Marijuana membership clubs supported by two-thirds of respondents in new poll

Categories: Marijuana, News
A photo from the Facebook page of Maryjane's Social Club. More images and a document below.
Earlier this month, we told you about what customers at Maryjane's 420 Shop and Social Club characterized as a raid on the establishment by the Denver Police Department. The DPD doesn't refer to the action this way, but whatever's the most accurate definition, Maryjane's remains closed weeks after the fact.

Such a policy may be tougher to justify in the face of public support for members-only pot clubs -- and in a new poll, a large majority of respondents backed the concept.

See also: Marijuana: Maryjane's cannabis social club still closed after police raid
Photo by Thomas Mitchell
The exterior of Maryjane's 420 Shop and Social Club.
As our Thomas Mitchell reported, the debate over whether or not marijuana social clubs are allowed under Colorado law has been raging since well before limited legal recreational sales launched on January 1.

In April 2013, Hancock appeared before a Denver City Council subcommittee to talk marijuana. And during his time in the spotlight, he made it clear that if he had his way, pot would be tightly regulated and clubs for those who want to consume it would be banned.

At the session, Hancock framed his objections to marijuana clubs around the issuing of driving while stoned. He maintained that cops had only recently gotten a handle on how to tell if someone is suffering from THC impairment -- a claim certain to be disputed by law-enforcement types, since the behavior has long been illegal -- and suggested that such venues would put even more dangerous potheads on the road.

michael hancock marijuana subcommittee april 2013.jpg
Michael Hancock speaking before the Denver City Council marijuana subcommittee.
"We remind ourselves that we're still dealing with a federally controlled substance," he said, adding, "I don't believe it is wise to open the door even wider for people to move about our public from a private club to their private home while consuming marijuana. And the more we restrict it, to me, the more safe our community will be. There's no reason we need to open up that Pandora's box when the law doesn't speak to it.

"I propose and advocate for the most restrictive regulatory environment for marijuana," he went on, "and I believe that by allowing for private clubs, it doesn't speak to that value."

The overwhelming majority of those quizzed on this topic by pollsters from Quinnipiac University feel otherwise. The poll, on view below, shows that members-only marijuana clubs were embraced by a 66-29 percent margin.

Not nearly as many poll participants liked the idea of pot smoking being allowed at bars and other venues where alcohol is served. This idea got a 65-31 percent thumbs down. Likewise, a 63-33 percent negative response greeted a question about cannabis at ticketed entertainment events. And even marijuana smoking amid invitation-only entertainment events with no admission charge was rejected, albeit in closer fashion: 49-46 percent.

Photo by Thomas Mitchell
Signage at the entrance of Maryjane's.
Of course, the accuracy of polls in general is open to question, as we noted in a recent post about two surveys in the John Hickenlooper-Bob Beauprez governor's race (including one from Quinnipiac University) that showed opposite results despite being released 24 hours apart. And in the case of the latest survey, we would have been curious to know if the number of people who didn't want marijuana smoking in bars would have been similar to those who would have said the same thing about tobacco smoking. We suspect the totals in those circumstances have as much if not more to do with the smoke than the marijuana.

Whatever the case, the members-only marijuana club notion is getting a significant push from NORML, whose executive director, Allen St. Pierre, recently argued that the lack of such venues makes no sense in a state where limited cannabis sales have been legalized.

"This is a totally dysfunctional system, and even though some people think establishing places where people can consume encourages more use, I don't think it does," he said. "It just says adults want to use cannabis legally in a social, quasi-public setting."

Here's the Quinnipiac release and poll.

Quinnipiac University Marijuana Clubs Poll Release

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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David Thead
David Thead

American Legion has been doing this with alcohol in dry counties for years, there should be no problem.

David Thead
David Thead

@Steven why would you pay money to be a member? When entering a members club (joining) you relinquish all rights as a regular patron.

Justin Vonesh
Justin Vonesh

Honestly if we can create social places to smoke weed it be better because I tend to get paranoid smoking all the damn time being isolated and alone at home so in my opinion I think having a marijuana bar or lounge where you are out and about I will be able to handle my herb and its effects easier

KathleenChippi topcommenter

""This is a totally dysfunctional system,..."  Allen St. Pierre

Yes, Allen, many of us announced that BEFORE the language for A64 was finalized and many of us (local grassroots activists who helped bring the pro cannabis sediment to CO voters via decades of education) wrote much better competing language but had no 1%er funding.

