Despite the fact that cannabis is legal in Colorado, there are no places for users to light up. This has led to a number of citations for smoking in public. Police issued almost 800 citations in 2014 alone, the first year that cannabis became legal.
There is a simple solution to this problem: pot clubs. State and city officials have been opposed to pot clubs in the past. They worry that giving people places to legally light up would turn Colorado into another Amsterdam.
Colorado’s constitution does not currently ban public use, but many local laws do, which has led to unequal enforcement and confusion over laws regarding legality. Jordan Person, head of the Colorado chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), hopes to change this. Person and other members of Colorado NORML are currently collecting signatures for a petition to get a measure on the ballot this fall, which would allow licensed cannabis clubs.
Person says that the concerns that such laws would make cannabis easier for teens to access, are precisely the reasons why Colorado should have cannabis clubs. “You don’t want it in your face? Great. Let’s get it off the street,” Person has said.
Law enforcement officials have also expressed concerns that legalized cannabis clubs would lead to more incidents of people driving while stoned, leading to more DUI arrests. There is no evidence to support this, however. Colorado currently has a couple underground clubs, none of which have been linked to traffic accidents or arrests.
NORML has until the middle of August to collect 5,000 signatures on the petition. Considering that Denver county approved the measure to legalize cannabis by a 2:1 ratio, It’s highly likely that they will meet that goal.
There is no reason not to legalize cannabis clubs in Colorado. Cannabis clubs would give smokers a safe and legal place to smoke, and less people would be inclined to light up on the streets. This would lead to less arrests and certainly generate more revenue for Colorado. What are your thoughts on pot clubs? Let us know in the comments.