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Marijuana lounges could come to Oregon

Central Oregonians split on proposed bill

Pot lounges could come to Oregon

BEND, Ore. - You've seen hookah and cigar lounges, but did you ever think you'd see marijuana lounges?

Oregon Senate Bill 307 would make it legal to smoke marijuana at temporary events. That's the language used in the bill, but it boils down to this -- the pot lounges that you hear about in places like Amsterdam would be legal here, too.

A pediatrician who spoke to NewsChannel 21 Tuesday on behalf of the Oregon Pediatric Society brought up another piece of legislation he thinks the new bill would undermine.

"It weakens the Clean Air Act," Benjamin Hoffman said. "Which is a really essential component in reducing exposure to secondhand smoke."

Hoffman added that the Indoor Clean Air Act has been effective in deterring young people from using tobacco products.

Hoffman also pointed to social norms as a key reason to oppose the bill.

"Social norms around smoking have changed significantly," he said. "By providing an exemption for marijuana at special events, we undermine all of the efforts that we've undertaken."

Central Oregonians we talked to were split on the idea of cannabis lounges.

"I'm not sure that having pot lounges is going to really promote the use of pot for health reasons," one Bend man said.

But a Bend woman said, "Sooner or later, I think that we'll have pot lounges.I know in other countries it works out okay. I think we'll manage, I think we'll be fine. I'm not too worried about it."

A student under 21, so not yet legally allowed to smoke marijuana, said, "I think personally, it's good to get people used to it, because it's going to happen.It's growing so fast."

The bill, if passed, would take effect on Jan. 1, of next year.

What do you think? It's the topic of Tuesday's KTVZ.COM Poll, which you can find halfway down the right side of our home page.

Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Revenue said Tuesday it received $5.3 million in marijuana tax payments last month, pushing the total received to $65.4 million, More marijuana tax data is available at www.oregon.gov/dor/stats


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