Dear Stoner: Why Doesn't Colorado Have Cannabis Cafes?

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Dear Stoner: Why doesn’t Colorado have Amsterdam-style cafes? I remember reading about pot clubs trying to come to Denver.

Dear Cole: Colorado doesn’t have cafes like the cannabis coffee shops in Amsterdam because of this state’s stance on public consumption. Although it’s legal to smoke pot in private areas in Colorado, public spots and businesses are still off limits. And while technically it’s also illegal to consume marijuana in public in Amsterdam, Dutch law enforcement looks the other way when it comes to designated coffee shops. Sadly, our local cops aren’t as cool: There are a few pot clubs in the Denver metro area that operate as private establishments and only allow members in to consume, but they still face regular harassment by law enforcement and other officials. Rigs 4 Us, a Denver smoke shop located in a private residence, was shut down on 4/20 when it tried to give out free dabs, and multiple pot clubs in Denver were shut down in 2015.

Colorado municipalities, including Denver, are allowed to craft their own regulations that would allow pot consumption in public areas or businesses where only adults are allowed. In fact, last year a group was ready to get a public-consumption proposal on the 2015 Denver ballot; the petition drive had collected more than double the required signatures to make the cut, but supporters withdrew it after agreeing with city officials and business owners that the language needed to be reshaped. Marijuana lobbying group NORML got sick of waiting, though, and submitted a similar measure in hopes of putting it on the ballot this November. As of last week, NORML was waiting for the city to approve the initiative’s language before the organization starts collecting signatures.

Dear Stoner: I have a freezer bag full of stems under my bed, and I’m hoping you can tell me something to do with them so I can tell my friends that I haven’t been wasting my time.

Dear BobRom: Saving stems used to be popular back in the day, when marijuana was a little harder to come by, but I haven’t seen it done for years — though I hear some tenured potheads still do it when money is tight. And you can take pride in being resourceful: Those stems should still have some THC in them, if only a little. Your friends might see saving stems as trivial because of how easy it is to find pot products out here, but if you save enough, stems can help supplement infused recipes such as butter, oils, teas and more. The only hard part: You have to grind them up first.

Send questions to marijuana@westword.com.

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