In Colorado Springs, cannabis clubs launched a community service program that exchanges cleanup services for weed. Volunteers were treated to one joint per bag of trash collected around city sites, including Vermijo Park, Colorado Avenue and Cimarron Street. Cannabis clubs are privately owned establishments where patrons can come and smoke at their leisure. These locations provide a safe haven for people to consume cannabis and connect with others in the cannabis community.
“I just come out here to help. Good exercise, it’s a beautiful day and to get a free doobie,” highlighted Renee Brown, a local volunteer.
Winning Over the Community
The Pothole, a local cannabis club, hosted one of the seven initial cleanup gatherings around the area. Steve Pacheco, the owner of the club, came out to facilitate the program. His team rolled over 300 joints to hand out to volunteers who were 21 and older. Lunch was also provided for everyone at the site. Dozens of volunteers showed up in anticipation of receiving free weed. City councilman Bill Murray joined the group by filling up a trash bag with litter and exchanging it for a tightly rolled joint. During an interview with News 5, he expressed his views on the distribution of free cannabis.
“As a matter of fact, yes. My wife has cancer, and this is for her, so that’s why I’m here. I’m here to support my community, support the voters and assist my wife as she needs it,” said Murray.
Fighting to Keep Cannabis Clubs Open
By hosting community cleanup programs, Pacheco and other cannabis club owners hope to gain support for their businesses to remain open to the public. Earlier this month, the Colorado Springs City Council conducted a hearing to ban marijuana social clubs in the city, which resulted in a six to three vote. Jill Gaebler, Bill Murray and Helen Collins voted against the implementation of the ban. A second voting session is currently in the works that will finalize the group’s decision on the fate of such businesses in the area. Under the proposal, existing clubs will be required to close operations over an eight-year period.
During the session, club customers and marijuana advocates explained to the councilors that the establishments are essential for medical cannabis patients, since it is illegal to smoke weed inside a dispensary. It is also illegal to use the drug in cars, restaurants, hotels and other public places. In such cases, marijuana clubs provide a safe haven for individuals who purchase cannabis legally for recreational purposes.
People supporting the ban claim that the businesses promote illegal activity. Moreover, parents are concerned about the location of the clubs, with some being in close proximity to schools and neighborhood playgrounds. “My doors are still open. I’m still complaint with the state of Colorado,” said Andrew Poarch, owner of the Lazy Lion cannabis club. “I don’t understand why there is such push back in Colorado? We aren’t doing anything wrong. Marijuana saves thousands and thousands of lives every day.”
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