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One of the many social injustice has that cannabis activists like to point out to others is the serious discrepancy between how socially acceptable alcohol use is and how totally different and hypocritical the attitude toward cannabis is in most places.
Despite the fact that alcohol is responsible for a staggering number of car crashes an overdose deaths each year, you can buy a glass of wine, a beer, or a mixed drink at all kinds of restaurants and a specialized businesses that we call bars.
However, even in states where legalization has taken effect, cannabis users still don’t get to enjoy their cannabis in a social setting. In fact, they are effectively prohibited from using it anywhere other then private residences. Thankfully, one state has finally stepped up to change that. On Tuesday, March 12th, the governor signed a bill into law that will allow cannabis businesses to apply for on-site consumption license endorsements.
The idea is to provide lounges where people can buy and then consume cannabis in the same space. This will be particularly beneficial for renters whose landlords prohibit smoking. Industry representatives are excited about this new law.
Businesses can begin submitting applications for these special onsite use endorsements for their licenses on April 11th. It’s unlikely that any such consumption space will be open to the public before mid-July, but this still marks a landmark shift in public policy toward cannabis use.
Requirements for facilities include a separate, secured space for the consumption area or an outdoor patio. The businesses will need to submit documentation of their security plans, as well as proof of adequate ventilation. This new law could spur Oregon into action, as this is a move long discussed for Oregon, but as of yet unimplemented.
It’s exciting to see cannabis use coming closer to alcohol consumption in terms of accessibility and social stigma. Hopefully, Alaska’s new license endorsement program will roll out without major issue, which will, in turn, inspire other states to follow suit.
For previous Ladybud articles about cannabis discrimination, click here.
Photo Credit: Simpleinsomnia via Flickr under (CC BY 2.0)