Marijuana activist Mason Tvert, flanked by entrepreneur Jane West, left, and attorney Christian Sederberg, speaks outside the Denver Elections Division on Aug. 10.

Editorial: Social marijuana use proposal went too far, too soon

Activists who decided to withdraw a proposed ballot initiative in Denver that would have allowed pot use in bars and other businesses seem to have awakened to reality.

The public wasn’t ready for such a proposal. There was a high probability it would have been defeated at the polls, even in liberal Denver where Amendment 64 passed with ease.

At the very least, proponents need to narrow the measure’s focus and secure wider support for whatever they propose next time.

One big problem with their original proposal: It appeared to conflict with Amendment 64’s ban on public consumption, which is now in the state constitution. Denver voters are not free to ignore that passage just because activists want a broader license to smoke pot.

Organizations such as the Downtown Denver Partnership and the Colorado Restaurant Association have indicated they are open to discussions regarding a substitute ballot measure. That’s good — so long as the goal is to substantially roll back previous language.

To send a letter to the editor about this article, submit online or check out our guidelines for how to submit by e-mail or mail.

This story was first published on