There is something lofting about the air in Arizona, no it’s not coyote scat, it’s the sweet aroma of maryjane. Since the state's implementation of their medicinal cannabis program, numerous eager opportunists are attempting to open toking lounges.
One successful entrepreneur is Bill Hayes; he is the proprietor of the newly opened Vapor Lounge. Bill has been gifted the unique business model via Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, that at least for now, permits his patrons to quasi-legally trade and consume cannabis on his premises.
The language of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act states that smoking cannabis in a “public place” is prohibited. Okay, so how is Hayes driving a semi-truck through this particular fragment of the Act? He claims the phrase “public place” has a little leeway in respect to how the Arizona Department of Public Health defines said phrase.
The Department designates a “public place” as being "any location, facility, or venue that is not intended for the regular exclusive use of an individual or a specific group of individuals."
Bill proclaims his lounge is intended for the exclusive use of a group of individuals, therefore his patrons can legally toke, toke it up, man. After a five dollar membership fee has been paid, lounge members are then able to rent smoking implements and exchange meds between one another.
To avoid being portrayed as a retail pot shop, instead of selling cannabis outright to patrons in need, Hayes’ members can purchase raffle tickets and as part of their ticket purchase receive “free” weed. The lounge holds an actual raffle once a week where high dollar prizes are awarded, including glass implements.
As long as the language of medical marijuana acts can be manipulated to benefit the opportunist, you can be assured they will find a way. I believe toking lounges should exist, but only if the law clearly defines the fact that businesses of this nature can legally operate without having to find a Catch 22.
Would you care to eradicate the misperception surrounding the medical cannabis industry and its laws? Then we need to legalize cannabis on a national level for medicinal, recreational and wellness purposes to avoid any confusion and Catch 22’s. Get involved on a local level and help bring an end to the confusion.
Pics via: Google Images