Opinion: Marijuana bars are going to suck, so let’s move on



When Colorado voted to “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol” last November, a lot of eyes grew wide, and by New Years Eve, experimental pot clubs were popping up across the Front Range with varying levels of success. Quasi-legal, they were testing a legal gray area until the state decides how they’ll handle social smoking spots – likely not allowing them at all.
And I’m okay with that. But it’s not because I’m some pro-restrictions prohibitionist fuck. Far from it. It is because pot-centric, cannabis-only imitation bars are most likely going to suck .

First, let’s dispel the notion that there’s a fair comparison to be made between pot and booze – at least socially. Drunks are loud, brash people itching for a fight or a fuck: my kind of people on a Saturday night. They need to be quarantined with others that share their same sensibilities (or lack thereof) and inundated with pounding music that can only be danced to while heavily intoxicated.
Ganja belongs in an environment more suited to its natural strengths, which something Amsterdam figured out long ago with the mellow coffee shop model. Otherwise, we risk birthing a new subgenre of douchebaggery.
If drinkers prattled on about their hefeweizens and stouts like smokers do with their latest harvest, we’d be having none of it: “Check out this beer I brewed in my closet. It’s so strong, bro. You want to stand in a circle and drink it with me? I brought my $600 glass mug from home.” That’s the guy who wants to go to the pot bar.
Instead of bottle service, he’s ordering bong service, another round of dabs and Red Bull, and bitching the DJ doesn’t play enough Skrillex.
Then there are the moochers. While there have been a couple of occasions where someone has absconded with my drink, I’ve never met anyone who was brazen enough to ask me for some of it. Just wait for the awkward moment when someone wanders up under the pretense of genuine conversation, only to puff, puff, and pass you by for the next session. You think the bouncer is going to tell a guy he’s been camping on your joint for too long?
What if this was the scenario: wine has been completely banned worldwide. Colorado, being the progressive (and generally intoxicated) state that it is, decides that it will not be subject to these draconian grape restrictions. All of a sudden, the French are flocking en masse to chug as much Colorado Springs Champagne as they can, only they’ve become accustomed to their black market toilet wine and can’t keep their shit together, leading to a schism between the locals and the interlopers. That’s where we’re headed with pot bars, folks.
Here in the Centennial State, I get high pretty much anywhere I want to. It’s not always legal, but most people could give a fuck. It’s one of the many luxuries that residents of our state are starting to take for granted.
But because something could be run like alcohol doesn’t mean it should.
Box Johnson is a Colorado-based comedian who enjoys fly fishing using cats, backwards running, and cannabis… lots and lots of cannabis.