Marijuana Lounges? Yes, But Let’s Have Our Own Places

Without doubt, it is important that we begin to move forward with the legalization of lounges and social clubs that permit marijuana smokers to gather and enjoy their favorite strains. Marijuana smoking is a social activity, and most smokers would like the option of dropping by a local marijuana-friendly venue, to relax with friends and like-minded colleagues.

Currently, none of the four states that have fully legalized marijuana allow for this option. Smoking in a public venue is prohibited, and the authorities have taken a needlessly restrictive view of what is a public place, refusing, for example, to permit someone to lease a private venue and operate a private, members-only club where marijuana could be enjoyed. There is no public-policy or public-health basis for being so restrictive

As we move forward, it is important that we not permit ourselves to get shoe-horned into some system that suggests we are second-class citizens, simply because we enjoy smoking marijuana, and that would effectively keep us in the closet. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and there is no reason why we should not be permitted to enjoy marijuana in a lounge or social club with friends.

Smokers’ clubs have in fact surfaced in all of the legalization states, where those in the know can meet and share good weed, but they are forced to operate on the fringes, as part of a “gray market,” and several have already been closed by the authorities. I had the opportunity to visit a “smoke-easy” in Denver when I was in town for the 4/20 Cannabis Cup, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but was saddened to learn the club had been raided and closed the following day. Gray market clubs are clearly not the long-term answer to this problem.

In Seattle, City Attorney Pete Holmes, a strong advocate for legalizing marijuana, has recently given a boost to this issue by releasing a 10-page report calling for the licensing of marijuana-friendly lounges. “Single family homeowners have a legal place to consume marijuana,” Holmes said, “but others however, such as out-of-town visitors, the homeless, and renters and condominium owners whose buildings do not permit marijuana use, have fewer options. You can enforce the law much better if you, at the same time, provide an outlet for that demand.” No action has yet resulted in Seattle to permit marijuana lounges, but the topic is now front and center for consideration by elected officials.

So I was pleased to learn a few days ago that an effort is underway to qualify an initiative for the Denver ballot this November to remove some of those barriers, and to legalize marijuana-friendly clubs and lounges. The proposal would permit existing alcohol bars and clubs to permit those 21 and older to consume marijuana in designated areas; vaporizing and edibles if indoors, and smoking if outdoors and out of public view.

Let’s Keep Our Distance from Alcohol

My concern with this specific proposal to legalize marijuana lounges is that it would allow marijuana smoking in venues that are also licensed to sell alcohol. I would urge a model that allows for the licensing of marijuana-friendly lounges, but keep those separate from existing alcohol bars and clubs. I am not making a moral judgement; I personally enjoy both drugs, and when I am home in the evenings, I frequently pour myself a glass of wine and roll a joint. But I am at home in a safe environment, and not putting anyone at any risk.

The two drugs, when used together, are synergistic, and the effect of combining the two causes far greater short-term impairment than either drug by itself, raising legitimate questions of public safety if alcohol bars and clubs were also marijuana-friendly. It would require the bar tender to be far more careful about “cutting-off” anyone who appeared to be getting drunk, and their track-record in that regard is not reassuring.

In addition, alcohol is a drug that causes many drinkers, at some point, to become aggressive and confrontational, resulting in bar fights and other unruly and repulsive behavior on a regular basis. Marijuana, on the other hand, causes most users to feel relaxed and peaceful, and certainly not confrontational. That distinction is one that is both relevant and helpful politically, and we should strive culturally to maintain that advantage. Were we to establish a system in which both drugs were sold in the same venues, we would likely end-up being judged (by the 84 percent of the public who do not currently smoke marijuana) by the worst behavior caused by alcohol, including it’s impact on safe driving skills, and that is a needless political burden to carry.

Interestingly, Colorado state Representative Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont), a strong supporter of legalized marijuana, has previously floated ideas involving cannabis-only clubs, such as those that operate in Amsterdam, but those would be alcohol-free venues, avoiding the public safety and political issues discussed above. The latest proposal being advanced for Denver fails to maintain that distinction.

I recognize that even if marijuana lounges were free of alcohol, there is nothing that would keep an individual from stopping at an alcohol bar, for example, for an hour, before then leaving for a marijuana lounge. No system can avoid all risks, and in the end we must rely on the common sense of most marijuana smokers to avoid dangerous and abusive practices. But we need not establish a system that creates those opportunities and invites those problems.

