Pot activists plan Denver smoking initiative

Posted at 9:37 PM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-23 11:11:12-05

Just outside Denver city limits, a group of pot enthusiasts gathers around a black table to smoke together.

"It's been nice to have one place to go, but there's just one place," said Justin Duncan, who said he comes here regularly. "The rest have all been closed down because the cops have busted them."

iBake Denver, located in Adams County, is promoted as a legal place to smoke marijuana socially. So far, the President and CEO, who goes by Thurlow Weed, said they haven't had any trouble with the law.

"The Indoor Clean Air Act says there are certain business that are allowed to have smoking in them," said Weed, who added he has worked with an attorney to be above board. "It's a private club. People pay a membership fee to get in, so it's not a public place, and no marijuana is sold here.

Last year, pot activists dropped an effort to get public consumption on the ballot after the City of Denver agreed to work with them.

But now, a new group is stepping in.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is working on a new ballot initiative to allow "limited social use" of marijuana.

"We are willing to work with them on this issue -- we just really want something to happen, we want action to take place," said Jordan Person, the executive director of the Denver Chapter of NORML.

Person said the language has not been determined, and the organization is still meeting with stakeholders and considering whether smoking would be allowed only in private clubs or in open air bars.

For now, Weed has two locations, one in Adams County and one in Englewood, and is looking at opening clubs in Aurora and Pueblo.

"People can't smoke in hotels, cars, parks," said Weed. "They need a legal, safe place to go."

Person said they hope to have the initiative language finalized in the next few weeks and will then begin collecting signatures to get the issue on the November ballot.

A city spokesman said the city has no comment until they read the initiative.


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