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New cannabis club opens on the west side




New hole in OCC

The west side officially joined the Colorado Springs cannabis-club craze a month ago, when The Pothole (519 N. 30th St., opened in the old Green Earth Wellness Center spot. Owner Gabe Pieper, 36, grew up in Colorado Springs before moving to Denver, but says he's back to participate in the changing culture.

"I've been smoking and doing the marijuana thing pretty much my whole life," Pieper says, "and just took the opportunity that was in front of us to help give the people what they want, I guess, have some fun. It's kind of a dream to have a weed bar."

Pieper describes the place as "almost like your basement cool room, when you were a teenager. Foosball tables, bean bags, just a fun place to chill."

As of now, the club carries keef, shatter, wax, edibles, drinks, pre-rolls and 15 different strains of bud. You can also bring your own. Otherwise, after paying the $5 entrance fee (ladies are free) you reimburse the club, Pieper says, for growing your six recreational marijuana plants that you've signed over. As with all cannabis clubs, there's no city regulation of the set-up, but it's not specifically outlawed, either.

Earlier in the month, the club organized a collaborative crawl that sent eight limousine-riding participants around to other social clubs, like Studio A64 and 420 Speakeasy, where they consumed a gram of shatter at each spot. More regularly, there are themed events for each day of the week, like foosball tournaments and "smoker poker" on Tuesdays, or art night on Wednesdays, "where we feature a different artist every week and have a fun art project for members, like paint a naked person or make bongs out of fruit or something like that."

Looking at the scene overall, Pieper says: "It's a new day and age, so I think it's an awesome thing that we've all fought for, for a long time, and it's coming to light. It still seems a bit taboo and weird, because it's such a big, drastic change over what we've become accustomed to for so long, but hopefully it's here to stay for a long time, and will only get better."

And, naturally, there's a large pothole in the parking lot. It's named Mary Jane.

Federal mood shifting

On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 18 to 12 to pass an amendment to a large military spending bill that would allow U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients, an act currently prohibited by VHA Directive 2011-004. The move is a victory for marijuana proponents, though the full bill still has several congressional votes to go before heading to the president's desk.

"This is the first time we've ever won a vote on a positive marijuana reform measure in the Senate," says Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, in a release. "And with polls showing that a growing majority of voters supports ending prohibition, it's safe to say it won't be the last."

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