A recent poll released by a Washington, DC group called the Third Way found that roughly one-third of the public remain opposed to marijuana legalization; one third remain strongly in favor of legalization; and the remaining third – dubbed “the marijuana middle” – now oppose prohibition, and support full legalization, but they are not pro-pot. Rather they recognize that prohibition has caused more problems than the drug it attempts to prohibit. And important for this discussion, only 36 percent of the survey respondents viewed recreational marijuana smokers favorably; 54 percent have an unfavorable impression of those of us who smoke recreationally.

That underscores the fragile nature of the coalition that has made it possible for us to move legalization forward in this country, and the need to move cautiously as we ask for additional rights under these new laws. We must be sensitive to the legitimate concerns of non-smokers, in order to maintain our majority for full legalization, and I fear this latest proposal coming out of Denver puts a big political bulls-eye right on our backs.

I would urge those proposing this change to consider amending their initial proposal to allow for marijuana-only lounges and clubs in Denver, but take a lead from Amsterdam and do not permit marijuana to be smoked in alcohol clubs, or alcohol to be consumed in marijuana clubs. That would provide us smokers with what we need — the opportunity to socialize with other smokers — without the additional risks, both political and real, of mixing the two drugs.

56 thoughts

  1. Maybe I am alone in this… But I would rather see a “Smoker’s Corner” in places like hotels or maybe even a mall than lounges. Alcohol is much more social to me, as it tends to decrease my social anxiety, whereas marijuana tends to do the opposite. I don’t want to meet strangers while smoking. I would rather hang out with friends, take a hike, maybe go see a movie. Also, it is much easier to spend five minutes smoking every three or four hours, whereas if I want a buzz from alcohol, I end up nursing a beer every twenty minutes for a few hours.

  2. Great editorial. Well thought out and effectively presented. As a NORML member I support your evaluation of the situation. As a retired cop I have first hand knowledge of the dangers of mixing the two drugs. Every occasionally I’ll drink a “Miller Pony” while enjoying a toke, but I never leave the house. I can honestly say that my weed use has cut down on my alcohol consumption and I have been off 30mgs a day of hydrocodone, which I took for 5 years, legally prescribed, for about 8 months now.

    While it would be great to have a “smoker’s lounge”, before that can be accomplished a definite “legal blood/marijuana standard” for DUI of marijuana needs to be established. Otherwise the cops will just sit and wait for someone to eave the lounge, since ANY amount in the system currently constitutes “impairment”.

    Let’s face it … THC is a drug. I feel that its legalization for recreational use should be controlled just as alcohol and tobacco are (yep, nicotine is a drug too). Age limits for purchase and consumption should be established, just as with alcohol and tobacco.

    Public safety should be in the forefront of our thinking on this matter, right up there alongside our Civil Liberties approach.

    Actually, since studies have now shown that the human brain does not fully develop until around age 25, I think we should raise the age limit for alcohol purchase and consumption. I know there are a bunch of folks out there reading this and saying “screw that”, but it’s just my opinion. The LEGAL age is immaterial anyway. There will always be a black market for marijuana. Those who cannot get it legally will get it some other way, just as they do with alcohol and tobacco. Why? ‘Cause folks gonna do what folks gonna do” and a law prohibiting a non-violent personal choice is reprehensible to most folks.

    Once again, thanks for this article. More importantly, thanks for the work that NORML has done over the past 40 some odd years. The fruits of their labor are beginning to be seen, though it’s been a long time coming. There is a significant “sea change” in America regarding marijuana, and NORML has been the leader in changing that tide.

    Sincerely,

    Tom McCain
    Retired AF MSgt
    Retired Chief Deputy
    Executive Director, Spartacus Legal Foundation
    Member of the LEAP Speaker’s Bureau
    Marijuana Legalization Activist
    Law Enforcement Goad
    Curmudgeon at Large

  3. According to a recent study at the University of Iowa, using marijuana and alcohol together has an additive effect, not synergistic. Still, your idea to keep alcohol and marijuana lounges separate is sensible.
    http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2015/06/29/264214.htm

    A fundamental issue to address in all these regulation schemes is the apparent persistence of the belief among legislators that marijuana is as bad or worse than alcohol and tobacco. In reality, it is much less harmful and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be available to adults at reasonable cost at every corner market along with the alcohol and tobacco products.

