Cannabis users in Washington State have one less thing to look forward to this summer. High Times magazine has run into some trouble getting approval for their annual U.S. Cannabis Cup in Washington this year. Due to the stipulation that legal marijuana must be regulated and controlled by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, the event may not be occurring in the Evergreen State moving forward.
In the past, High Times was able to use medical marijuana regulations to more easily gain venue approval for the Cannabis Cup. Today, the Washington State Liquor Control Board is standing by wording in Initiative 502 that states that the substance cannot be used in public, which has made it impossible for High Times to hold their event in Seattle this year. In an email to Seattle PI, a state board representative explained:
“The law states that you cannot consume marijuana in public, and these events are, by definition, open to the public.”
Adding more confusion to the pot are a series of catch-22s that make it nearly impossible for organizations like High Times to establish cannabis-related events in Washington. For example, having a liquor license, even with no alcohol on site, automatically disqualifies marijuana use on the premises. Moreover, the law also restricts the selling and sampling of cannabis to licensed stores, and further complicates things by not allowing it to be consumed where it is being sold.
It is precisely because of this bureaucratic labyrinth established by Washington law in conjunction with the Washington State Liquor Control Board that High Times decided has to cancel its upcoming Cannabis Cup event in Seattle. David Skye, editor-in-chief of High Times reported,
“It got to the point where we cannot find a venue in Washington that will do it so we decided to go elsewhere…as far as I can see the politicians and bureaucrats are completely screwing up your marijuana program there.”
In the end, unless lawmakers have the drive to amend the law so public use of cannabis can be allowed under situations where alcohol, for example, could be sampled and consumed, High Times and other like organizations may have to move their events on to greener pastures.
photo credit: tokesignals