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No smoking: Marijuana convention, and 7,000 guests, won’t be coming to Tacoma

Post by C.R. Roberts / The News Tribune on May 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
May 2, 2013 3:54 pm

You can bring your cannabis convention to Tacoma, but don’t go trying to smoke anything.

The national magazine High Times, known for its promotion of cannabis, recently applied to sponsor a gathering at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center, which is located in Tacoma, where smoking is not allowed in public places, so, well, sorry.

We like that you’re knocking, but you can’t come in.

The convention would have welcomed some 7,000 people, some of whom would have stayed in hotels and many of whom would have bought food, for instance, thereby helping to nourish the convention’s center’s mission of bringing outside money into town.

But because no one could smoke, the deal’s off.

“We’ve been talking to them about the event,” said Kim Bedier, director of public facilities for the city. “We cannot accommodate them at this time.”

Which is not to say that High Times is unwelcome.

“We’d love to have them,” Bedier said Thursday. “If we could accommodate them, we would. We’re still looking to find them a site.”

Bedier won’t have much luck trying to suggest the alternative of any park within the Metropolitan Park District portfolio, where no smoking is allowed, and that means Wright Park, Point Defiance or Titlow Beach, among others, where it is unlawful ”to light cigars, cigarettes, tobacco or other smoking material within a park.”

Same goes for Pierce County Parks. Same goes, essentially, for any public space in the county.

“We have a ban on smoking in public places. That applies to smoking of any kind, including places where employees would be exposed to smoke,” said Edie Jeffers, communications manager at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
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So don’t expect to visit the High Tines Cannabis Cup competition when it comes to Tacoma in September. It probably won’t.

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