Portland will soon have 2 medical-marijuana smoking lounges
November 03, 2009, 4:17PM
As of next week, Oregon's medical-marijuana patients will have two smoke-easies in Portland to medicate and socialize, the first such places in the country to open since the federal government announced two weeks ago that it will no longer arrest or prosecute patients and suppliers.
On Nov. 13, the Cannabis Cafe will open on the first floor of 700 N.E. Dekum St., to be operated by the state's chapter of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Executive Director Madeline Martinez said the space has been a dream of hers for years.
"We're pretty danged excited about it," Martinez said.
The Cannabis Cafe will be the second public place for medical-marijuana patients to get together. On Oct. 1, Steve Geiger opened Highway 420, a small lounge at the back of his pipe shop at 6418 S.E. Foster Road.
The pot lounges are the first of their kind in the nation, said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the national NORML. California has dispensaries, where medical marijuana can be purchased, but only Oregon will have a place, like a bar, where people can socialize and use marijuana.
The Cannabis Cafe will open Nov. 13 at 4:20 p.m. – a cheeky reference to a code term for marijuana. Then the cafe will operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. To enter, a person must be a member of Oregon NORML and hold a card from the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program as a patient, caregiver or grower.
By Anne Saker, The Oregonian