DENVER — A strong majority of likely 2015 voters in Denver support a proposed city initiative that would allow the limited social use of marijuana in commercial establishments that choose to allow it, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released Thursday.
Fifty-six percent said they support the measure, which would allow the use — but not sale — of cannabis in areas restricted to individuals 21 years of age and older. Just 40% said they are opposed.
“Denver voters have repeatedly voted in favor of treating marijuana similarly to alcohol,” said initiative proponent Mason Tvert, who co-directed the 2012 Amendment 64 campaign in Colorado. “For the same reasons many adults enjoy having a drink in a social setting, many adults would enjoy using cannabis.
“Adults visiting Denver who can legally purchase cannabis need somewhere to go to consume it,” Tvert said. “The goal here is to reduce the likelihood of marijuana being used on the street and in other public areas.”
Under the proposed measure, businesses that have a license to sell alcohol for onsite consumption would be able to decide whether to allow cannabis consumption on the premises. Businesses that choose to allow only cannabis consumption (without licensed alcohol consumption) would be subject to regulation by the city, including restrictions on location and hours of operation. All commercial establishments that allow adults to use marijuana would be required to comply with the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act.
The Campaign for Limited Social Use launched the petition drive in support of the initiative last week. It must collect 4,726 signatures of registered Denver voters by early August in order to qualify the measure for the November 2015 ballot.
By a more than 4-1 margin, likely 2015 voters cite alcohol over marijuana as the source of more problems in Denver. Fifty-five percent said they think alcohol use causes more problems, while only 13% said they think marijuana use causes more problems.
“Anyone who has been out in LoDo on a weekend night is all too aware of the problems associated with alcohol use,” Tvert said. “The evidence is clear that drinking fuels violent and destructive behavior, whereas marijuana use does not. Adults who would prefer to make the safer choice while they’re out on a Friday or Saturday night should be able to do so.”
The Public Policy Polling survey of 629 likely Denver voters who intend to vote in the November election was conducted June 12-15 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9%. The full results are available at https://bit.ly/1G7ooB0.
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