Eureka, California approves on-site cannabis consumption facilities

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Cannabis continues to dig deeper into the Northern California landscape

The Eureka City Council held a meeting this past Tuesday to discuss several issues. On tap were marijuana-related topics such as a moratorium on digital signs and public banking options. Most notably, the Council opened the floor to consumption facilities within city limits, ultimately agreeing that they should be allowed.

The on-site cannabis facilities would be similar to bars, where patrons can purchase and consume cannabis. Previous meetings on the subject have brought a lot of complaints, most notably related to how allowing public consumption could lead to more cases of driving while impaired. However, just as liquor and beer are legal to be consumed in public with the applicable restrictions, the same can be offered to the marijuana community.

There still needs to be more discussion on the subject to iron out the details. As Rob Holmlund, Community Development Director for the city, pointed out, “We’re allowing them to begin the marathon. There’s still an awful lot of permitting and approval before people can begin operating.”

The meeting lasted for more than four hours and received a significant amount of input from area residents. As usual, marijuana opponents tried to use arguments against the drug’s acceptance that have already been debunked.

One said, “[A] lot of people don’t realize that marijuana is a deadly substance” and that “marijuana smoke is the same as environmental tobacco smoke or worse.” What the person fails to realize is that anything, when taken to an extreme, can be a “deadly substance.” Just like with tobacco cigarettes, marijuana cigarettes can be restricted to only certain areas.

Councilman Austin Allison didn’t buy the arguments. Based on common sense and the myriad of information readily available to the public, he countered, “At the end of the day, I think it’s really interesting that we draw such a tight grasp over cannabis being dangerous when there’s [sic] so many places to purchase and consume alcohol … with much greater risks for health and to others. I don’t know why ‘reefer madness’ still subsists.”

The Council ultimately agreed unanimously to allow the on-site facilities.

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