Denver Voters approve Marijuana for Social Use

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on November 17, 2016.

In a historic development, the voters of Denver have approved the social use of marijuana in permitted private establishments, according to the election results on Ordinance 300 released Monday night from the Denver Elections Division.

Although there are still a handful of ballots left to count, “Support for Initiative 300” has passed 53 percent to 47 percent in updated results that makes its proponents to declare victory over the ordinance. There are still about 32,000 ballots to be counted, but the margin is at 17,173 votes.

“I’m really happy that the folks of Denver saw the sensibility of this measure,” Yes on 300 organizer and co-owner of Denver Relief Consulting Kayvan Khalatbari said in a statement. “This is a victory for cannabis consumers who, like alcohol consumers, simply want the option to enjoy cannabis in social settings.

“It is also a victory for the city of Denver, its diverse neighborhoods and those who don’t consume cannabis, as it will reduce the likelihood that adults will resort to consuming in public”, he added.

The measure would allow Denver businesses, from bars to cafes and even yoga studios, to seek permits to create “consumption areas” if they obtain backing from a local neighborhood or business group. It would enable customers, aged 21 and over, to consume their own marijuana in designated areas.

However, the opponents have been arguing that the passage of Ordinance 300 would encourage more public use and harm public safety.

The Denver City Council has 60 days to write the rules regarding the measure. The permits will cost a business $1,000 and be valid for up to one year.

Notably, Denver’s ordinance is a four-year pilot program. In the U.S., half of states and Washington D.C. allow some form of marijuana use though the federal government still classifies it as a Schedule 1 drug considering as dangerous as heroin.

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