Prohibition Smohibition: Portland’s First Week of Recreational!

It’s almost the end of the first week of July, and I’ve ushered in the end of cannabis prohibition with two amazing events. You probably heard the murmurs of the “free weed” given out on June 30th on the Burnside Bridge. On Tuesday night, I found myself walking up to a disorganized crowd of very happy people. I myself was not given any free weed, nor did I witness any handing out of any. Did that mean it didn’t happen? Absolutely not: but people were happy no matter what.

The bridge was essentially shut down. In typical stoner fashion, we made an attempt to countdown to July 1st, but no one was on the same second. I could tell we had reached midnight, however, when smoke puffs floated out of the crowd. A man dressed as Abe Lincoln was walking around taking photos with people, and any preconceived notions of what a stoner looks like flew out the window. If you were only at the “Burnside Burn” to get free weed, you would have been sorely disappointed. It was about much more than that: strangers getting together and celebrating this new and exciting freedom.

Burnside Bridge recreational marijuana celebration Portland

As fun as the Burnside Burn was, it did have an air of chaos. Weed the People, however? An organized once-in-a-lifetime event from 2-9pm on July 3rd. My friend and I arrived to the venue, MCF Craft Brewing Systems, at what I expected to be on the later side of early – around 12:45pm. At that point, only around 50 people were there. I was asking myself, “what exactly will this be?” With the sun beating down on us, it felt like 2pm would never arrive. As more and more people arrived, it became clear that we had made a good call on showing up when we had.

By the time the line started to move, my anticipation was through the roof. The line had grown from the measly 50 people to almost three blocks around. At 2:20pm, we were inside. The first thousand people at the (sold-out) event received goodie bags containing some essentials like a water bottle, sunglasses, Raw papers, and more. This baggy proved to be our savior as we navigated through this carnival for grown-ups.

Weed the People marijuana celebration Portland Oregon

We got in line for the “Grower’s Garden,” where you could choose up to 7 samples. There were booths for everyone: the marketed farm that had all their bases covered (smelling samples were surprisingly hard to come by), the mom and pop farm that only one down-to-earth person was representing, the ones that wanted to talk about their high percentages, etc. This was perfect for the diverse crowd, and I felt that there was definitely something for everyone.

Other areas included awesome vendors and industry leaders. OG Analytical had a booth with plenty of pamphlets and information for those curious about testing cannabis. There were some crafts booths for the retail shopper – it was hard to resist buying some roach clip jewelry from the High Society Collection. Good food (thanks Roman Candle) and water were aplenty. The vaporizer lounge, where you could test Firefly, Herbalizer, and VapeXhale vaporizers, was located underneath an awning in the outside section. My schedule unfortunately did not allow for me to partake in this aspect of the event, but I witnessed some amazing customer service and satisfaction.

Weed the People cannabis legalization event Portland

We left Weed the People after about an hour and 45 minutes. I would have loved to have had more time to partake in the smoking aspect of the convention, as well as meeting all the vendors. When we left, though? It was clear to see that the line would be perpetually around the block until Weed the People ended. While I wanted to stay and take my time, it was hard to justify when fellow stoners were baking out in the sun, awaiting their turn to, well, bake in the sun. Feeling rejuvenated from the good vibes, we went home happy with our professional samples in tow!

UPDATE:

Samantha Webster was in attendance, representing Washington State behemoth growers, Liberty Reach.

Rule #1 of Weed Club. Got a chance at a cheesy fun photo-op? Then don’t miss cheesy fun photo-op. And yes, those are unicorn silhouettes in the foreground.

Samantha-Webster-room-mate-weed-the-people-Ganja-Goddess

Weed the People

Photo Credit: Samantha Webster, Liberty Reach

 

Photo Credit: Samantha Webster, Liberty Reach

Photo Credit: Samantha Webster, Liberty Reach

 

This first week of recreational marijuana has been a dream. There has been a weight lifted off the shoulders of recreational users, and it feels particularly good at events like the Burnside Burn and Weed the People. Now that it’s all said and done, I cannot wait to see what else Oregon has in store for us. The future feels a little lighter now.

UPDATE:

Mary Jane’s House of glass is one of the premier headshops around the Pacific Northwest. Mary Jane’s was started in 2000, when mastermind Mary Jane got herself a lease and over time became an established headshop. Because of this, Mary Jane and her family have built lasting relationships with some key names in the industry.

Yesterday, I woke up entirely unawares of the amazing events that Mary Jane’s House of Glass was hosting. On the 4th, in Tacoma, WA, and on the 5th, in Tualatin, OR, Tommy Chong was taking fan photos and giving autographs. You read that right, folks. Tommy freakin’ Chong! It was $40 for a “framed” photo, and he’d autograph pretty much anything you brought up there. One lucky stoner brought his Fender Stratocaster, others had glass in tow, ready with their sharpies. This last month, Chong revealed that he’s been battling cancer once more. To see him on the 5th, doing this for us and for Mary Jane’s, was truly an honor.

Tommy Chong Portland Oregon

And just in case you didn’t want to pay the $40, Mary Jane’s put on some wonderful non-Chong related activities. There was awesome live music being played, and glass blowing demonstrations by Goliath Glass, Bowman Glass, and Kush Unltd Inc. By being such a customer-service based chain, Mary Jane’s House of Glass earned its reputation over the years. Thanks to them, we’re able to see things like extremely talented glassblowers and true heroes of the cannabis world like Tommy Chong.