public cannabis consumption
public cannabis consumption

Should the Public Consumption of Cannabis Be Legalized Nationally?

Fire up a joint or take a bong hit should be legal in public, no?

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Saturday Dec 8, 2018

Should The Public Consumption Of Cannabis Be Legalized Nationwide?


More than half of the United States has already legalized access to cannabis in one way or another – for medicinal or recreational purposes.

Despite this, the laws surrounding public consumption are archaic at best in a good deal of US states. This is especially important for medical cannabis users, who in many cases have a need to medicate anytime, anywhere, especially when chronic pain strikes. On the other hand, it can also be argued that recreational cannabis users should be given the right to enjoy their legal herb in public areas. However, getting caught using pot in various forms in public can have serious repercussions. We’re talking several years in jail, although in some instances you may be able to get away with small fines.


But the main issue with public consumption laws is that even if cannabis is legal, you’re still considered a criminal if you decide to smoke in many other places outside your very own bedroom.


More importantly, it has created a double standard because whereas alcohol and tobacco are allowed so much more liberally than cannabis, the former substances are deadly while cannabis is not. For example, to buy a pack of cigarettes from a neighborhood convenience store will require you to show proof that you’re at least 18 years old, at the very least. Once you’ve gotten through this VERY minor hurdle, you can smoke said cigarettes right outside the store. A significant number of watering holes, bars, cafes, and restaurants also allow you to smoke tobacco products inside their establishments.


It likely has a lot to do with the fact that cannabis is, generally speaking, much newer than tobacco and alcohol. We are still working on eliminating the stigma associated with using it as a medicine, which is the priority, and perhaps consuming it in public will follow. The legal cannabis industry is also still very young, despite it being worth billions of dollars. It wouldn’t seem feasible for cannabis to ever be allowed to be smoked just about wherever, but a reasonable regulation, such as 20 meters away from the entrance of establishments, or from schools, seems like a sensible way to move forward. Besides, a reasonable public consumption law is really the only way to go. Can we really afford to use up police resources for these “crimes”, which are really much more of an annoyance? The authorities are better off handling tackling more important issues such as the opioid crisis, and gun control.


Although city councils are working on public consumption issues, it’s a concern that’s been placed on the back burner. It could be a matter of time, but it doesn’t seem too far off.


Cannabis Lounges: The Next Best Thing?


While it can only be hopeful to want to smoke cannabis the way we can consume liquor, at the very least, if not tobacco, at least cannabis social lounges are making some headway in the country.


Cannabis consumption lounges, also known as cannabis clubs, come in many shapes, sizes, and forms. Some of them have the same lively ambiance that a karaoke lounge does, while others are more discreet and laid-back, like a yoga studio. These venues are great for tourists too, especially for adults traveling to other states where it’s legal, or those who are actually traveling for the pot. Given that hotels and accommodation rentals generally don’t permit cannabis consumption on-site unless you’re in a more progressive city like Denver or San Francisco, cannabis lounges may be the next big thing.


The main benefits of spreading the establishment of cannabis clubs is that they do keep pot consumption out of public view while providing residents and tourists with a legal place to consume cannabis.


You can help improve access to social consumption in your city by joining groups or campaigns that fight for this cause. Just as importantly, get in touch with your officials. Without legalization, social use venues won’t happen – what more public consumption.


Cannabis reform has improved significantly in the last two years alone, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.


Do you think public consumption of cannabis should be legalized? Should it be regulated just like alcohol and tobacco?

Should the Public Consumption of Marijuana be Nationally Legal? from CannabisNet on Vimeo.






smoking weed in public should be permitted


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