Without marijuana lounges or changes to the current laws, recreational customers may not have a place to consume legally.
Remember when people used to get all of the best channels with “black box” cable in the 90s? You could buy a box that bypassed your cable provider’s restrictions and receive all of the good channels for free. Sounds illegal right? Well buying the box was perfectly legal, but using it was not.
This same concept could apply to Los Angeles recreational marijuana sales. The city is one of the largest tourist destinations in the world and no one is expecting legal marijuana sales to turn off visitors. But there could be significant issues that arise from marijuana tourists coming to Los Angeles.
Visitors “can’t smoke it outside. Can’t smoke it in a hotel. Can’t smoke it in a rental car,” said George Boyadjian, president of 420 College according to the LA Times. “Where are these people supposed to use their cannabis?”
The problem of legalizing marijuana sales but providing no legal areas to consume it is not unique to Los Angeles. Nevada, Colorado, and Alaska are also facing the same issue and are all considering some type of designated consumption areas or lounges.
But there is a much bigger question to consider. Would we ever consider treating alcohol this way? Obviously not. Alcohol is allowed to be consumed in at home, in bars, at ball games, and many other public places. When are we going to accept the truth about what marijuana legalization is? If we legalize marijuana, as a majority of the country supports, then we need to expect that people are going to be using it. We need to stop treating marijuana customers as tax cash cows, only being given the right to purchase and generate tax dollars but not granted the right to consume without fear of breaking the law.