Dana Weihman (left) of Medible Edibles gets ready to hand out marijuana samples and edibles. The Analog Cafe & Theater has Free Marijuana Mondays every week with a different medical marijuana dispensary
There was no elbowing to get to the front of the table last night, where Dana Weihman was handing out free marijuana flowers and edibles. In the crush of bodies best described as friendly chaos, each recipient only had "Thank you" and "You're amazing" and hugs to give to Weihman, who delivered each package with a sweet smile.
Early sales of recreational marijuana start October 1, 2015, at medical marijuana dispensaries. In the meantime, people over 21 can consume marijuana, given to them or grown themselves, in private places.
There have been a couple other instances of publicized giveaways, but The Analog's will be held each and every Monday, sponsored by a medical marijuana dispensary.
Medible Edibles, one of Weihman's marijuana businesses, specializes in baked goods, such as Krispy Marsh-Mellow Treats and Chocolate Chip Bliss Cookies. Each serving contains roughly 25 mg of THC, the psychoactive part of marijuana. The packaging for each treat also lists the CBD (cannabidiol) level, which Weihman says is the pain-relieving part of the drug. She employs a professional chef and cook in an industrial kitchen.
The first 300 people or so last night received one marijuana edible and one half gram pouch of marijuana flower. Though some chose just one or the other. There is a 9:45 p.m. smaller giveaway and an 11:30 p.m. larger giveaway. All told, 500 marijuana edibles and 328 pouches were distributed as well as one raffle drawing held for a grand prize which was half ounce of Monkey Balls strain. Only 200 raffle tickets are given out.
Rife, the venue owner, says he doesn't partake in the drug himself and has never drunk alcohol. But, after spending his adult life in the music industry and touring internationally with Smoochknob, he knows he likes the mellow vibe of people smoking pot the best.
"It's about time they made (marijuana) legal," he says, adding that people need a forum where it's okay to discuss and share the drug.
For Rife it seems like a natural extension of the marijuana culture.
"It's a community that supports each other."
For the next few Mondays ten medical dispensaries will be setting up informational booths at The Analog every Free Marijuana Monday.
It seems Rife is filling a need. At the giveaway, a 34-year-old Portland man who wished to remain anonymous due to workplace concerns was seeking information on medical marijuana as a last ditch effort to soothe bulged disks in his lower back.
He says his doctor refused to prescribe more narcotic pills after the patient brought up the subject of medical marijuana. He had tried physical therapy and biofeedback with cortisone injections. Besides trying acupuncture next, he was at a loss to halt the physical anguish, which now leaves him bedridden and calling in sick to his job of nine years since being cut off from pharmaceuticals.
"I need another option. I'm willing to try anything as long as it's not illegal. I'll never be pain-free, but hopefully I can manage it better."
Colin Smith, who was also at The Analog last night and supportive of marijuana legalization, was bewildered.
"It's insane! The war on drugs is still going on, but Portland's in a bubble. Here, we have a predominantly white crowd giving away drugs. There are still people in East Portland hustling for this stuff."
And there were other attendees who felt no conflict at all.
Malloy Godfrey, of Portland, was there last night with a few friends. As he clutched his cookie, he grinned from ear to ear.
"There's something taking place here akin to San Francisco in the 60s or Seattle in the 90s. It's a movement."
Medible Edibles owner Weihman seems to be fulfilling a mission. Her mother found relief from medical marijuana while suffering from brain cancer. She died at age 57.
"If she had had (medical marijuana edibles), it would have been better than having her smoke it. I want to make stuff for mainstream people who are new to the industry. There's no place offering those aging something that can help terrible chronic conditions."
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