Oregon NORML's groundbreaking Cannabis Café opening this Friday

Riding on the wave of President Obama’s memo to end DEA interference in states’ medical marijuana laws and an unprecedented response from the media, Oregon NORML’s Cannabis Café opens at 4:20pm on November 13, 2009 at 700 NE Dekum St, Portland, OR 97211.
“The response has been overwhelming,” says Madeline Martinez, Executive Director of Oregon NORML. “We are excited to be able to provide a safe place for patients to medicate that is out of public view within the guidelines of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA).”
Many patients travel to Portland for medical care and treatment and have no place they can go to use their medicine during those often exhausting and intensive trips. “Do they go out into an alley and hide in the back of their car?” Martinez said. “There needs to be a place, much like our meetings, where people can socialize and network.”

In the week since the announcement of the café’s opening, stories have appeared in most major Oregon newspapers and television stations. Martinez appeared on OPB’s Think Out Loud talk show and attended the local neighborhood association meeting to reassure the public that the café will be operated at the highest of standards and strives to be a positive addition to the area.
Members must be registrants of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) and members of Oregon NORML to gain entrance to the café. Please contact Oregon NORML for more information on the message line 503-239-6110. Details and information will also be available at www.ornorml.org as they become available.

0 thoughts

  1. Oh and hey. I hope the owner of the 2nd hand shop realizes that the cafe could bring him some buisness!. Just a thought.

  2. Just curious how the new cafe jibes with NORML guideline about:
    II. No Driving
    The responsible cannabis consumer does not operate a motor vehicle or other dangerous machinery while impaired by cannabis, nor (like other responsible citizens) while impaired by any other substance or condition, including some medicines and fatigue.
    Unless they take the 6, 8 or 75 bus they are driving to this location. Are caregivers going to be allowed inside as well or are they just expected to hang out up the street at Good Neighbor Pizzaria.
    Also how does this square with Oregon No Smoking Laws. Is it operating under the auspices of a DHS Cigar Bar Certification or are you just winging it?
    I was at Rumpspankers the other night and while waiting on the street overheard two young men bantering about the new “pot house” that was going in.
    I think this is a very good idea and I’d like it to succeed so the model can be duplicated, but for the life of me I can’t imagine how you are going to get around those two barriers.
    Best of Luck,
    [Editor’s note: Oregon NORML’s cardholder meetings for years, like the new cafe, distributes information deterring patients from driving while under the influence of cannabis. OR NORML informs patients, based on the most recent scientific information, that they should not operate a vehicle for two hours after medicating.]

  3. Yes, it’s great to see the cannabis industry blooming here in Oregon. Let’s hope to see more pop up across the state and the country. Learn more and watch other videos at CannabisTV.org

  4. im hoping that all will go well with an official place to go to medicate and that the surrounding neighbors will become comfortable because of all entering will be responsible and kind with folks in the area.the respect may spread about cannabis.thanks norml and to all that make a difference!

  5. wow. what a huge step for legalization. I mean this “cafe” is a “medical users cafe” but in the long run this is just showing the world that it is not the end of the world to smoke pot. I’m sure we will see many more start popping up in those states. and before you know it those same “medical cafes” will be all users cafes. great job NORML

  6. Can someone please tell me why we are so weak on pushing full legalization. What if you like to enjoy some grass and don’t have a medical problem, then it’s wrong with you people or what???????

  7. Oh, by the way props for Oregon though I am not saying I do not like what is going on as this could be a stepping stool for legalization however this process should not be taking this slow…. The mainstream media is brainwashing people into thinking this should only be a medical issue we cannot have this. Why can’t this be open to everyone this cafe??? Obviously our constitutional rights were erased a long time ago because I should be able to smoke a joint or drink a beer that is my free will, and for someone to take that away, well, they are pursuing an act of TYRANNY!!!!

  8. Congrats and good luck with the new shop.
    *any word on New York getting on the Medical MJ or Full Legalization wagon? I have read that Gov. Patterson has said that it should be openly debated within the state, along the lines of what Gov. Shwartzenegr has proposed. Any info?

  9. Great idea. May I suggest that the Cafe make vaporizers available. This would eliminate the aroma that may float into the street, and remove the possible adverse affects of smoking cannabis. I would also suggest that they be quite strict in card checking. Also requiring a designated driver might be considered for those who drive to their establishment. They will want to be very carefull not give anybody any excuse to give them any trouble.

  10. I find it so surprising people get so concerned with “drugged driving” like it is all of the sudden going to begin happening once marijuana use is tolerated. Wake up. The people that are driving high are doing it already. They don’t need your permission. Everyone knows that people under the influence of marijuana have increased inhibitions – so ppl KNOW they’re under the influence, they KNOW they’re intoxicated. Unlike alcohol which makes a drunk person think they’re superman.

