Denver Becomes the First American City to Allow Marijuana Use in Bars and Restaurants

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BYO buds. Photo: Joe Amon/Denver Post via Getty Images

The Denver restaurant scene is about to get some serious buzz. The city tallied enough votes for Initiative 300 to declare the measure victorious, meaning it will be the nation’s first city where patrons can use marijuana while they eat or drink at bars and eateries.

The measure takes effect immediately, but before everybody piles into vans and road-trips to the Mile High City, there are a few catches: You have to bring your own supplies, smoking is still banned indoors, and any spot hoping to win over Denver’s Amsterdam-coffee-shop-loving population has to get approval from the neighbors first (meaning it could be a while, officially). Although, as the AP notes, the law provides for “the possibility of outside smoking areas” if they meet a set of “restrictive circumstances.”

I-300’s lead proponent tells Reuters the city’s foray into social pot use could start “as soon as late January,” though the amount of time it will take businesses to get neighbors onboard will be the big variable. Opponents warn restaurants and bars are ill-equipped to “properly protect” the public from stoned patrons, presumably the most relaxed, slow-moving menaces any neighborhood has ever seen. Meanwhile, supporters counter it finally gives people a safe place to partake in the state’s newest tourism draw, and nevertheless creates a system that’s “still more restrictive than what we see with alcohol consumption.”

Denver Allows Marijuana Use in Bars and Restaurants