Marijuana Legalization Still Doesn’t Apply at Coachella—Here’s the Workaround

Photo by RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images

The world-famous Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is a drug-free zone. Wipe that smirk off your painted face—at least try; sit down in the chill-out tent and have a drink of water first, if you must—because it is, really.

This applies to legal drugs like medical and recreational cannabis. The festival has declared itself off-limits to marijuana for years, and this hasn’t changed.

“Sorry bro,” the Coachella website explains, using the language of the people to get its point across. “Medical marijuana cards are not valid at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Even in 2017 and beyond.”

Lest you think this is a big joke, last year, 143 people were arrested for drug-related charges at the festival, including marijuana possession, according to the Desert Sun. While possession isn’t a crime anymore, it can still get you kicked out of the fest—and for some people, having your wristband cut off early on the first day may be a punishment worse than arrest and citation.

All this creates the perfect opportunity for the weed-minded go-getter.

And as TMZ reported, Weedmaps is that entrepreneurial-minded entrepreneur. The “Google Maps of Pot” plans to set up an “oasis for marijuana lovers” within easy driving distance of the main festival grounds.

According to the masters of tabloid dish, Weedmaps and an outfit called Talent Resources are building a “VIP compound” for cannabis consumers. There will be “two grow houses, a greenhouse and five geodesic domes to test different strains.” As if that weren’t exciting enough, there will also be “budologists” handy to “make recommendations.”

The attraction here, of course, is that marijuana is now legal for all adults 21 and over in California. While the only legal sales are still at medical marijuana dispensaries, in theory limited to only California residents, there is nothing stopping an out-of-stater from receiving marijuana—as in like a gift. Whether that will apply to a VIP-type situation, Weedmaps apparently intends to find out.

Let us just point one thing out: This weed oasis in the desert is a cool six miles from the festival—and driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal. Believe that cops are well aware of that prohibition and are also aware of the oasis. Lucky for you, Uber and Lyft will be available for very important pot people at a wholly unreasonable price.

(By the way, if you’re a white person, please think twice about applying “tribal” facepaint and wearing a Native headdress. And then after you ponder it, don’t do it.)

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