Important Announcement Regarding Cannabition
Dec 28, 2013:
An open letter from Matt, JJ, Todd, Brooke, & all the other sponsors of Cannabition:
When we decided to create Cannabition, we began with a very simple premise.
A group of responsible adults should be able to celebrate
the historic opening of retail marijuana stores on Jan 1, 2014
- in private -
in a way that isn’t public to the 85% of the adult population
who don’t consume cannabis, while also giving
the 15% of adults who do choose cannabis
the ability to lawfully celebrate together.
So we set out to create a private event that followed all the laws we could find. We did it the way everyone learned in high school civics class – we set an appointment with our local elected officials. We talked to countless lawyers and came to that meeting prepared. And then we asked simple straight forward questions, without hiding or misleading our intentions. Throughout it all, we asked one simple question.
How does the law, today, define a ‘Private Event’?
Since then we have discussed lots of other legal issues that are quite clear in the law, but we have never received a straight-forward answer on how someone can create a truly “private event” that complies with every bit of Amendment 64 and also allows those of us who choose to responsibly consume cannabis to celebrate the huge milestone that will occur in Colorado next week.
Unfortunately the answer for now came around 4pm on Friday, when the Denver Department of Excise & Licenses hand-delivered a letter to the owners of NORAD club that effectively ended this discussion about Jan 1 without ever answering our initial question. While most of the letter seemed to indicate that Norad was just some random public bar on the first day of 2014 – the exact opposite of what we intended with this event – it’s hard to miss this message:
“We provide you with this letter to dissuade you from hosting the event;
however, if you go forward, we will exercise any and all options available to the City of Denver
to halt the event and hold the business owners responsible for violations of law.
We are also ready to hold individual attendees responsible for
violations of City ordinances prohibiting public consumption of marijuana.”
While it is disappointing that the city has taken such a heavy handed approach based on a total misunderstanding of the Cannabition event, it’s pretty hard to ignore a hand-delivered message on the Friday after Christmas that is also cc’d to the Director of the Colorado Department of Revenue, Chief Legal Counsel to the Governor of Colorado, Colorado Attorney General, & the Denver City Attorney.
Cannabition is a special event for all of us because we’re so excited to show the world that we can follow the rules AND still have the same protections and privileges under the law as those who don’t choose cannabis. We can’t in good faith forge ahead with the noon – 5pm part of the event with such huge lingering uncertainty, and if we can’t be sure that we are following the law then this becomes just another pot party.
And that misses the point.
While we are certainly flattered by the Denver Post’s description of Cannabition as “Colorado’s largest New Year’s Day party celebrating the modern world’s first legal recreational pot sales”, everything about this event grew out of our shared desire to take one day and celebrate all the amazing progress that Colorado has made on marijuana policy by following all the rules. Unfortunately, the private event from noon-5pm, and the shuttle buses offering free transportation to the various dispensaries that will be open on Wednesday, will not occur.
All of us who have worked to make Cannabition happen will be brainstorming ways we can encourage everyone to go visit their neighborhood dispensary and at least make that part of their day memorable. Unfortunately the city of Denver has taken away the private venue for us to celebrate together, but that won’t dampen the real excitement of the day…
The grand opening of retail marijuana stores!
We will continue to update you all as we figure out ways to take the celebration to every approved retail dispensary in the state.
If you didn’t already sign up for an invitation, add your name to the list HERE to be updated over the coming days!
The entire team at Cannabition