Cannabis Café — America's first marijuana lounge — has opened in Portland, Ore., just weeks after President Obama announced he would defer to local laws in states that permit medicinal use of the drug. The club (located in the former home of an adult erotic speakeasy called Rumpspankers) is only open to members of the marijuana-legalization advocacy group, NORML, who are cleared to get medicinally high. But are Amsterdam-style pot cafes (with "budtenders" behind the bar) really what Obama had in mind? (Watch a local report about the Cannabis Cafe's opening)
Yes — everybody needs a place to relax: "This is an idea whose time has come," says Jac Chebatoris in Tonic, especially for cancer patients who use medicinal marijuana to regain their appetite post-chemo. Remember "Cheers"? People who smoke pot for their health deserve a place to go, where everybody knows their name.
"Cannabis Cafe ... and then some"
Is this calculated political provocation? Timing "may be the real story" here, say the editors of Christian Law Journal. NORML must hope this club, which would be right at home in the "very liberal Dutch city of Amsterdam," will test Obama's commitment to pushing America leftward by softening drug policy.
"First U.S. marijuana cafe opens in Oregon"
This is hardly a revolution: Cannabis Cafe's grand opening got a lot of people excited, says Sarah Mirk in the Portland Mercury, but "opening night seemed like kind of a bust." As one member of the first night crowd put it: "Why would I want to smoke with a bunch of people I don't know?"
"$60 cover scares off some at Cannabis Cafe opening"
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