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Colorado Bill for 'Marijuana Consumption Clubs'

February 12, 2017

The United States currently has 37 states which have legalized cannabis use.

28 states allow for medical marijuana only, and nine more states allow for recreational cannabis.

Although obtaining cannabis in these states is not a problem, there is a problem however with consumption.

There are almost no public spaces available in the entire country for legal cannabis consumption.

Colorado, which legalized recreational cannabis four years ago with Amendment 64, is trying to change that.

Senate Bill 63 was introduced in the Colorado state senate last month, which would allow for the creation of so-called 'marijuana consumption clubs.'

Under the bipartisan bill, cannabis may not be brought into the club from the outside. Cannabis must be obtained inside the club only, and must be consumed entirely on site. That means no doggy bags - any leftovers must be disposed of on site.

Additionally, the clubs may not serve alcohol nor food prepared on site.

Local governments would have the final say on whether to allow marijuana consumption clubs in its jurisdiction.

Senate Bill 63 isn't the first effort to address public consumption in Colorado.

This past November, Denver voters voted in favor of Initiative 300, which allows for public consumption or "social use" of cannabis in the city, albeit with numerous restrictions.

Indoor use would be restricted to edibles and vaporizing only - no smoking of cannabis - and the consumption area must be screened from public view.

Outdoor use would allow smoking of cannabis, but again the consumption area would need to be screened off from the public.

A consumption venue would also require the backing of the local community.

Denver's Initiative 300 is an experiment, not a permanent solution. It would only create a four year pilot program.

No legal public spaces invites illegal consumption.

Tourists visiting places like Denver wishing to experience the local cannabis scene are severely limited where they can legally partake. There are not many options beyond private residences and a few hotels and specialty transportation services.

It's a dilemma shared by many residents too, such as renters living in residences where the owner disallows cannabis use.

A small number of cannabis clubs operate in some small often out-of-the-way localities, but this option is impractical for most.

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