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Marijuana: Maryjane's cannabis social club still closed after police raid

On Friday, June 27, several Denver police officers entered Maryjane's 420 Shop and Social Club, at 539 West 43rd Avenue, and issued citations to some of its members. The club has been closed ever since and comments from his spokesperson suggest that Denver Mayor Michael Hancock would like it to stay that way.

See also: Marijuana: Cory Gardner to be targeted for vote against defunding federal MMJ raids

The debate over whether or not marijuana social clubs are allowed under Colorado law has been raging since well before limited legal recreational sales launched on January 1.

In April 2013, as we've reported, Hancock appeared before a Denver City Council subcommittee to talk marijuana. And during his time in the spotlight (see a video of his chat below), he made it clear that if he had his way, pot would be tightly regulated and clubs for those who want to consume it would be banned.

At the session, Hancock framed his objections to marijuana clubs around the issuing of driving while stoned. He maintained that cops had only recently gotten a handle on how to tell if someone is suffering from THC impairment -- a claim certain to be disputed by law-enforcement types, since the behavior has long been illegal -- and suggested that such venues would put even more dangerous potheads on the road.

"We remind ourselves that we're still dealing with a federally controlled substance," he said, adding, "I don't believe it is wise to open the door even wider for people to move about our public from a private club to their private home while consuming marijuana. And the more we restrict it, to me, the more safe our community will be. There's no reason we need to open up that Pandora's box when the law doesn't speak to it.

"I propose and advocate for the most restrictive regulatory environment for marijuana," he went on, "and I believe that by allowing for private clubs, it doesn't speak to that value."

The city council ultimately embraced Hancock's position. But marijuana advocate and attorney Rob Corry called the policy "blatantly unconstitutional" and pushed the envelope on the concept via Club 64, which he touted on CNN back in January as Denver's first pot club. January videos touting the venue are on view below as well.

Against this backdrop, Maryjane's opened on May 1, and before long, the city got wind of the operation.

"The city's number-one goal is to ensure compliance," Hancock spokeswoman Amber Miller told us. "We notified Maryjane's that they were in violation, and we followed up the next week, but they continued on."

Until last month, that is.

Continue for more about the closure of Maryjane's, including additional photos and three videos.
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell

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