NORML SHOW LIVE report from Oregon NORML’s Cannabis Café [Update]

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator November 16, 2009
    Show 011 This Saturday, 9pm Eastern / 6pm Pacific

    Show 012 This Saturday, 9pm Eastern / 6pm Pacific

    My deepest apologies to those of you who tried listening last Saturday to Show 011, the Grand Opening of the Oregon NORML Cannabis Café.  We were beset by technical difficulties and could not complete the show.

    I will solve the technical issues and return this weekend to Oregon’s first Cannabis Café.  Oregon’s law does not allow for marijuana sales, but does allow patients to medicate “out of public view”.  Any cardholder may freely exchange medicine with any other.  So Madeline Martinez and Oregon NORML have created a private, members-only club for the social benefit of medical marijuana patients.

    However, this is not a medical marijuana dispensary with a café; this is a café for medical marijuana patients.  Patients can visit the smoke-free vapor bar where a budtender will load up one of six Volcano Vaporizers, fill the bag with the vapor of any one of more than twenty of the strains available, and cap it with a sterilized mouthpiece.  Others bring their own pipes or papers and request a small ceramic bowl filled with their choice of freshly-ground cannabis strain and roll a joint as they play pool or smoke a bowl as they join in a card game.  All sorts of café food and drink are available, though not alcoholic beverages (the owner surrendered his liquor license rather than fight with the commission over the use of cannabis in the café.)  Many have questioned how this café can operate due to Oregon’s smoke-free laws, but the actual statutes in question specifically reference “tobacco smoke”.  Thus, no tobacco smoking is allowed in the café.

    Most amazingly, all the cannabis is provided free through the donations of local area medical marijuana growers.  Oregon’s law provides for six mature plants, eighteen seedlings, but only twenty-four ounces of dried, cured marijuana.  I say “only” and people’s jaws drop, wishing they could possess 24 grams, much less a pound and a half of marijuana.  But that works out to four ounces per mature plant, which some growers are able to surpass, so they donate their excess to Oregon NORML for distribution to patients.  In fact, on the day of the Grand Opening, the café had more marijuana at the end of the day then they had started with, thanks to generous donations.

    While I attended on Saturday night, two officers from the Portland Police Bureau stopped by to investigate the operations.  They were very friendly and just wanted to know where the medicating was taking place and how Oregon NORML was controlling the situation.  They were pleased to learn how relentlessly ID’s and medical cards were being checked and that the front entrance was closed as a measure to help control the smell from permeating the public area.  The police let everyone know that they had no intention of harassing the club or its patrons and that absent any complaints from neighbors the Cannabis Café would be free to operate.

    Annual membership in Oregon NORML is required, since it is a private club, as well as monthly club dues, which go to support Oregon NORML’s lobbying and outreach efforts and pay the overhead of running the club, respectively.  This Saturday, November 21, we’ll return to the café and speak to Madeline Martinez and these patients and hear their medical marijuana stories, as well as taking questions about the café from the live audience and our callers.  It’s live talk radio from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Hosted by “Radical” Russ Belville, NORML SHOW LIVE features a recap of the week’s top stories in medical marijuana, consumer cannabis, and industrial hemp; interviews with the top cannabis activists, politicians, scientists, doctors, actors, musicians, and comedians; and your calls live at 347-994-1810.  Join us every Saturday Night, live, at http://live.norml.org from 9-11pm Eastern / 6-8pm Pacific.

    41 responses to “NORML SHOW LIVE report from Oregon NORML’s Cannabis Café [Update]”

    1. Tim says:

      All I hear is medical this medical that. I want some legalization for those of use who don’t have or need medical permits.

    2. samson says:

      Arizona blows….and I wish I could move to OREGON.
      But, chin up. Just like a smoke session procedes one bowl at a time;….Legalization too, will procede. One state at a time.

    3. James Crosby says:

      I am a proud resident of Oregon. I hope that both Oregon NORML, as well as the cannabis movement in Oregon in general continues to grow quickly. Our state is in one of the worst financial crisis’ in the nation as detailed here:


      We need cannabis & hemp to salvage our State economy, and bring jobs to Oregon. This is a small step in the right direction, and will help to shape people’s opinion of cannabis; to that of a more positive one.

      Legalize cannabis in Oregon in order to help salvage our State from a horrible financial crisis, and lead the way in hemp use.

      Also, here is something else to read about:


    4. Rick says:

      #1 tim. i agree. i am healthy and just want an occasional buzz. i find alcohol distasteful (literally and figuratively).

    5. CKDK29 says:

      #1 im with u on that one

    6. AARON ASHTON says:

      I think this is a step in the right direction one state at a time.I live in Boise ID and i am surouned by states that have medical witch i would love to see this great state that i live in make the same changes that or surounding state have made. This is a great time in or history and i am proud to be here to witness it all happening. ONE LOVE.

    7. No Driving says:

      I hope all in attendance that will be medicating will set a good NORML example and follow NORML’s recommendations for responsible adult use and transportation is organized for those who should not be driving. If I were a cop, and didn’t like marijuana, I’d certainly be camped out waiting for people to pull over and harass. Be safe and have fun in OR!

    8. Cafe hopeful says:

      This is great. If The Cannibus Cafe is a success and nothing ‘bad’ happens (which it won’t), then the rest of the country will be able to see that cannibus cafes and coffee houses are akin to, and certainly safer than traditional bars that serve alcohol. This in turn will help those who are still dazed and confused by Reefer Madness to see that cannibus is perfectly acceptable and should be embraced by society at large, both as a medicinal and recreational miracle, and as a sure fire way to help our economy. Good luck to the proud owners of The Cannibus Cafe!!!

    9. Legalization is coming .

      This year in Cali i have seen 3 (three)_ liquor stores fold up and close its doors . I have talked with a delivery man for Budweiser and he loudly told me himself ” ohnh yeah ! beer sales are wayyyyyyyyy down & I’m not making the deliveries i used to make ” .The first vaporizor lounge for cannabis opens in , Oregon .

      The taxes States used to make off of Alcohol sales are being diverted to Cannabis sales . People are getting smarter . They are choosing Marijuana with zero calories & no side effects as the healthier & smarter alternative to Liquor .

      …………Change is coming .

    10. CannabisTV says:

      Great to see the progress being made here on the West Coast. Share this information with friends and family. Have them check out CannabisPlanet and CannabisTV.org