DENVER (CBS4)– Marijuana use could soon be seen in bars, restaurants, or any public place if a proposed ballot measure makes it on the ballot and is passed by voters.
“It says any private business can decide if it wants to permit adults to use marijuana,” said marijuana proponent Mason Tvert.
Tvert, well-known as the driving force behind Amendment 64 which legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado, is considering a new ballot measure that would vastly expand where people can use pot in Denver.
“The community in Denver has been very clear that they don’t think adults should be treated like second-class citizens simply because they prefer to use marijuana instead of drinking when they socialize with their friends,” said Tvert.
The measure is still being drafted but right now would allow adults 21 and older to use marijuana at any commercial establishment that permits it, out of public view and in compliance with the clean indoor air act, meaning smoking would only be allowed in enclosed outdoor spaces.
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“We don’t want to see adults on the streets or in our parks using marijuana because they are visiting from out of town and don’t have anywhere else to go,” said Tvert.
Denver City Council President Chris Nevitt agrees but said the city still needs to be able to regulate where and when marijuana use is allowed.
“If our hands are suddenly tied by a ballot measure, I think that would be a bad thing,” said Nevitt.
The other bigger issue is state law prohibits “open and public consumption” of marijuana.
“It’s obviously a situation where there is some lack of clarity,” said Tvert.
Rep. Jonathan Singer, a Democrat representing Longmont, said it’s time the state Legislature clarified what open and public means for the entire state.
“This is really hard to put it to a head in the sense that now we have to start dealing with this as state lawmakers,” said Singer. “We should have an open and public discussion about open and public consumption.”
Supporters of the ballot measure said they will decide in the next couple of days whether to move forward with the proposal. They would need more than 47,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot this November.