Investors look to bring pot-friendly movie theater to Colorado

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DENVER — Colorado has already set many marijuana milestones, but the drug is still far from fully mainstreamed. While Amendment 64 calls for cannabis to be regulated in a manner “similar to alcohol,” would-be pot bars and other public smoking venues have run into problem after problem.

That’s inconvenient for local smokers, who can always toke up at home. But it creates a catch-22 for tourists looking to get high without breaking the letter of the law: It’s essentially legal for them to buy pot, but illegal for them to smoke it in any place they might visit, or to take it home with them.

A local couple aims to correct that with the Scarlet Theater. The Gilpin County facility would offer a bring-your-own-marijuana smoking lounge, a restaurant and a theater screening indie and classic movies.

In a loophole reminiscent of Utah’s old alcohol laws, tourists would have to buy a membership to the Scarlet, but could then smoke with impunity, proprietors Kelly and Ash McGonigal said. The couple is running a crowd-funding campaign to get the theater off the ground.

“Sometimes people want to toke up, and maybe talk with people for a while, but then they want to go off and do their own thing,” Kelly McGonigal told High Times. People who want to do that can go to the movie theater, they can go to the restaurant.

“Also, the theater and restaurant offer options for companions of smokers — they can go watch a movie while their friend smokes a bowl or two, and then they can meet up for dinner, or vice versa. We’re absolutely about the smoking, but we also understand that it’s not ALL about the smoking.”

The theater is scheduled to open on April 20, 2015, at an undisclosed location in Gilpin County.

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