The legendary pot rating called the Cannabis Cup has somehow thrived on prohibition. Maybe because the ban was relatively simple.
The magazine High Times hosted the meeting every year for at least one US city, even though the leisure pot was illegal in all 50 states.
Local resistance was hardly an obstacle then. The Cup drew thousands into a Detroit jazz club in 2011, though suspicious police officers repeatedly invaded the
flash forward called "sealed drug tent" by the Detroit Free Press until 2018: Pot has been legalized nine states since, including California this year. You might think that the Cannabis Cup this weekend in San Bernardino, California, is a cigarette that you can remember.
It starts on Friday – 20.04., The high holiday for stoners – and the High Times estimates at least 20,000 Join the event to celebrate the newly discovered legitimacy of their drug while tasting gourmet grass, pet babies, get high on a Ferris wheel and Rick Ross and Lil Wayne perform on stage.
Well, that was the plan
Barely One day before the event started, the High Times event management was in a city that was perhaps the least mature when they were desperately trying to make the festival a confusing series new regulations that accompanied the pots reconcile legalization
and it has failed. After a nearly 45-minute debate on Wednesday, the San Bernardino City Council unanimously voted to deny marijuana permission to the Cannabis Cup – forcing him to start on Friday without drugs or to start at all.
The shock vote also indicates that the once underground pot movement, which has sustained the US cannabis culture through years of prohibition, could face even greater threats in the age of legalization.
"We want to learn how to handle these new rules and regulations" Times-Event Director Sameen Ahmad told the members of the San Bernardino Council at the beginning of Wednesday's session. "We're here for a very, very long time, we're a fellowship, just like you."
High Times, which once compared this newspaper to a "playboy for drugs and counterculture," launched the Cannabis Cup in the 1980s in Amsterdam – one of the few countries where it was largely legal. The magazine has held the event since 2010 in several US cities – occasionally postponed as the contest offended local laws or sensibilities.
The trophy was distributed in 2013 for example from Los Angeles and three years later from Denver – ironically, after Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize marijuana
"The event was tolerated for years as it served as a possibility against Federal laws protest, "Inc. said at the time. "But now that Colorado's legal market is entering its third year, state laws such as the ban on public consumption are being enforced."
San Bernardino became a reliable port for the trophy. The Washington Post's Marc Fisher, Marc Fisher, visited the event in 2014 when it was operating under California's medical marijuana laws, watching what looked less like a medical meeting than a long party.
"In the & # 39; medication area & # 39; of the largest country marijuana exhibition, scantily clad young women are issuing marshmallows that they have dipped in a lavish fountain with potty chocolate," Fisher wrote. "Everywhere, breeders lovingly explain the benefits of dozens of plant strains like Gorilla Glue, Silver Haze and Crystal Coma."
And so it went in San Bernardino year after year without major complaints. Until this year
In January, a proposal from 2016 finally came into force, with which recreational marijuana should be legalized throughout California.
With new freedoms, of course, came new rules and regulations – and a sort of Catch-22 for the High Times.
As stated at the meeting on Wednesday, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control will not approve a marijuana event, unless the local government grants the organizers a permit two months in advance.
But San Bernardino had no system issue marijuana permits until the beginning of April. The High Times, on the other hand, said she was confused by the new laws and was trying to bargain with the state outside the city.
That was Ahmad, the magazine's event director, standing before the council on Wednesday evening pleading for the last minute to push the contest – because several famous rappers and several thousand people were probably already on the road.
"We have come to nationally recognized acts, and that's all connected with [the] city of San Bernardino," she said. "It would be very unfair to all those people … being denied because a company comes to you to try and do the right thing."
But council members who appeared to have not been interviewed for a previous Cannabis Cup became increasingly hostile to the event as the meeting dragged on.
"Is it possible that this event will proceed illegally without our permission?" Asked Fred Shorett. "We should close it."
"Would we actually help, um, yes," Councilor John Valdivia said before he stopped. "How can we reconcile state law with approval processing?"
There were no good answers.
City officials had collaborated with the High Times since learning of the company's dilemma and proposed a sort of tape bid solution: San Bernardino could issue a medical marijuana permit for the Cannabis Cup and for every ticket sold make an extra charge to pay the police needed to guard the event.
But at the time, several council members were concerned about the adoption of a regulation that could collide with government regulations in the short term.
"I feel like she's getting us in the throat at the last minute," Virginia Marquez said.
"I'm sitting here and I'm asking for the law to break," added Bessine Richard.
Prior to the meeting, a High Times spokesman told NBC News he was awaiting special permission to drive through.
But at the end of the night, Ahmad Watch clearly worries Each council member had a reason to vote against them – from legal concerns to what a member called "crap to those present".
Only two spectators watched the meeting – one of them working in a U-Haul center across the street from the event, complaining that it was blocking the parking lot.
Ahmad tried one last time. She acknowledged that the High Times had misinterpreted the new laws, but implored the Council to reward its good intentions.
"There were events this year that did not get approval under the new law, which were not shut down," she said. "We are the first to ask you to do this right, we have done so for a long time, and we ask that you let us do this."
The Council voted 6 to 0 to approve the requested permit deny. One member asked if the trophy starting on Friday will be canceled.
She had no answer but seemed uncomfortable with the idea of a cannabis certificate without cannabis.
There are still tickets available from Friday on events that city officials have promised to shut down if somebody lights up the rules.
The Cannabis Cup FAQ says, "Our event follows California state regulations, so BYOB – Bring your own bud !!!"
"What can I bring to the event?" The FAQ asks aloud and then replies :
- Positive vibes
- Party Pants
- Dance shoes
"The show continues!" Promises a concert poster.
In a statement on Cannabis Now, the chief executive of the High Times published a vague statement about the future of marijuana.
new regulations of the cannabis world pose new hurdles to overcome.
Later, another company management published a long statement calling the decision of the San Bernardino City Council "deeply regrettable."
"High Times We have worked for years with city planners and San Bernardino executives, Brian Rucker, Senior Vice President of Events, said, "To make our annual Cannabis Cup one of the biggest legalization celebrations in the country."
The Cannabis Cup, he said, "has become a kable cultural celebration with amazing music, providers of one wide range of products, food and more. It is also an important boost to the economy of San Bernardino, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the country and beyond. "
But, Rucker continues," new laws and regulations affect the rights of trade and freedom of expression for these legitimate businesses and citizens. These new provisions are in stark contradiction to the will of the people, as confirmed by the full legalization of cannabis use and sale in 2016.
The Cannabis Cup will also be held on exhibition grounds under the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone – established regulations for the protection of agriculture and agriculture. These laws prevent local communities from blocking or hindering such gatherings.
Based on the agricultural incentive laws, we did not have urban jurisdiction until this week, as the city only passed an ordinance 8 days ago requiring a city permit. Given the 60 day lead time required for approval, the basis for refusing the application is placing our mark in an impossible place to meet all necessary requirements.
Rucker added, "High Times has a long history of order and security cultural celebrations that follow the law and allow citizens to exercise their rights." The 44-year-old magazine was the first to focus on the cannabis industry We've been concentrating and sponsoring cannabis-like events for almost as long – we'll continue to be a beacon of freedom and progress while respecting the laws of the State of California. "
And he swore," The Cannabis Cup will continue this weekend. As organizers, we will make it clear to sellers that they must continue to comply with applicable laws and regulations, and this event is about much more than just buying and selling marijuana, it celebrates the people, music and medicine that heal so many people that are part of a culture that unites millions, the movement will not be stopped. "
Cannabis Cup participants take 2014 samples of THC resin at a booth in San Bernardino (David Walter Banks for the Washington Post)