“By opening early I kind of screwed myself out of my building,” Lovato admitted on Tuesday. He had planned on having a storefront for customers to buy coffee and T-shirts, as well as other souvenirs, with a private building next door where customers could smoke free samples of cannabis.
Meanwhile, other newly established private smoking clubs, including Club 64 in Denver, remained open for business. People paid a $30 fee to join Club 64; members were advised of a private location in downtown Denver where they could attend a New Year’s Eve party with other tokers, reports Colleen Curry at ABC News
. (The membership fee went up to $50 after New Year’s Eve, according to Westword.)
Club 64 opened on New Year’s Eve at 4:20 p.m. to an enthusiastic crowd of about a dozen tokers, reports CNN
. Each member paid a fee of $3, allowing them to bring their own pot and smoke anywhere on the premises.
“It went really well,” said attorney Robert J. Corry, Jr., owner and general counsel for Club 64. Corry helped shape the language of Amendment 64, the measure approved by Colorado voters in November which legalized small amounts of marijuana for adults.
“We rented out a retail shop for the evening,” Corry said. “We had a DJ, music, some dancing, there was a bar and people brought alcohol, people brought food. It was a very warm, funny, happy evening.”
“The voters of Colorado have said we want cannabis to be legalized and we want a bunch of like-minded adults to be able to get together and exercise their constitutional rights together and that’s what Club 64 embodies,” Corry said.
“It’s a pathway to further freedom,” said longtime Denver marijuana activist Miguel Lopez, who said Amendment 64 and Club 64 could serve as a model for other communities. “Are we truly free if all human beings cannot possess marijuana? Not just in Colorado but as a human rights campaign globally. Let Denver be a beacon for freedom, for true freedom.”
He then fired up a joint, held in the smoke and exhaled, coughing. “You can’t get off if you don’t cough,” he said, grinning.
opez: “It’s a pathway to further freedom”
Meanwhile, Paul Lovato said he may adopt Club 64’s business model for The White Horse Inn for the next year, then try opening a recreational marijuana shop when he’s legally allowed to.
Amendment 64 requires a year-long waiting period before stores are allowed to open and actually sell marijuana. That provision was written into to law to give state and local government officials time to “regulate” the newly legal industry, and, proponents hoped, time for anti-marijuana elements in the community to allay their irrational fears and just calm the fuck down already.
Selling non-medical marijuana is still illegal in Colorado, but adults are now allowed to give pot to one another without compensation, according to the Denver Post. Public consumption is banned, but there’s nothing in the law to prevent pot parties.
Corry brushed off suggestions that his club is damaging efforts to make marijuana more legally and socially acceptable by opening before the year-long period mandated in Amendment 64.
“This is much larger than just marijuana; this is a civil rights struggle to end prohibition and civil rights struggles and overcoming oppression (do) not happen easily,” Corry said. “It has to happen by people taking chances and sometimes, yes, pushing the envelope.
“And that is how change happens in this country and that’s what got us to this point,” Corry said. “People taking chances and pushing the envelope.”