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Pot advocates in Oregon call for ‘common consumption spaces’

A number of issues related to the public health sector are likely to crop up in regards to Sen. Frederick's bill to permit public cannabis consumption in Oregon

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Oregon’s cannabis laws seem to have a loophole in them. There is nothing to specify the rules on cannabis consumption spaces in Oregon.

This is what legal cannabis advocates are saying. Although cannabis consumption is legal under certain regulations, there is currently no law in place that enables consumers to safely and legally use weed in public.

Oregon Sen. Lew Frederick and the co-founders of Portland’s New Revenue Coalition are pushing for the creation of “common consumption spaces” for cannabis in Oregon.

“We’ve been fighting for the same rights that breweries and wineries have had for a long time,” said the co-founder, Sam Chapman.

Cannabis consumption spaces in Oregon could create business opportunities believes that cannabis consumption spaces in Oregon can be introduced by means of various strategies.

Some examples that he thinks might work include developing social cannabis spaces, designating consumption spaces inside the premises of licensed weed retailers, or permitting legal cannabis consumption at farm tour experiences.

By introducing more cannabis consumption spaces in Oregon, Chapman says that the tourism economy will be amplified. Moreover, the co-founder of Portland’s New Revenue Coalition says that it would broaden business opportunities and ensure cannabis consumers who rent properties will be treated more equally.

“If you’ve ever read the details of your lease agreement, chances are there’s a no-smoking clause in there,” Chapman said. “And that really disproportionately affects people who don’t own their homes, people of lower economic status and people of color.”

The upcoming legislative session in January of 2019 will see Sen. Lew Frederick put forth a bill to develop “common consumption” spaces in Oregon. In the event that Sen. Frederick’s bill is not passed, supporters of legal weed will likely take it to the 2020 ballot.

“This is an industry that is an industry in Oregon, and trying to ignore it or say we’re going to backtrack on things doesn’t work,” said Sen. Frederick. “We have people coming to the state to tour marijuana sites in the same way they’re touring vineyards at this point. We’ve got to recognize that’s where we are and work with it.”

Co-founders of Portland coalition have considered public cannabis consumption issues

A number of issues related to the public health sector are likely to crop up in regards to Sen. Frederick’s bill to permit public cannabis consumption in Oregon.

He and Chapman are aware of certain reservations pertaining to the protection of children from cannabis exposure and second-hand cannabis consumption in public spaces.

“To be clear, we are not advocating for any type of public consumption,” explained Chapman. “This would be what we call common cannabis consumption, it would be in private, it would be out of view of the public. It would allow people to have additional options other than their car or a park or a sidewalk, which is where the majority of cannabis consumption is happening now.”

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Pot advocates in Oregon call for ‘common consumption spaces’