  11. WOW. PA needs to legalize medical, I get these headaches because it’s 2009 and I can’t smoke a plant legally. Ridiculous.
    I personally have talked to Keith Stroup over the phone for police harassment pertaining to getting caught with LESS THAN ONE GRAM. I was insulted by the police, slammed into my car, and detained for 30 minutes while punk constables on patrol harassed and tried to break me down. It was reaffirming talking to the staff of NORML that I was not in the wrong and they made me notice: Smoking a plant is norml, slamming a 19 year old onto his head for that plant is barbaric. My generation is here to change this stuff though, we all see it, and us youngsters are going to push the issue for as long as it takes.
    Those cops weren’t serving and protecting MY community, I feel more like I was robbed and beaten by thugs. Welcome to Philadelphia.

  12. Wonderful, congratulations. Definitely another step in the right direction. Then again, we all know cannabis should be Legal.

  13. please please everyone behave on Friday the 13th, if this one works out well…many more will follow. Go Oregonites!!!!

  14. While the husband and I enjoyed our visit to Amsterdam NORML there was one aspect of the coffee shop experience that threw a negative blanket over it. That was the Loud Music. There was one small coffee shop, out of the way, we found that had low playing music and we felt so much more comfortable there.
    Being older we don’t enjoy Loud music any longer. Hoping you’ll keep this in mind as more Cafes are opened. Perhaps some consideration towards seniors who will be visiting the cafes would be in order? Thanks for thinking about this, it’s important.

  15. ya know I really hate to b cheesy right now, now rlly I do but I still cant understand why most people can’t understand weed is a gift from god and what god makes is good now again i hate to b cheesy bout this but can I get an amen bout that?? LOL!

  16. “We are excited to be able to provide a safe place for patients to medicate that is out of public view within the guidelines of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA).”
    I hope that this place stays classy and is truly a place for medical patients. If it turns into a head-shop stoner type hangout, it will be excellent material for prohibitionists to use against the honest medical marijuana movement. If it turns out for a hangout for kids who pay off doctors for their medical card, it is going to really hurt our forward momentum. Keep it classy, professional, and TRULY for medical patients. Then in time, we will get our “cafes” like the good free people of Amsterdam enjoy. I just fear that “cafes” will be an obvious front for casual smokers who get medical cards, rather than for the truly sick. Of course, I have no problem with casual smoking, but we need to play the political game until that is possible, and we need to play it right.
    Can the NORML editors please speak to my concern? Surely you want this “cafe” strictly for medical patients truly in need.

  17. google earth shows pizzeria across the street, a fire house, jehovah witness, and Oregon student association… interesting part of town…

  18. This is brilliant and will be instrumental to changing the public perception that marijuana legalization is something to be feared. I hope to see more of these pop up in other states as well.

  19. That dude should be happy. Because after the guys come out of the cafe they will be like “Oh shit Ive always wanted that” and buy that guys stuff

  20. “Can the NORML editors please speak to my concern? Surely you want this “cafe” strictly for medical patients truly in need.”
    So is this going to be a professional medical facility or a head-shop like the other “cafe” that opened up in Portland?
    [Russ responds: This is a café. You’re speaking of Highway 420, which is a head shop that has a patients’ lounge. The Cannabis Café will be that: a place to get a coffee, a muffin, read a paper, watch the big screen TV, listen to some light acoustic music, like any other café, except you can pull a hit off of a Volcano Vaporizer while you’re hanging out.]

  21. Thank you for making this opportunity possible. Norml is so appreciated for all of your good work! You are so committed to helping sick people maintain their access to this quality medicine. Bravo to all of you!!!

  22. Having lived in Oregon in the past I would tell you that cannabis is well accepted there by the general population. This will help bring the rest of the people in Portland to accept it as well. I know they will run a tight ship and show everyone in Oregon how it should be done. Hats off to Oregon NORML.

  23. To respond to some of the comments above:
    There is no conflict with Oregon’s No Smoking Law for public places. The statutes in question specifically reference “tobacco smoke”.

    ORS 433.840 Policy. The people of Oregon find that because the smoking of tobacco creates a health hazard to those present in confined places, it is necessary to reduce exposure to tobacco smoke by requiring nonsmoking areas in certain places.

    Oregon NORML is also receiving donations to purchase Volcano Vaporizers. There are already a few that will be available at the Grand Opening on Friday.
    Yes, caregivers can enter the café. It is open to all cardholders in the OMMP. We expect that many patients will need someone to drive them if they are not taking the bus. Oregon NORML will also be assisting people with use of mass transit.
    The location will be very classy. Already in speaking with Madeline’s son, who is handling most of the remodel, he has cast numerous vetoes on decor he terms “pot porn”. Plans are also underway to convert the upstairs ballroom into a Cannabis Cinema.

