POST CATEGORY: Opinion

The Status of Social Consumption

June 05, 2017 | SimoneFischer

Where can you smoke weed in Oregon?

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Where can you smoke weed in Oregon? 

Lawmakers say “out of public view” so Cannabis users remain on house arrest. One would think adult Cannabis consumption laws and events would improve post legalization, but it’s only gotten worse for those who partake. 

status-of-social-consumption-quote.jpgHempstalk has battled for turf since 2015, and a High Times Cannabis Cup seems like a distant fantasy. Our very own Cultivation Classic flower competition, put on by Willamette Week, had zero consumption on site, which turned it into a drinking event where you could learn about Cannabis. Informative, but not ideal. 

Lucky for Oregon, Senate Bill 307 was introduced in the 2017 session in January. It provides the framework for how to go about handling the issue of social consumption: “ …regulation by Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) of consumption and sale of marijuana items at temporary events, including licensure of premises on which temporary events are held.” If passed, Cannabis event organizers could apply to obtain a “temporary event permit” so vendors can allow the public over age 21 to consume Cannabis products during events. 

The possibility of allowing Cannabis lounges or “bars” to open to the public remains out of reach, at the moment. Right now, it looks like Oregon’s Cannabis industry is trying to move forward by pushing for public consumption at permitted events. Without the passage of SB 307, competitions like the Cultivation Classic—or a High Times Cup—cannot legally allow attendees to consume Cannabis of any form during future events. 

The best way to ensure the passage of SB 307 is to contact the local elected representative within your Oregon district. Send an email and call to try to reach someone in the office. Local government jobs are to make sure local constituents’ needs are being met and reflected in ongoing public policy. Oregon Cannabis users must demand a legal way to allow social consumption, akin to the standards of alcohol.

Oregon Cannabis tourism will continue to sink without the support of our local governments. If adults do not have safe, legal spaces to consume Cannabis (much like the standards of a bar) and hotels do not permit indoor smoking or balcony use, what’s the point? If Cannabis users can purchase Cannabis products in public, we should be granted a social setting to consume. Why can’t I smoke my weed among strangers and friends if I am over 21? Why am I still forced to closet my Cannabis consumption? Well, because we haven’t properly voiced our demands. Email your reps!  

It’s a bit early to expect full blown, brick-and-mortar Cannabis bars, but permits are a solid start. If you live in Oregon, contact your elected representative to put pressure on local government to allow Cannabis event permits. Cannabis users deserve safe spaces to gather and consume as a community. To close, I bring you the words of three wise men: “You gotta fight for your right to partyyyy.”

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