substance, and we want to be sure people can use it in social settings," Vicente says.

The advocates are proposing Denver voters decide whether to adopt an ordinance to allow adults to consume pot in commercial establishments. That could include hotels, bars and even outdoor smoking clubs as long as they are shielded from public view.

"We need to allow adults to consume marijuana in these private establishments because we don’t want them to consume on the streets and at the parks and other venues," Vicente says.

Vicente is meeting with city officials Wednesday on the ordinance he’s proposing.

It’s likely to be opposed by officials who fear it would spur a boom in pot tourism, leading to Denver becoming known mainly for marijuana.

Advocates expect to gather 4,700 signatures needed to place the proposed ordinance before Denver voters this November.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Michael Hancock says he has no immediate comment since this proposal is in the early stages.