I have always wanted to open a marijuana themed video arcade. There are ‘barcades’ popping up all over Oregon right now, with a very straight forward recipe. Essentially you get a bunch of arcade games and offer food and alcohol. They are very popular, and I have always thought that a marijuana arcade would be even more popular, especially since there aren’t any in existence in Oregon right now. I own ten arcade games (big nerd, shouldn’t shock anyone), and while I love playing pinball while hitting a vaporizer pen solo, there are times when I would like to do so in a more social environment.
Unfortunately, that dream will not become a reality, at least not in Oregon. Starting January 1, 2016 consuming marijuana indoors at businesses will be illegal. There has been more and more lounges, cafes, and clubs opening up in Oregon, but it sounds like they will have to either shutdown, or change their business models. Per Oregon Live:
A Multnomah County tobacco program specialist visited the World Famous Cannabis Café in Southeast Portland earlier this week to follow up on a complaint from a member of the public about smoking in the establishment. During the visit, Erik Vidstrand told café owner Madeline Martinez that cannabis smoking and vaping won’t be legal in her club starting Jan. 1.
Though Oregon’s Indoor Clean Air Act was implemented in 2009, lawmakers this year expanded it to prohibit the use of devices like vaporizer pens and e-cigarettes in public areas and work places. Marijuana was also added to the law, which initially targeted only tobacco.
The indoor clean air law includes exemptions for two types of businesses: cigar bars, where patrons may smoke cigars, and smoke shops, where tobacco consumption is allowed. Both kinds of businesses must be certified by the state.
I’m failing to understand why there are exemptions for tobacco, but not cannabis. I don’t understand why it’s not all or nothing. I guess hypothetically some businesses could survive by having a designated consumption area in a non-public view spot attached to the business, but that’s going to obviously put a damper on things. I’m tired of cannabis being singled out. I can consume a cigarette in public under certain conditions (and it sounds like a cigar indoors in some situations), but I can only consume cannabis in a private setting. I can go to a bar to consume alcohol to the point of inebriation, but I can’t take even one puff off of a vape pen in a business of which the owner says it’s OK to do so. That’s ridiculous.