US opens its first marijuana cafe

Health & Happiness — POSTED BY fredarmesto on January 20, 2010 at 5:39 pm

America’s first marijuana cafe has opened – as a private club – posing an early test of the Obama administration’s move to relax policing of medical use of the drug.

The Cannabis Cafe in Portland, Oregon, is the first to give certified medical marijuana users a place to obtain the drug and smoke it, as long as they are out of public view, despite a federal ban.

The cafe was formerly a speakeasy and adult erotic club, Rumpspankers. Technically it is private, but is open to any Oregon members of Norml – a group pushing for marijuana legalisation – who hold a medical marijuana card. It has no drinks licence.

“This club represents personal freedom, finally, for our members,” said Madeline Martinez, Oregon’s executive director of Norml. Members pay $25 a month. They do not buy marijuana, but get it free over the counter from “budtenders”.

There are about 21,000 patients registered to use marijuana for medical purposes in Oregon.

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