Backyard/Front Porch Pot Smoking Now Allowed

marijuana addiction treatment colorado
More CO Marijuana Stores will Open 1/1/14

Recently the Denver City Council has been in the spotlight over deciding whether or not people can smoke pot on their property such as in their backyards or front porches in public view.

This past Monday they gave a 10-3 final vote in favor of eliminating the front yard marijuana smoking ban that was introduced to them in November.

With more marijuana retail shops slated to open January 1st, 2014, eliminating the ban was timely for marijuana supporters and retailers. Proponents of the ban shared the sentiment of Mason Tvert, communications director of Marijuana Policy Project, who told the Huffington Post, “If adults are able to consume alcohol — and even smoke cigarettes — outside on their private property, there’s no logical reason why they should be prohibited from using a less harmful substance.”

Those who supported the ban included Denver Mayor Michael Hancock who told the the Denver Post, “Marijuana is one of those elements that can be quite pervasive and invasive. I shouldn’t have to smell your activities from your backyard.” Others shared his sentiment, saying it could be a bad influence on youth who can see people smoking on their porches or backyards or those close enough to inhale the secondhand smoke.

From an addiction treatment perspective, the pervasive smell of marijuana can be triggering to those in recovery from marijuana dependence, which may be on the rise with greater access to the drug. Additionally, in Colorado towns like Dillon, the police chief, Brian Brady, worries that with greater access to marijuana, the high may not be enough; “Come January 1, buying marijuana is going to be as easy as buying a carton of milk. Are people going to be satisfied with the high or should we expect drugs like Krokodil to become the next long-term problem?” Since the legalization of marijuana, Brady has seen an increase in arrests for LSD, heroin and Krokodil, which he says is because “when people want a bigger high they tend to mix it with something.” It is for this same reason that addiction treatment programs push for complete abstinence from all drugs and mood altering substances. Those with addictive disorders tend to crave a greater high once they ingest substances like marijuana, which may explain the increase in arrests that Brady has seen.

Regardless, the vote has passed, and hundreds of marijuana retailers are opening in a just a few weeks. Therefore, Colorado addiction treatment facilities like Harmony Foundation can only take proactive steps to do their best with relapse prevention, mitigating triggers and helping clients stay clean and sober despite the potential of pot smoke coming from a neighbor’s back yard or marijuana storefront opening on their street.

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