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Seattle Attorney Proposes Vapor Lounges and Home Grows

Photo by Felix Tsao


Seattle Attorney Proposes Vapor Lounges and Home Grows

A new proposal issued by an attorney in Washington may change some of the regulations initially put in place for the state. The 20-page memo released earlier this week by Seattle attorney Pete Holmes, the prime sponsor for Initiative 502, is looking to amend policies that prohibit residents from growing cannabis in their homes. He also wants to offer vapor lounges to residents and merge “unregulated medical cannabis dispensaries into the new state recreational system.”

Although current legislation allows people to legally smoke and consume cannabis, stringent rules severely limit where people are legally allowed to do those things. Like other states with medical or recreational marijuana programs, using cannabis in public is strictly prohibited. Whereas homeowners have a legally-permitted place to smoke, tourists, renters, condominium owners whose buildings don’t allow marijuana use and homeless people don’t have the same options. This puts them in a position where it’s legal to smoke but they have no where to smoke, creating a catch-22 for residents just trying to follow the law.

“You can enforce that law much better if you, at the same time, provide an outlet for that demand,” Holmes said.

His proposal was strategically distributed before the legislative session began, giving officials time to consider some of the points he is advocating. Before any of the suggested changes can go into effect, the specifics must be discussed and approved by the city council, Though it may seem like a slight impossibility, there could be a chance that Holmes’ recommendations are implemented in the future. Councilmember Sally Clark offers a glimpse of hope into the matter.

“I read through the city attorney’s memo just today and haven’t had a chance to talk with him about the details, but I’m open to the concept. We’ve talked for a while about the challenge of legal consumption of marijuana if you’re a renter and your landlord prohibits pot on the premises. A pretty big chunk of the city is cut out if you allow only people who own their own homes to consume marijuana legally,” she said.

“You can enforce that law much better if you, at the same time, provide an outlet for that demand,” Holmes said.

Reports reveal that Ed Murray, Seattle’s Mayor, released an encouraging statement on the matter where he showed support for what he called “marijuana use lounges” as places for people vape and enjoy cannabis-infused edibles. He’s working with councilmember Nick Licata on policies to permit the lounges that would provide place for visitors and residents whose buildings don’t allow cannabis use. Patrons would still not be allowed to smoke as indoor smoking is currently prohibited under state regulations.

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