    I wonder if future legislation proposals could include a preamble…”Whereas marijuana is non-toxic and much less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, the regulations, taxes and fees imposed shall be less restrictive than those imposed on alcohol and tobacco products.”

  4. Marijuanna should be legal wherever alcohol is. Alcohol can make people feel invincible and often times this leads to fighting and arguing. If people were allowed to smoke some marijuanna after they had a few drinks in a bar and felt themselves getting angry, a couple hits off a joint would do the trick. I guess some people can’t mix the two and function, but for me and many others I’m sure the world is a safer place when my alcohol buzz is diluted with marijuanna.

  5. Great article Keith!

    Personally, I wouldn’t be interested in attending such a club since I don’t like smoke; especially other peoples! My choice of consumption is to use a vaporizer. I have the Herbalizer and it is fantastic and I’d highly recommend it.

    That said, I absolutely believe that there should be clubs and establishments that allow people to consume cannabis if they so choose. Unlike the Republican party, I believe in freedom 🙂

  6. O.K Did anyone see this… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCfJmM-m3J0 Senator Cory Booker vs. Kevin Sabet – The Great Cannabis Debate You all need to watch…
    Also the ONLY company that has a LICENSE to STUDY MARIJUANA.. In The U.S.A. PMCB PharmaCyte Biotech

    PharmaCyte Biotech ( PMCB is examining ways to exploit the benefits of Cell-in-a-Box® technology in optimizing the anticancer effectiveness of cannabinoids, while minimizing or outright eliminating the debilitating side effects usually associated with cancer treatments. This provides PharmaCyte Biotech ( PMCB ) the rare opportunity to develop “green” approaches to fighting deadly diseases, such as cancer of the pancreas, brain and breast, which affect hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide every year.

  7. Marijuana Lounges sounds great but I probably won’t go to any of them. I will just be happy that they legally exist to help people share their views and understand each other by having a joint meeting.

  8. Some on the left believe we could be lowering our Tax burden and engendering a micro-boom in the HVAC sector that may benefit the tobacco industry.

    I believe we merely need fixed Standards regarding air quality within smoking establishments.

  9. I agree 100% that cannabis venues should not also be places where alcohol is consumed. That’s the way it is all over in the Netherlands. The whole point of cannabis koffieshops is to separate the soft drugs market (cannabis products) from the hard drugs market and the violence. There is no good reason to link the cannabis scene to the violence associated with alcohol consumption. I’ve been put off by the violence and bullying of throngs of drunken Brits in Amsterdam on more than one occasion, and I much prefer not to be around drinkers. Coffeeshops are full of laid-back, nonaggressive people who are open-minded. The bars in Amsterdam, are much less friendly to alternative lifestyle people who aren’t bothering anybody. On the other hand, nasty drunks tend to be nasty homophobes and nasty American-haters.

    Definitely, change the language of the ballet so that their are cannabis-only venues, lounges, koffieshops, whatever you want to call them. They could have to have those huge restaurant grill exhaust fans sucking out the air like they evacuate the sizzling smoky vapors coming off a hot grill they’re cooking steak on, all the while bringing in fresh clean air in vents. That could be the case at least in the areas where people are smoking, dapping, vaping, and in the rest of the lounge people could be playing arcade games, table games, reading, watching TV, listening to music, on their smart phones, on the lounges computers, or just talking and socializing with one another at their tables or on the couch: Bluebird (Amsterdam), Sativa or Sinsemilla (Haarlem), Bordeaux Rood or Andersom (Utrecht), Kronkel (Nijmegen) coffeeshops, for example. That’s how it works in the Netherlands. Nuisances, such as fights and disturbances can result in the place getting shutdown.

    No alcohol! Definitely no alcohol. I don’t want some drunk hitting on me. I don’t want some drunk going all homophobe.

  10. Yes, Please! No alcohol being mixed with Marijuana at Marijuana Lounges. At the bar where drinks are already being served, fine, but that should be bring your own buds. Marijuana and Marijuanaros already have suffered enough at the hands of those that can’t tell the difference between the two drugs–One so dangerous it barely counts as a “drug” and the next so safe it barely counts as a “drug”.

  11. I think you’re absolutely right Keith! And thank you Tom, curmudgeon at large, for your wise perspective.
    What if alcohol-free marijuana lounges were great places to sober up before going home?
    I personally think a place to mix coffee and marijuana in the mornings will become a great place to conduct social business and it’s a matter of time before Seattle breaks Starbucks from Altria.

