Mike Davis, co-owner of Breckenridge's new Club 420, believes it's unfair to discriminate against the non-afflicted. Marijuana is for everyone, he says.
"That's the whole point," Davis says of the mountain town's exclusive new pot lounge. "It's not just medical marijuana patients that cannabis is necessary for. In our opinion, it's not just medical marijuana -- it's every day people that should use it. That's kind of the whole point of the club."
Thanks to a ballot initiative to legalize possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, which Breck voters passed in November, the private club is open to anyone who wants to smoke up for a monthly fee.
The club opened April 20 -- "420 opened at 4:20 on 4/20," Davis boasts -- to a packed house, and business has been steady since. However, Club 420 does not sell marijuana to keep from violating city code. If it did, Breckenridge would view it as an "open to the public" business.
In fact, Davis and co-owner Collette Wilson vehemently bar any sale of marijuana on site.
"If there's any sort of exchange of money for marijuana in the club, those people are banned for life," Davis says. "That would risk everything. It goes against what we're doing."
What they're doing is simply providing a lounge where enthusiasts with their own pot stashes can gather to smoke, much like drinkers do at a BYOB party, Davis says -- without all the bedlam.
"That's our biggest fight, really -- alcohol," he says. "Everybody thinks it's okay to walk around drunk all day, but we can't smoke cannabis."
Still, the opening of the club has sparked debate in the small town. Opponents say voters did not intend to approve such a venture, which the entrepreneur from Tucson acknowledges to be true, although he denies any fears that the Main Street club will cause any trouble for police.
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"Some of the businesses are a little upset, because this wasn't their intent when they passed the law," Davis says. "They're worried about the crowd that's going to be there, the people hanging out. But really, it's nothing like a bar, with people coming out and screaming or whatever. The worst thing these guys are gonna do is leave and go buy some food or art or something."
Nonetheless, as the Summit Daily News reports, Breckenridge police chief Rick Holman and his staff are working to amend the city code to prohibit a private marijuana club like Club 420.
"Our intent right now is to amend this ordinance and put it in front of council for first reading May 11... to prohibit any use or consumption of cannabis within a business in town," Holman told the News.
In the meantime, Davis who with Wilson also runs Colorado Cannabis College, says those who want to join the club can do so for $20 a month until May 3, when club dues will increase to $50 a month.