First US Marijuana Cafe Opens in Portland

The United States' first marijuana cafe opened on Friday, posing an early test of the Obama administration's move to relax policing of medical use of the drug.

The Cannabis Cafe in Portland, Oregon, is the first to give certified medical marijuana users a place to get hold of the drug and smoke it -- as long as they are out of public view -- despite a federal ban.

"This club represents personal freedom, finally, for our members," said Madeline Martinez, Oregon's executive director of NORML, a group pushing for marijuana legalization.

"Our plans go beyond serving food and marijuana," said Martinez. "We hope to have classes, seminars, even a Cannabis Community College, based here to help people learn about growing and other uses for cannabis," Reuters informs.

NORML executive director Madeline Martinez called marijuana "the safest medicine known to mankind" and said she expected up to 300 people until 10pm tonight. Seven people will be checking the doors to make sure all patrons are Oregon NORML and Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cardholders. Café workers also hold cards.

“We’re never going to stop,” Martinez said. She says the Rumpspanker’s space has surrendered its liquor license to avoid problems with the OLCC. Rumpspankers will keep conjuring cookies and scones. But now mostly volcanoes, a vaporization method of marijuana intake, adorn the flat surfaces of the café, Willamette Week informs.

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