And I wonder why you and NORML supported a "totally dysfunctional system" written into A64 that offered NO FUNDAMENTAL rights in a constitutional amendment but instead 'privileges' that can be taken away by the powers that always be....(AG John Suthers is now arguing in Coats v. Dish Network that both MMJ and MJ are still very ILLEGAL in Colorado and that voters need new constitutional amendments to legalize any cannabis.  And guess what, Allen?--He is correct that neither A20 nor A64 establish clear and unambiguous rights--but you knew that)

Do you think it had anything to do with the fact that NORML is really a national database of criminal defense attorneys that benefit from confusion/catch 22's in poorly written laws that have been intentionally mis-marketed to the voters as "full legalization" in CO?

NORML 'helps' you find an attorney to plea bargain (for a fee, lol) AFTER you have been busted for pot laws THEY helped create and PUBLICLY supported (CO DUI 5 nano as an example--something that makes every daily/weekly patient/user an impaired driver based on clearly 'faulty' science at best). Most tokers have been driving for 40 plus years of prohibition and were never impaired and insurance companies have found that tokers are SAFER DRIVERS than people with no drugs in their system. 

You gave us prohibition on steroids.  You helped redefine the word legalization to mean prohibition.

Adult smokers now have to hide in their closets when they consume like college kids in college dorm rooms. Great babystep.  Isn't legalization (over tax and over regulate) great? 


Steven M Palmer
Steven M Palmer

So... If I went to such a place and just wanted a soda could I sue the owners for exposure to secondhand smoke? Remember when people got all pissy about that and made bar and restaurant patrons smoke outside? Pepperridge Farm remembers...

John Pinnick
John Pinnick

It's a must. I don't drink much and would love a place to go when I'm out. When I leave a baseball game or show, legally I have to go home to enjoy some herb. If there was a place to go and hang out while I burn burn a bowl or smoke a joint, I would. This is the next step needed for the marijuana industry and users. It's legal, make it legal!!!

RobertChase topcommenter

The poll's claim that the public opposes all public consumption represents the ongoing attempt to manipulate public opinion against the declaration of the People in our Constitution that cannabis "should be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol"; governments routinely issue permits for the public consumption of alcohol.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Corrected Headline -- 

Poll: Public Tired of Puerile Pot Punks, wants them RESTRICTED to their Homes or Private Clubs.



Hancock is arguably the most incompetent big-city mayor in America.  Police Department, a disaster.  Corrections, a disaster.  Roads, a disaster.  Denver Health, a financial disaster.  But he's worried about private marijuana clubs affecting the safety of the community.  When will this bozo be turned out?

DonkeyHotay topcommenter


NORML = the lobbying arm of the Marijuana McLawyer Criminal Defense Bar.

Self-serving McShysters.


Yes, but you wouldn't win. Has anyone ever sued a business owner for "exposer to secondhand smoke", and won? Why would you become a member of a "marijuana membership club", just to get a soda? Maybe you should sue Facebook for making your comment look stupid.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... based upon the misbehavior of the Puerile Pot Punks, THE PUBLIC has rightfully rethought their position, and as the Polls Show, now oppose ALL PUBLIC CONSUMPTION!

Reap What Ye Have Sown, Puerile Pot Punks !!


@DonkeyHotay   ...No. Labels aside, just someone who is interested in putting the proper administration of the city ahead of their personal advantage.  Hancock is a joke. 

Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @cowtown There are plenty of Republicans who have given up on the war on drugs--for many of them, it's not their worst issue. Sadly, it's still a problem with plenty of Democrats. Sooner or later we have to face the reality that both groups of thugs like to push people around based on no particular principles.


@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident @cowtown 

I never thought I'd say Donkey was right, but here we are. Jesus Christ tried to tell the Roman people the truth and that there was a better way than what the Roman power structure had to offer, but the people kept supporting the evil Romans (false prophets) in power who ultimately murdered the embodiment of all things good. If you don't like what you're getting, it's time to embrace change. You might get killed for it like J.C. did but at least you'll die knowing you did the right thing and others may learn and benefit from the truth you offerred. 

Thank you Donkey, perhaps yours in a noble cause after all.

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