  12. If there was ever any question about what direction we’re heading in the legalization and regulation movement, read this;

    http://news.yahoo.com/backers-california-pot-legalization-ballot-measure-given-ok-233821137.html

    This is the great tipping scale for the United States Drug Policy and the whole world view on marijuana and cannabis in general. California is on its way to legalize and the majority of the United States will soon be in Supreme Court Victory land. Better start marketing those Pfizer Vaporizers and give up the parasitic patents Big Pharma, because here comes California!

  13. EXCELLENT essay, and, responses, Everyone! I do want to poibt out that “Ex Caliber”, a bar and coffeeshop in Amsterdam’s Red Light District – has always been one of my favorite haunts, ‘over there’. (Dig the full human skeleton riding the actual chopper bike, suspended on their wall!) “Can I smoke my hash in here?” I resepctfully asked the American ex-pat barkeep, when I first discovered the place… “Of COURSE!” he intoned – as if I should’ve known…

  14. When I watch ‘Cops’ on TV, alcohol is always the drug that elicits the obnoxious, belligerent in-your-face behavior cops have to deal with every day on the job.

    Cops in New York liked be on duty for a Grateful Dead concert back in the day. There was never any trouble from the fans. One cop was heard to ponder, “Gee. I wonder what makes these kids so mellow?”

  15. @Krisyl – You are spot on with your comment! From my experience, using both marijuana and alcohol, I find that I really enjoy the alcohol buzz but by itself I can tend to get a bit aggressive. Mixed with marijuana I enjoy things more and am not aggressive at all.

    So, I think that using marijuana and alcohol is better than just alcohol as far as behavior is concerned; and as far as getting a really enjoyable buzz. I’d be more likely to go to a place that has both choices available!

    Of course, doing so could make me a worse driver so, being a responsible adult, I’d make sure I had a safe way to get home afterwards!

  16. Sigh…

    The problem with seeking permission to do something from an uninvolved coercive third party (government) is it makes that 3rd party feel like an “authority”. Their heads are big enough already, don’t empower them by making them part of the equation.

    You and I should be the authority in our own lives and on our own property, but not in the lives of others or on others property.

    If we believe the above, having a pot club or lounge then becomes a personal and peaceful choice, not driven by the whim of a permission based coercion embedded bureaucratic stuffed shirt. Fuck seeking permission to control our own lives and property. We’re free people aren’t we?

  17. We’re free people aren’t we? – Bob Constantine

    Some States claim the answer is yes and the Federal Government continues to prove the answer is no?

  18. @Bob Constantine – I agree that we should not have to ask permission from some authority. Unfortunately, from what I can tell, we are NOT a free people; we’re basically free to do what our Govt allows us to do. After all, they control the police and the military… They also control most of the wealth of our country.

    So, it is really sad, but I do not believe we are any more free than the people of North Korea; at least not by much. If we were, we could have been using marijuana freely for decades. As it is, as I turn 60, I’ve been in fear of incarceration because of my choice to use cannabis since age 15, and so have all of my cannabis using friends.

    In summary, we are free to do what our Govt allows us to do (not unlike North Korea or so many other places). It is really no surprise to me that the people in so many countries around the world hate us for that hypocrisy.

  19. I do not want to go into a “Puke and Piss” to smoke weed. The drunks will get wasted and start beating up on stoners and then the media nuts will be blaming weed for the issues and then it will get shut down by the Bureaucridiots. Bad Idea, almost feels like a setup.

  20. My thoughts on this is. Well. Why not leave it to the owners discretion whether or not Alcohol should be allowed. Though I may not have read it all, my understanding is, they want to keep it separate. A cold beer sometimes goes well with a little weed. I have problems burping after smoking, and then have problems with my stomach for some dumb reason. That’s when I smoke a little too much. Beer helps me feel like burping.

    Either-way, I think it should be up to who ever owns the establishment. I would actually love if my favorite bar was allowed to allow their patrons to also smoke some pot, while sitting drinking beer.

    For right now though, I still must hide places, while smoking my favorite strains. Which currently, is anything which I can get a-hold of.

    Yes I have given this a bit of thought, and I believe most people get along better when under the influence of some pot. (Cannabis.)

    Just my opinion.

  21. Thank God Louisiana reduced penalties. They still are locked up for ever for possession. I hope they aren’t grand fathered in. They should be freed.

