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San Francisco’s main cannabis lounge closed (for now)

By Oscar Pascual |

San Francisco’s main cannabis users’ den is going smoke-free, for now.

After years of providing locals with comforting environs to smoke medical marijuana at their leisure, the Green Door Dispensary’s Lounge 8four7 has now declared that they will be temporarily medication-free, reports the East Bay Express.

“We are sorry to announce that Lounge8four7 is temporarily closed to medicating,” said the Green Door in the dispensary’s email newsletter. “We are undergoing a new permitting process and plan to re-open the Lounge for medicating in the very near future. For the time being the Lounge will remain open if you just need a place to relax. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.”

The Express reports that the closure falls closely in line with the rest of the country’s struggle to define places where cannabis use can take place, as state-level legalization spreads to the majority of the U.S.

While smoking medical marijuana is permitted in private households, users living in apartments or condos can still face discrimination. Smoking in public places such as parks or sidewalks remains prohibited, while health officials have deemed bars and private businesses to be “public” places as well.

The Brookings Institute’s John Hudak found that such laws have created situations where users can accidentally overdose on edibles at home or in a hotel room rather than risk smoking illegally in public.

California lawmakers should look to Alaska as an example, as the city of Anchorage approved an amendment providing exceptions for smoking lounges in establishments with city permits.

“It’s essential that there be legal premises for consumers to use cannabis,” said Dale Gieringer, spokesperson for California NORML, in a February interview with the Leaf Online. “We regard it as part of the fundamental right of freedom to associate.”

Photo credit: GreenDoorSF.com