Welcome to Washington state’s dumb-ass brand of “legalization”… Where in reality we are slipping BACKWARDS from the progress we achieved with medical marijuana, to restrictive new “recreational” rules that forbid on-site consumption. When greedy 502 merchants got these rules passed to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries, they cut off their noses to spite their faces… and most are too clueless to recognize this, even now.
The new state laws collapsing the medical market as we know it in Washington and funneling all public marijuana related activities, essentially, through the state liquor board has claimed it’s first victim … the High Times U.S. Cannabis Cup in Seattle
High Times has put on the cannabis competition/vender expo/party here for three years — twice in Fremont and last year in Everett — but the marijuana and counter-culture institution has run headlong into a bureaucratic dead end, said Dan Skye, High Times editor-in-chief.
The problem is, in short, that Initiative 502 combined with rules for getting a liquor permit don’t allow marijuana to be used or sampled the way High Times wants to run its show.
For one, if you have a liquor licenses no marijuana use is permitted at all. Secondly, our recreational marijuana laws don’t allow for sampling or selling marijuana outside of a licensed brick-and-mortar store. And, there’s no cannabis consumption on the store’s property.
So, even though High Times pot judging occurs in private the week before the cup event, attempting to find a venue that will allow consumption in private areas (as in years prior) and venders to showoff their goods has proved fruitless. In years past, marijuana growers and medical cooperatives openly sampled their goods at this event and others under the grey area of the former medical law. The same grey area responsible for all those green crosses sprouting up all over town.
I-502, along with its companion piece of legislation, SB 5052, collapses the medical marijuana market as we known it in Washington since the MMJ law was approved by voters back in 1998. It funnels all public marijuana related activities through the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB).
I-502’s restrictive rules doesn’t allow for selling marijuana outside of licensed, brick-and-mortar stores — and no sampling is allowed on the store’s property. Giving marijuana to anyone, anywhere, is prohibited, the infamous “pass a joint and break the law” part of I-502’s incredibly poorly written language.
“We’re trying to legitimize this industry with a trade show that is open to all people, so they can sample the best merchandize of the Washington area,” Skye said. “So, the people who are going to lose out are the Washington businesses. They did very well there last year, and we’re disappointed.
“It’s a shame because we had a great turn out last year and … as far as I can see the politicians and bureaucrats are completely screwing up your marijuana program there,” Skye said. “Taxes are out of control … and the black market is back.”