November 16, 2016 - 10:59 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Denver has become the first city in the United States to legalize the social use of cannabis in businesses, including bars, yoga studios and art galleries, AFP says.
The new ordinance was part of several marijuana measures put to voters in nine U.S. states during last week's general election.
Denver officials said Tuesday, November 15 that Initiative 300 had garnered enough votes to pass after nearly all the ballots had been counted.
The measure allows private businesses in Colorado's capital to seek permits to create areas where customers can bring their own cannabis and consume it.
However, applicants would first need to receive backing from a local business group or neighborhood.
"This is absolutely historic and ground-breaking," said Emmett Reistroffer, a key proponent of the measure and a cannabis consultant in Denver.
"We are the first in the United States and potentially the first place in the world to regulate the consumption of cannabis."
He told AFP that the vote was in line with a measure approved by the state four years ago allowing the recreational use of marijuana by adults.
"Essentially what we passed is a continuation of that same belief that adults should be able to use and socialize with cannabis as they are able to do with alcohol," Reistroffer said, according to AFP.
The city's trailblazing measure comes as more and more states across America move to legalize cannabis either for medical or recreational use.
California, the nation's most populous state, last Tuesday handed a major victory for backers of legalization by approving recreational use of the drug. Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada approved a similar measure.