  22. Well, when are we going to start arresting people for this scam? The scam will not end on its own–they made it self sufficient. It has to be put down. We are a land of hypocrisy–and we keep asking for dumb laws that make no sense: First Amendment says, “Free speech and freedom to associate” Our politicians said, “No fucking way!” And passed illegal laws saying blacks are only 3/5 human and so the constitution doesn’t apply to them. Hmm. So very corrupt; and judges didn’t do anything about the illegal law other than rubberstamp the bullshit and let crackers abuse anyone they felt like.

    How is this any different from making a Scheduling System and then violate it by placing Marijuana in Schedule One? It is the same damn scam we already figured out. Why is it back again?

  23. A government filled with assholes that don’t bother following the law. Over and over, everyday of the year. Committing illegal yet permitted crimes against their fellow citizens because any excuse will do.

  24. This was a great article, Keith. Unfortunately I think there will be municipalities or even states that, when they legalize, will also allow alcohol/cannabis clubs. It’s then that we’ll see just how intoxicating the two substances can be when used together. It’s going to create bad press, and it’s inevitable.

    But to what Bob said, I think we’re in control in the sense that most marijuana smokers generally don’t mix the two, or if they do, they do so in moderation, knowing how strong the two are together. Just because the government lets us, doesn’t mean we have to have clubs that allow both. Personally, I’d prefer going to a cannabis-only club. Drunks are annoying, especially when you’re not.

  25. A great article and a lot of interesting comments. I was in Amsterdam before and after the rule separating bars and pot-only coffeeshops. I personally liked having the choice of either/or, or both! However, I do understand the sentiments here by many posters; pot smokers are without question mellower than boozers (tho this of course is a generalization, as I know several people who’ve always been mellow with alcohol, and similarly never saw any trouble in any of the alcohol/coffeeshops in Amsterdam).

    I’d honestly support either type. In fact, since I stopped drinking some 20 years ago, I’ve almost never gone to bars again–no reason to. (I got tired of ordering “Shirley Temples,” lol.)

    But either way would be great, IMO.

    PS–Derek, I’m sort of like you in that I liked and miss the social buzz of booze; and I also sometimes feel a bit paranoid/inhibited around people with whom I’m unfamiliar when I’m stoned. However, I did discover pot in both Amsterdam and Denver that did not give me that paranoid feeling–a Hash chocolate bar in Den. and a bud called “Purple” in Amst–so it IS out there. I also felt pretty relaxed with “Bubba Kush.”

  26. Some on the left believe and make a motion to advance our implied State commerce clause or our explicit federal Commerce Clause as it may apply to State legislatures; at every opportunity.

    California Constitution
    Article 4 Section 16.

    (a) All laws of a general nature have uniform operation.

    (b) A local or special statute is invalid in any case if a general statute can be made applicable.

    There can be no appeal to ignorance of our Commerce Clause.

  27. HEY!…HEY!…Uh…Uh…did I tell you about my divorce…Huh?…Oh Yeah, that was twenty years ago…yur right…I think I’m gonna pu…pu… puuuuuuke…

    Please keep those who choose to consume a brain/body/consciousness reducing anesthetic away from the Cannabis club or lounge…or risk the guy above vomiting on your shoes/ evening/life?

  28. Agreed; let’s put some Happy in our memories with marijuana-only options instead of no memory at all in the choice of alcohol-only.
    With that said, I also forsee these lounges adjacent to restaurants that serve alcohol with food…

  29. Seems some people are all about personal freedom–except when they’re not. Freedom to them, when it’s inconvenient, apparently can be as ephemeral as the Wind.

  30. I make a motion to create open interest in strip clubs that won’t need a liquor license and may go full nude as a result in some jurisdictions.

  31. There can be like Amsterdam cannabis-only places and later those with alcohol as well, or it can just go right away to allowing both alcohol and cannabis. I know my preference, cannabis only. It depends on the kind of crowd that patronize the places, cannabis only or one that has both.

    What sage words of advice and perhaps nuisance statistics are there from the Netherlands that compare cannabis only with places that sell both?

  32. Great article Keith.

    My brother in law is a pain in the ass after two martinis. I make it a point to get him stoned and mellow before 6PM. This however does not always stop him from drinking his martini, but it seems to make him cut down and be less of a pain.

    I agree that alcohol and MJ should be kept out of Cannabis Clubs. And it seems like Cannabis has the therapeutic potential of helping alcoholics recover.

