Should Colorado legalize marijuana events?

A proposed state law could expand pot sales and possibly allow public smoking at special events. 9NEWS at 6 p.m. 1/20/16.

DENVER — Colorado regularly hosts big marijuana-themed events, but it remains illegal to sell pot in any location other than a licensed store.
 
One state lawmaker hopes to change that by creating a new kind of license to allow pot to be lawfully sold (and possibly consumed) on-site at special events only open to people over the age of 21.
 
"Amendment 64 asked us to regulate marijuana like alcohol," said bill sponsor Rep. Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City.) "The bill creates the exact same special use permit process that we already have for alcohol."
 
Moreno's bill, HB 1092, would make the state permits subject to local government approval and allow on-site marijuana sales from 9am-midnight at events.
 
Public consumption of pot is illegal in Colorado, though it regularly occurs at pot-themed gatherings. Moreno says local jurisdictions would have say over whether consumption would be allowed at the events if his bill becomes law.
 
The idea is bound to run into opposition in the state legislature. Amendment 64 did legalize adult consumption of marijuana, but also states that its language does not specifically authorize marijuana to be used "openly and publicly."
 
That's generally been interpreted to mean that consumption is legal in private residential locations and just about nowhere else in Colorado.
 
Since they managed to legalize the drug, marijuana advocates have been pushing to open up other locations for people to consume it. That led to a high-profile spat between the city of Denver and the Colorado Symphony over how it could conduct marijuana-themed concerts.

The symphony eventually went with a "bring your own marijuana" approach and a private, invite-only event. 
HB 1092 would not open up the state's legal marijuana business to new people hoping to strike it rich. Sales could only be made by companies that already own a licensed marijuana store in Colorado.
 
Events would be limited to five days.
 
Pot sellers would also have to be ready for customers' munchies. The bill language "requires that sandwiches or other or other food snacks must be made available during all hours of service."

(© 2016 KUSA)
 


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