  24. Ok everybody says how lucky we are in cali for medical herb, yea its awesome but like many have said we need to legalize fully and not just medically , im a CA MEDICAL patient and tragically this year my life was turned upside down I was arrested for growing and I only had 1 plant beleive it or not im 21 and I USED to work at costco, I spent 2500 on bail and another 6500 on a laywer, I lost my job, im at an insane low in my life right now depressed , hurt by my own state and sad , its brought me to the point some days Saying SCREW it and just ending myself , because all the trouble I caused my family….Im facing Felonys and im only 21 and im sooo scared and if anybody doesnt feel for my sitation then you dont know whats going on because in the most Decriminalized places peoples live are still be ruined…..PLEASE EVERYBODY THINK ABOUT MY STORY AND HOW ITS TURNED MY LIFE UPSIDE DOWN I GO TO COURT NOV 25TH Please THINK OF WHAT IM SAYING AND SPREAD THE WORD WE NEED TO LEGALLIZE….
    oNE loVE
    Orange County Ca

  25. I tend to agree with the Portland Police and the KEX radio interview.
    WHAT IS MEDICAL ABOUT RUMPSPANKERS???? Offering FREE SAMPLES to LURE patients to sign up for NORNAL??? WOW seems kind of desperate to me. Don’t you make enough money running those OMCA cups @ 20k a pop?
    How do you plan on helping a patient in need if they cant pay the NORMAL membership fee?
    Explain to us, how this cafe is “Medical”?
    [Editor’s note: You agree with law enforcement? Are you NORML? $20K from the OMCA? How? OR NORML charging 100-150 activists to pay $100 to attend a two day event and a benefit dinner is not a profit-making endeavor. Even if there are ‘profits’, unlike a business, the money is used for cannabis law reform activities by OR NORML, which is as it should be.
    In CA, CO and MI, numerous medical cannabis dispensaries provide a complimentary gram of medicine. In OR, where medicine can’t be sold, patients providing each other cannabis, or non-profit organizations like OR NORML operating cannabis community centers where cannabis is used and exchanged is not only the lawful way to conduct affairs, it has been successful for years packing community centers once a month or so.
    The OR NORML monthly meetings are so popular, the fire department has to monitor the flow in and out of the building.
    Rather, and a better patient-friendly model, the owner-activists of Rumpspankers are kindly providing a more regular venue for the medical cannabis community in an established business.]

  26. I would like to wish Madeline Martinez the best of luck.
    I haven’t touched cannabis in almost 20 years and I guess I became complacent with the governments regulation of cannabis.
    Well this has all changed since I heard of the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act and started following the movement.
    I can honestly say that the more I read the more disgusted I get with our government.
    I have a personal stake in the legalization of medical cannabis in Wisconsin, my significant other of nearly 20 years was diagnosed with MS almost 7 years ago. While she is basically in “remission” she has one nagging symptom, she gets headaches that last weeks. She has tried several medications most that I can’t even pronounce but they don’t even touch the headaches and if it does work it is only temporary and usually with negative side effects.
    She would love to try cannabis but at this time it is illegal…the ironic thing is that she works for the WI DOC and could likely end up on the other side of the bars if she were caught using a medicine that could help with her.
    NORML you have a couple more dedicated followers…way to go!!!

  27. You know, a lot of people come to my community, go into wal-mart and buy their antibiotics and what not. I am a long-time supporter of marijuana decrim, tax and regulate, ect, but I have never seen an amoxicillin bar.
    When you claim this to be a place to “medicate” it’s all the more hoaky. I definitely support legalization, but I think we should avoid skipping around, finding thin legal loopholes to exploit. All this does is provide people who are against us all the more ammunition.


  29. wow, a deep breath of progress feels good. Now stoners, let’s not mess it up. Let’s prove the positivities of pot. Good shot norml

  30. This is great news. I’m looking forward when a medical MJ licensee will be able to use his license in every state who has decrimialized MJ. I’m looking forward when MJ is legalized for all.

  31. Medical marijuana hits prime time…
    Did anyone else see Law & Order Episode: Boy Gone Astray
    It addresses the use of medical marijuana for cancer patients and the Mexican drug cartel and their victimization of children.

  32. I agree with above posts concerns about how this will give the other side ammunition. I believe that’s the point.
    My main criticism of NORML’s past efforts is been that they have been too non confrontational. I really want to applaud what Ross and everyone at NORML for having the balls to take a stand for patients. While this may be controversial, it’s another excellent opportunity to “show the positivities of pot.” Yes, it will have prohibitionists up in arms, as with any progressive act. Remember proposition 215? It’s been 13 years since that and patients are still having a hard time in other states getting their medicine, as referenced in this article. This is a good effort to stimulate honest discussion and show that marijuana is not the dangerous addictive drug that prohibitionists claim it is, but instead the good, positive beneficial medicine for people with qualifying medical conditions. This isn’t about legalization. While that may be NORML’s goals, which I and many representatives agree with in order to reduce the harm associated with marijuana (mostly legal), the medical marijuana movement is about patients, not recreational users. This isn’t a legal loophole. This is an effort to help patients with debilitating illnesses get quality medicine without having to run around the damn country for it. Wheelchair stricken people need help. Driving to Portland isn’t helping anyone but the gas companies.

  33. Great work on the cafe!
    I look forward to seeing more of these shops opening in the near future.
    Meeting and socializing with people who are suffering from similar illnesses and being able to talk about such things in a relaxed atmosphere will be good for them.

  34. Beautiful. This is the kind of story that makes me proud to be an American, to know that we really are free. Liberating.

  35. My friend has a weed license in Colorado, it is so easy to get, just pay 120 for an exam and say you have headaches or stomach pains, and now you have a license to smoke, own, and grow up to 6 plants 3 budding, 3 not, – awesome GO OBAMA !

Leave a Reply