  33. Most drug overdoses are due to drinking and taking opiates or prescription drugs at the same time. Taken alone or by prescription, these drugs seldom cause drug overdoses when the dosage is known.
    Alcohol potentiates the action of hard drugs.

    MJ is an exception. It does not cause alcohol overdoses. Associating it with alcohol overdoses hurts the MJ legalization movement.

  34. we have a 420 club here in Tucson Az on 4th ave we can smoke relax medicate and enjoy each others company. and this is done in a private home the doors are open from 9 or 10 am to 10 or what ever is going on at the time. you have to have your medical card any state drivers licence , no booze aloud no tobacco in house outside fine. just relax and enjoy. we also have norml meeting’s here on 2nd Saturday of the month.

  35. Commerce should be regulated (well).

    I consider frivolous, laws that merely deny and disparage Individual Liberty and burden Commerce (well regulated) while also increasing our Tax burden and without actually solving any social dilemmas, to be both unnecessary and improper when compared and contrasted to Commerce, well regulated; and taxed to defray the cost of government.

    Here are some market based metrics under our form of Capitalism in our political-economy:

    “Once the medical-marijuana industry is legalized statewide, and you legitimize the entire production and distribution of medical cannabis,” says Bradley, “the business will explode and the state would collect $400 million a year or more in sales taxes.” Source: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_26435360/california-marijuana-market-poised-explode

    There is no Appeal to Ignorance of our Commerce Clauses whether implied or explicit.

    Is Capitalism Only Useless to the Right? Some on the left believe we should merely Use Capitalism for All of its worth.

    Regulating forms of Commerce well is what representatives, elected State government, are supposes to be doing in their office of public Trust, not merely giving color to the perception of arbitrariness and capriciousness in the law or coming up with frivolous laws that only waste the Peoples’ tax monies and don’t actually solve any social dilemmas, like our War on Drugs that merely sacrifices the End of our War on Poverty to the Means of the coercive use of force of the State.

  36. The universities were the only places where you could interact with like minded cannabis consumers. It will be nice to see how the social interactive provisions evolutionary energies will express themselves. Right now our backyards are welcoming the neighborhood.

  37. There’s freedom to…as well as freedom from…obnoxious alcohol intoxicated social bores?

  38. Tom McCain says:

    a definite “legal blood/marijuana standard” for DUI of marijuana needs to be established.

    Let’s face it … THC is a drug.

    Public safety should be in the forefront of our thinking on this matter, right up there alongside our Civil Liberties approach.

    re; a definite “legal blood/marijuana standard” for DUI of marijuana needs to be established.

    FIRST; we need that for tobacco, coffee, energy drinks, ect.
    EXAMPLE; enjoy 20 cups of coffee,
    or 20 ciggarettes;
    or 20 energy drinks;
    and you can DRIVE ALL YOU WANT.

    but; have 21 cups of coffee,
    or 21 ciggarettes,
    or 21 energy drinks;

    and you deserve to GO TO JAIL,
    and rot there,
    FOREVER,
    you EVIL SCUMBAG !!!!!

    re; Let’s face it … THC is a drug.

    Let’s face it … ALCOHOL,
    IS NOT a drug.
    IT IS A POISON.

    (drug = a BENEFICIAL medicine)

    RE; Public safety should be in the forefront of our thinking on this matter, right up there alongside our Civil Liberties approach.

    POT POSES NO ‘Public safety’ PROBLEMS.

    our ‘Civil Liberties’,
    have been RAPED,
    FOR YEARS,
    based on IMAGINARY ‘public safety’ PROBLEMS.

  39. Oregon figured out how to charge admission to an alcohol free- free-weed giveaway yesterday:

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/04/oregon-marijuana-laws-weed-the-people

    It was an overwhelming success. There were “chill” rooms with comfortable sofas, no violence and “Weed the People ” who promoted the event were able to get select advertising of their product.

    Then here is this article by the Guardian about Denver petitioning to use marijuana in bars, albeit edibles or out of site/smell smoke rooms in clubs and bars…

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/03/denver-campaign-marijuana-consumption-bars

    Separating the rooms is nice, but this will all fall legally under the spell of city ordinance and DUI laws. If Denver really wants to do this right they must promote vaporizers in public areas ( what some people do anyway in such discreet fashion so that the person next to them is not even aware they are consuming marijuana).

