A Long Way Baby
A better example of how far marijuana law reform has come in the last decade would be hard to find then what transpired at the Chalice Cup Festival held this weekend at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville.
Hundreds of booths selling every kind of marijuana product imaginable – flowers, edibles, hash, tinctures, concentrates – still no suppositories though. Consumption was rampant – people smoking, vaporizing, eating and dabbing everywhere.
Every kind of smoking accessory was available as well vendors selling the big stuff – CO2 extractors, resin presses and more. One would think it was all perfectly legal – which it is not of course but it sure seemed to be what with San Bernardino Co. Sheriff officers amiably strolling through the aisles where all this was going on.
I spoke with one as he walked past our booth with a big smile on his face waving as he strolled by. I asked him if he was having a good time and he said he most certainly was. I asked if it was OK for him to have a good time here while on duty and he replied it most certainly was and he was looking forward to hearing the Wu Tang Clan in concert that evening.
Festivals like the Chalice Cup are technically illegal as no one is licensed by anyone to sell anything. Unlike the food purveyors in their food trucks at the Chalice Cup most of the marijuana sellers at the Chalice Cup are not licensed where they are located and none of them are licensed in San Bernardino County because San Bernardino County doesn’t issue any licenses.
It’s kind of like the Gun Control Act gun show loophole that allows unlicensed dealers to sell any and all kinds of guns to individuals without any background checks or fulfilling any registration requirements. I guess what happens at the Chalice Cup and all the cannabis festivals is a kind of Marijuana Show Loophole from licensing and retailing requirements that would be required just about everywhere else.
Of course there is another big difference – gun shows sells things that are specifically made for killing living organisms such as people. Marijuana doesn’t kill anyone – in fact it might make a person less likely to kill someone with a gun. Maybe there should be a requirement that all gun owners must also possess a medical marijuana recommendation.
Getting back to reality, marijuana festivals could be in for a rude awakening when California’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) goes into effect in 2017. It is problematic whether these festivals can continue as there is no license for a medical marijuana festival nor is there any specific authority for local governments to allow such festivals.
Unlike MMRSA, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) initiative specifically allows local governments to permit on-site consumption. Whether that can be so broadly interpreted as to allow for these anything goes marijuana festivals remains to be seen.
Most likely either under MMRSA or AUMA, if a local government wants to charge an outrageous fee for a permit to hold a marijuana festival with laissez fair controls on the sales and consumption of marijuana, it is unlikely that the state will intervene to prevent it. This is especially true since the Riverside Decision and the newly acquired undying reverence state government seems to have towards local government authority when it comes to marijuana.
Local government may even score a new source of revenue by requiring all the vendors who want to sell marijuana at the licensed festival to obtain temporary licenses. Maybe the state could jump on this money bandwagon too and require all the vendors to obtain a temporary state license as well.
It is interesting to note that there are so many of these festivals going on that for many vendors it is a full time mmj circuit as they go from mj festival to mj festival in their fancy RVs – much like the vendors who are on the Native American art show or gem and mineral show circuits. Although the state and local governments don’t issue licenses to sell rocks at those shows, there will be probably be an annual mj festival license issued by the state. Come on – stranger things have happened.
Tens of thousands attended the Chalice Cup and most were under 30 – it was definitely a Millennials party. There was hardly anyone there over 40, let alone my age and I was probably the oldest person there. The only time I saw anyone I suspected of being around my age was at the Wu Tang Clan concert when this elderly gentleman came up to where I was and stood there for a while. I think he might have thought it was the senior citizen section.
For those of us who grew up during the worst excesses of reefer madness, to see and participate in an event like the Chalice Cup is nothing short of one of the most extraordinary experiences of life. If you have not been to one of these events, it definitely has to be added to your bucket list. I think I will contact some of the upcoming marijuana festival sponsors and suggest that they have a discount for Senior Citizens.
I have often noted that our meetings are like Senior Citizen meetings with the total lack of any young people. Maybe if more of us went to their events, maybe they would come to ours.
In conclusion on my day at the Chalice Cup, I would like to note that several studies have recently documented that people who use marijuana weigh less, have a lower BMI and a smaller waist than people who do not use marijuana. This was certainly evident in the young people attending the Chalice Cup. Although slightly under one-third of Americans under the age of 30 are considered obese or overweight, I would venture to guess not more than 10% of the people at the Chalice Cup would qualify in either category. They were over-whelmingly a well-proportioned crowd exhibiting all the vim and vigor characteristic of healthy young adult mammals.
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