Yes on 300 Billboard Supports Marijuana Social-Use Initiative

Support of social use has taken to the skies...or close enough.

Supporters of Initiated Ordinance 300 (I-300), which would permit the consumption of cannabis in some private establishments around Denver, have erected a billboard on the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Lincoln Street.

As we've previously reported, social use wouldn't automatically be allowed with the passage of the ordinance. Each venue would have to go through its registered neighborhood organization (RNO) or business improvement district (BID) and win an agreement on how and when social use could be introduced. Those neighborhood groups can even specify days and times when the drug would be permitted.

The billboard reads, "Now that adult use is legal... permit it in some private places," with an arrow pointing to a restaurant venue, followed by another arrow pointing down to the sidewalk below the billboard that reads, "Prevent it in these public spaces." 

Supporters of the ordinance say it would actually decrease public consumption of marijuana by giving adults private places around the city where they could legally enjoy cannabis. This would also help tourists who visit Denver and hope to partake in 420 activities, since most hotels preclude cannabis use.

Many Denverites favor the initiative because they believe it will help get pot smoking by residents whose landlords forbid use of marijuana off the streets. "There are a lot of parents in Denver who enjoy marijuana but prefer not to consumer it around their children," says Melissa Vitale, a mother who participated in the reveal of the billboard at noon today. 

In a release, Vitale explains that she supports the ordinance as a mother of two children. She says she is careful to prevent her children from being exposed to marijuana at home, but she has no control whether they get exposed to it outside of the house.

"When adults do not have places to consume cannabis, some resort to doing it in public where my children might encounter it," she adds. "If they were able to consume it inside adults-only establishments, I know my kids would never see it."

More than 100 local businesses and organizations have joined forces and are encouraging Denver residents to vote in support of 300. The Democratic Party of Denver, state senator Irene Aguilar and state representative Jonathan Singer all endorsed the initiative earlier this month.
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Kate McKee Simmons interned at the National Catholic Reporter, was a reporter for the New York Post, and spent a brief stint in Israel learning international reporting before writing for Westword.