    Edibles and alcohol will create unanticipated synergistic fatigue, as the stomach metabolizes the THC more slowly and inconsistently depending on what else you drink, eat or consume.

    It looks like our job as NORML activists will be to demand that arrest records and media coverage includes investigation and scientific proof of alcohol, prescriptive drugs or other influences when quoting incidents involving marijuana consumption. Otherwise the pending allegations of marijuana and violence must be rendered moot.

  40. And one is always free to “stay away” from. I don’t drink anymore, but don’t decry someone else’s freedom to drink. I consider too many drinkers to be bores myself; but I won’t demand an end to bars because of that, or bar-coffeeshops either. Stay away if drinkers bother you.

    As I stated in my earlier post, I believe it’s okay to have BOTH. Because I don’t drink anymore, I would undoubtedly only frequent the smokers-only places, but I won’t intrude upon the rights of those who would wish to do both.

    Perhaps my opinion is colored by my earlier experience in Amsterdam where I saw drinkers in coffeeshops acting MATURE. I know that American sometimes do have a tendency for immaturity when they drink; maybe that’s the rub.

  41. @Evening Bud,
    You said THAT right. The rules are going to change from city to city, person to person and I suspect from generation to generation as our marijuana policy and social values continue to evolve and “mature.” The Information Age has met the Green Era of Enlightenment.

  42. Hey Julian,

    I totally get the arguments against booze. Several people I’m close with drink regularly. Some of them have begun to show the effects, others have not. I have no illusions about the hazards of drinking, and am glad that my drug of choice is MJ.

    That said, there was a certain feeling of freedom about going into a place that served both. Of course, the conservatives in the Netherlands eventually got their way and cracked down on the bar/coffeeshops in Amsterdam. In their haste to clean up everything, they also cracked down on hash shakes and edibles; and one can no longer buy ecstasy or mushrooms in the ‘Dam. Once the morality police get going, it’s tough to stop ’em.

  43. An excellent article, Keith, and many good responses — clearly there are pro’s and con’s to the idea of marijuana-only lounges. I’d be in favor of it, though there are obvious and uncontrollable risks, as you mentioned. “Smoke-easys” actually sound good to me, too. In the old days of Prohibition, most stayed in business through the time-honored practice of bribery. Not that I’d ever suggest such a thing, of course. The “no smoking in public” laws came about because of the nasty effects of tobacco, both on users and those around them, and that’s gonna bite us in the ass a little. (I’m still a tobacco addict, but have cut down considerably.) And since I often go a year or two without a beer (these days,) a cannabis-only lounge would be fine with me.

  44. And one is always free to “stay away” from. I don’t drink anymore, but don’t decry someone else’s freedom to drink. – Evening Bud

    May I ask why you “stopped” consuming booze?

    Name the person on the blog who said anything about anyone’s right to “drink”?

    It’s you?

  45. HEY…HEY!…are you gettin’ smart with me, stoner boy?

    Keep booze and cannabis separate or the effects of one will certainly be blamed for the other!

    Stop me when I tell a lie?

  46. @ Still Windy,

    I’ve mentioned it before, but I stopped drinking about 20 years ago because I started getting terrible headaches from alcohol of any sort. Didn’t matter, beer, wine, hard stuff, all of it. I liked the social buzz of booze, but the headaches made it not worth it.

    I don’t get your point about the “right to drink” comment. The OP was talking about marijuana clubs that excluded booze–that’s where the booze reference comes in. As far as having a “right” to drink, I supposed it’s the same as having a “right” to read a newspaper, or go for a walk in the park. What point are you trying to make?

    As for your other “argument” that putting booze and pot together, will lead to “one . . . certainly be[ing] blamed for the other,” again I’m not sure of your “point.” If you have blood alcohol in your system, it will show, period.

    Let me ask you, since you’re “gettin’ smart,” what’s the difference between a guy getting stopped and MJ tested after leaving an MJ-only club and one who gets pot tested after leaving a bar/coffeeshop? The THC level will be the same.

    And btw, shouldn’t you be referring to yourself as “stoner boy”, since you apparently don’t drink, but only toke?

    Name-calling is nearly always an indication of a bankruptcy of ideas. HEY! HEY! I’ve got an idea–why don’t you live and let live? Who died and appointed you the chief of the morality police? Lemme guess, you’re related to Carrie Nation. Or maybe your parents were the original founders of the Anti-Saloon League. You were born a century too late.

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