Denver voters consider ‘social use' spaces to smoke marijuana

(File photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Denver voters will have their say on spaces to socially use pot in the upcoming November election.

Colorado Public Radio reports that in the almost three years since the state's first recreational marijuana sales, there is no place to use it. Denver police have handed out more than 1,000 public consumption tickets since 2015.

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"We can possess and purchase cannabis, we need to be allowed places to consume it in responsible, supervised environments," entrepreneur and cannabis advocate Kayvan Khalatbari told Colorado Public Radio.

According to the campaign website, Ordinance 300 – a four year pilot program would allow adults 21 and over to consume cannabis in regulated, neighborhood-supported consumption areas.

Unlike a recent petition for private clubs for pot in Denver, ordnance 300 would allow the social use of marijuana in regular businesses such as bars or cafes or even yoga studios, under certain conditions such as not being within 1,000 feet of a "children congregate."

The group says allowing adults to consume cannabis inside some establishments will reduce the likelihood that they will consume it in public places like a park.

300 opposition group, Protect Denver's Atmosphere, is against expanding the pot industry, calling it a "radical proposal."

"But how will it be different if I'm walking down [the street] and a patio has marijuana being consumed on the other side of the fence, or if I'm in [downtown Denver], and if you're one floor up from the street level, you've got rooftop smoking, it's the same thing," critic Rachel O'Bryan of Smart Colorado told Colorado Public Radio.

Some people on social media are asking whether this ordnance would be useful in Seattle.

In Seattle, nearly a year after marijuana became legal in Washington state, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved a $27 fine for public pot smoking in 2013.

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It is illegal to open a package containing marijuana or marijuana product, or smoke marijuana in public.

Washington state law protects private marijuana use, so you can consume openly in a residence as long as the property owner allows it, but marijuana cannot be consumed in public view, such as on streets or sidewalks or in public parks.

The majority of Seattle’s hotels are smoke-free, but if the establishment permits it and you are either vaporizing or staying in a room in which smoking is allowed, you can legally consume marijuana in a private hotel room.