The Presidential Election isn’t the only important vote this year. In Denver, residents have the opportunity to vote on a new and extremely important cannabis ordinance. Denver’s Neighborhood-Supported Cannabis Consumption Pilot Program (known as “Ordinance 300” or NSCCPP for short) will be on the ballot on November 8, 2016. The campaign has been going non-stop here in Denver, Colorado for the past few months and is full steam ahead just one month prior to the election. If you support being able to consume cannabis somewhere other than your home, back porch, or in a back alley behind your favorite bar, you might want to pay attention here.
What is Ordinance 300 or NSCCPP?
Ordinance 300 would allow adults 21 and over to consume cannabis in private, regulated, neighborhood-supported consumption areas. It’s supported by the Democratic Party of Denver, New Era Colorado, State Senator Irene Aguilar, and State Representative Jonathan Singer, as well. The NSCCPP is meant to strike a balance between cannabis consumers in Denver and the neighborhoods they live in, pre-empting a territorial battle over who gets to consume cannabis where. It’s pretty smart, really, when you think about it – after all, as cannabis becomes increasingly popular, accepted, and consumed, it’s only natural to start regulating where and when it can be consumed – just like alcohol and tobacco, but much less harmful to communities.
What Does Ordinance 300 Do?
The NSCCPP puts the power in the hands of the communities and neighborhood organizations, allowing them to be involved in permit approval for local cannabis-oriented business establishments – the approved permits must also be balanced by popular community support. Northglenn, and north Denver suburb, just voted to allow cannabis businesses in, but the NSCCPP would allow the oversight of law enforcement, fire and health coding authorities, and proper licensing authorities to make sure cannabusinesses are pulling their weight in a way that is safe and profitable for the them as well as the communities they work in. The main goal of the NSCCPP or “300” is to ensure that cannabis can be consumed safely in a supervised location, just like alcohol.
Why is Ordinance 300 Being Voted on Now?
If you’ve been in Colorado for a few years, you may recall something called cannabis clubs, or dispensaries with comfy chairs, cozy fireplaces, and chatting clientele consuming the cannabis products they’d just purchased on site. You may also recall that the Colorado state government and law enforcement raided many of these dispensaries or “clubs,” stating that Colorado cannabis laws did not provide for them. They were all shut down, and the NSCCPP is an attempt to regulate this type of industry in order to allow for private social venues to consume cannabis – just like consuming alcohol.
What Does Cannabis Tourism Have to Do with Ordinance 300?
The cannabis tourism industry is growing exponentially, especially in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska – but where can tourists go to consume their cannabis when they don’t have a private residence? It can do nothing but help the tourism economies and state economies of these four states to allow cannabis consumption in monitored and regulated spaces with consenting adults – this also prevents people from taking cannabis back illegally across state borders to their home states. By allowing cannabis consumption in regulated spaces, consumption in illegal places like parks, apartments, and hotel rooms will go down. It’s a win-win for legal cannabis states, law enforcement, and even states where cannabis remains illegal.
What Will NSCCPP Do for Me?
If NSCCPP is approved by voters, cannabis could be consumed on bar or restaurant patios where approved by their communities, so you could go out, have some nachos, enjoy a margarita, and smoke a joint with your date on your anniversary. Sounds pretty amazing, right? What’s better than smoking a j with your honey on a breezy, autumn afternoon in Denver? You got it – smoking it on the porch of your favorite restaurant with other like-minded patrons and enjoying some delicious Denver delicacies at the same time. Think back to when Denver’s patios allowed smoking all the time; now picture sweet cannabis smells wafting from those same porches; in reasonable amounts, of course. We want to be able to taste our delectable foods as well as our luscious cannabis, and enjoy the company of other people at the same time.