Meyer: Are pot clubs the solution on public consumption?
Friday, Jan 15, 2016

Could pot clubs in Denver be a way to deal with increasing public consumption in the city’s parks and on the 16th Street Mall?

Amazingly, that’s what Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is asking — a dramatic shift in his stance from only three years ago.

In 2013, as the city was crafting its retail marijuana regulatory framework, Hancock directed the City Council to explicitly ban pot clubs.

“I propose and advocate for the most restrictive regulatory environment for marijuana,” Hancock said then. “And I believe that by allowing private clubs, it doesn’t speak to that value.”

The city fiercely has defended this position over the years.

Police have busted cannabis clubs. The city threatened to shut down events that advertised open consumption and officials last fall convinced activists to drop a ballot initiative that would have asked voters to OK pot smoking in bars.

Hancock admits he is now open to the concept of pot clubs.

“When you start looking at what the users are doing, whether they are visitors, walking up and down the mall and smoking in our parks, you recognize if someone doesn’t have a residence here that they have got to have an outlet. I haven’t said, ‘Yes.’ But I have said, ‘Give me more information,’” he said recently in a meeting with The Denver Post’s editorial board.

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