Denver voters will consider pot use in bars, restaurants - even coffee shops

Initiative 300 would allow social consumption

DENVER -- On Election Day, the Mile High City could become the first large city in America to allow consumption of marijuana in places like bars, coffee shops and even yoga studios.

While Initiative 300 would still prohibit public consumption of marijuana, just like alcohol -- bars and restaurants and other venues in Denver could provide designated areas for lighting up.

Initiative 300 would allow businesses in Denver to seek permits for bring-your-own marijuana consumption areas.

Indoor areas could allow vaping and edibles while outdoor areas could be designated for smoking. The permits would be subject to approval from neighborhood associations and/or neighborhood regulatory practices.

It’s intriguing to Ronnie Miller, owner of Lincoln Street Station, but he’s also cautious about the idea.

"We don't know how it will affect our insurance,” said Miller. “We can control how much alcohol someone is served or consumes, but we have no control over how much THC that person ingests. Especially if they're bringing it in themselves."

Proponents say Colorado has legalized purchase and possession of pot, and now it's time to give adults a safe, social place to use it.

But opponents -- like Smart Colorado -- say this initiative could encourage more stoned driving and dangerous mixing of marijuana and alcohol use at bars.

Miller remains undecided.

"There's just too many things that I don't think are considered yet,” he said. “I’m dealing with a person that is overdosing from something they did. I don’t know what kind of liability I would have in that case.”

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