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Colorado lawmakers balk on marijuana clubs 

click to enlarge Governor John Hickenlooper - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Governor John Hickenlooper

On April 13, Colorado lawmakers canned a bill to regulate cannabis consumption clubs, siding with Gov. John Hickenlooper on his point that it's the wrong time to expand social use.

"Given the uncertainty in Washington, this is not the time to be... trying to carve off new turf and expand markets and make dramatic statements about marijuana," he told the Denver Post last month.

Colorado joins Alaska as legalized states that have put on the brakes because of uncertainty around federal enforcement. (That state recently dropped plans to allow on-site consumption at dispensaries.) Vague statements made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions about enforcing federal drug law against state-legal businesses has prompted hesitancy in Colorado, where state lawmakers are rushing to enact safeguards for the recreational weed industry.

Regulating social use will still rest on local control, with Denver, for example, working out the kinks in its new consumption license and Colorado Springs ordering clubs to close after banning them last year. Now that this legislation has failed, our city is in the odd position of having no state guidance, a ban on the books and a bunch of defiant clubs that haven't voluntarily complied. (They've gotten "cease and desist" letters and other notices of enforcement, but so far no raids.)

With a new council in power, now could be the time to revisit our local club ban to evaluate whether it's really worth it to try to resist the inevitable.


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