Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The First Cannabis Café published a fascinating article about the first medical marijuana restaurant in America.

On November 13, a clot of journalists stands in a hailstorm outside a Portland, Oregon, business called Rumpspankers Beyond Broth. We’re awaiting a press conference rechristening the business the Cannabis Café, the first restaurant where patients licensed by the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) can publicly use marijuana.

“Welcome to freedom!” says Madeline Martinez, all good cheer as she finally presents the café, a cavernous room of dinged-up furniture and paper lanterns. As the executive director of Oregon NORML, Martinez previously hosted bimonthly socials for marijuana patients in the ballroom above Rumpspankers, but a seven-day-a-week place to congregate and medicate? That is her dream come true.

It sounds like a wonderful idea. I would imagine some folks who require marijuana for their conditions also suffer from loneliness. Their caregivers could deliver them here once in a while.

But those who show up on Cannabis Café’s inaugural day seem relatively hale. A 20-year-old says he uses pot “because I tore a muscle in my hamstring.” A 48-year-old woman with fibromyalgia is here as much for the social aspect as for pain relief. “It’s really nice to know you’re not alone,” she says, smiling at a 39-year-old man with a pacemaker, who smiles back.

The only person not smiling is the one who appears the sickest. Outside, the hail has changed to rain, and at a table at the end of the stairwell sits a man, visibly ravaged by illness, thin and out of breath and leaning on a cane. He is looking at the line of people waiting to get in, nearly all of them young men, joking and laughing. Asked whether he wants some help up the stairs, he shakes his head, too weak to answer.

What's your opinion? Is this burgeoning movement going to be ruined by fakers like the guys on line for the first day's action? Should that ruin it? Would it be a bad thing if we allowed marijuana cafés like they do in Amsterdam?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. Would it be a bad thing if we allowed marijuana cafés like they do in Amsterdam

    No, not at all. In my experience marijuana is not a "gateway drug" and people who smoke aren't all uninspired losers.

    There's no doubt that it does have some very real benefits.

  2. I have to admit that I made pot brownies as a teen and was involved with a group of nurses in Ann Arbor, MI in the manufacture of strange green short bread cookies, but, I really have to draw the line at the corruption of cuisine by trying to somehow include cannabis as a special spice...I mean you can take this nouvelle cuisine thing only so far...

    I read the menu at the first Cannabis restaurant in Denver and was taken aback....
    Why don't you go to Barcelona where there is one of the most expensive restaurants in the world, where you can actually snort your appetizers?
    It reminds me of when smoking tobacco was first made illegal in NYC restaurants and a brilliant? chef? genius started featuring recipes that included expensive tobacco as a special "spice" with your foie gras etc etc.....
    He made a bundle, but as the place in Barcelona, it was a case of the emperors new clothes...
    Did it really taste good....?

    In Amsterdam, a marijuana cafe does not try to diguise the injestion of cannabis as a gourmet experience.
    You go to a Dutch pot house to smoke weed...
    But the super cannabis cocoa cups served by the Denver restaurant sound like a noble attempt to make it an enjoyable experience...
    I read that the owner is already in to the development of a mail order service when other states legalize medical marijuana....
    crikie, I think I'm having another back spasm again......

  3. I don't want any, but if someone else does, they should be able to . Having a vague medical prescription isn't ideal, but better than full illegality.