Medical Marijuana Cafe Opens in Portland, Could Seattle Be Very Far Behind?

Because eventually everyone tires of the bingo hall
Some might take the fact that Portland is now home to the first U.S. pot cafe as confirmation that the City of Roses is indeed more progressive than Seattle.

But Seattle may soon catch up.

Sponsored by the Oregon chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Portland's Cannabis Cafe is not a marijuana dispensary like one might find in Colorado and California where interpretation of medical marijuana law has, in the last few years at least, become more liberal. As reported in the Seattle Times , the cafe is a commercial space where medical marijuana patients can socialize with fellow travelers, have Socratic discussions on the efficacy of federal marijuana policy, and discuss proper bong maintenance--all while burning one down.

Washington state law prohibits storefront medical marijuana dispensaries, which was the justification used by Everettcity officials last week when they denied an operating permit to two men wanting to open up the state's first for-profit medical marijuana dispensary.

But the law contains just enough gray that some brave entrepreneur could open a cafe similar to Portland's latest here in the state of Washington. Spokesman Allen St. Pierre told the Times that since the cafe's opening last week, NORML'S national office has received a handful of inquiries from Washington entrepreneurs asking how they can open similar cafes, some of them from Seattle.

"Only if you have extraordinary gumption should you even attempt it," St. Pierre told the Weekly in an interview. "There are certainly prosecutors and police out there who will try and take something like this down as soon as it crops up."

Newly elected City Attorney Pete Holmes has already communicated his position on marijuana possession, which at least indicates what side of the fence he'll fall on in enforcing medical marijuana law. Coupled with the fact that the state legislature might soon consider downgrading marijuana possession to less than a misdemeanor, Seattle medical marijuana patients might soon have a place to congregate in public.

comments powered by Disqus