A voter-approved initiative that would allow Denver residents to use marijuana in certain bars and restaurants is going up in smoke.
Election Day, the nation’s most pot-friendly city passed Initiative 300, a ballot measure which gives businesses the ability to create marijuana “consumption areas” onsite with special permitting.
On November 18, state officials announced new regulations that would bar any establishment that holds a liquor licence from taking advantage of Initiative 300.
The BYO-bud law intends to make it easier for marijuana users to find social settings where they feel comfortable. It could also increase tax revenue from tourists and locals, who were previously prohibited from lighting up in public, and curb citations for breaking such law.
Denver voters passed Initiative 300 with roughly 53% support, according to The Denver Post.
The Colorado Department of Revenue’s Liquor Enforcement Division overruled them on Friday, when it said that liquor licensees need not apply.
The new rules found support from the Colorado Restaurant Association and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Statements from the two cited concerns about the dual-use of marijuana and alcohol in public and the failure of servers to identify customers who have had too much of either substance and may try to drive.
President Obama has said marijuana is “no more dangerous than alcohol,” but science tells us the two combined create dangers for the user. Getting drunk and getting high at the same time may cause more THC, the psychoactive ingredient in weed, to reach the brain via the bloodstream, according to a 2001 study out of Harvard Medical School. Dual-consumption may worsen marijuana’s side effects, from impaired judgment to increased heart rate.
More research is required on how pot and booze affect the brain and body.
Denver’s 9News points out that the new rule doesn’t completely chokehold Intiative 300.
While bars, restaurants, music venues, and event centres will likely be disqualified from the four-year pilot permitting program, there’s still hope for cafés, yoga studios, and art galleries.
Initiative 300’s backers remain hopeful.
“I would not be surprised if we see challenges,” Mason Tavert, an organiser for Initiative 300, told 9News. “The rule was created to override what Denver voters approved.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.