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Anger in Denver as Lawmakers Ban Marijuana Use at Bars and Restaurants

Colorado Marijuana Bars

Denver lawmakers have announced a devastating blow to bars and restaurants in regards to the recently approved Initiative 300 that was passed to allow such establishments to permit marijuana use on their premises. But, unfortunately, lawmakers have decided to make a new law blocking any establishment that holds a liquor license from getting a social marijuana use permit.

A large portion of the businesses interested in participating in Initiative 300 will no longer be permitted, The Denver Post reports. Dispensaries are already prohibited from allowing on-site consumption, and will continue to be prohibited under Initiative 300. The guidelines could be further adjusted to include event venues as well.

The new rule is a shock to those that supported Initiative 300. Although many businesses will be out of luck, Mason Tvert of Marijuana Policy Project says that there are still plenty of other business types that will be able to have social marijuana consumption permits.

Tvert said, “This doesn’t completely hinder the entire law. Remember that this whole thing kind of got started with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra fundraiser that was held in an art gallery.” Tvert was regarding the 2014 theme of an event by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

The Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) issued a statement saying, “The CRA, along with many other stakeholders, expressed concerns about the public dual consumption of marijuana and alcohol.” Concerns are also surrounding the loss of business insurance, as some insurers do not wish to insure restaurants that allow on-site marijuana use.

Tvert said, “It is astonishing that the Department of Revenue is so openly fighting a turf battle on behalf of the liquor industry. They seem to think it’s fine for patrons of bars and concert venues to get blackout drunk, but unacceptable for them to use a far less harmful substance like marijuana instead. This will not prevent adults from using marijuana and alcohol at the same time, but it will ensure that the marijuana gets used out in the alley or on the street rather than inside of a private establishment.”