Although California officially launched its recreational marijuana sector at the beginning of 2018, creating the most mammoth statewide cannabis market in the nation, organizers with the infamous Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival are still refusing to let adults get stoned at the event – even if it does fall on 4/20 this year.
It was recently revealed that the Coachella festival is once again banning the possession and consumption of all things marijuana when it opens the gates to its popular concert event in April. The event website explicitly states that, “Marijuana or marijuana products aren’t allowed inside the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Even in 2018 and beyond.”
But try not to get too upset about this ridiculous policy, as it is nothing new.
Ever since Coachella began hosting some of the largest names in the music industry almost two decades ago, organizers have never given people the green light to smoke grass freely on the premises. Not even medical marijuana patients have been allowed entry with their stash.
But that was before the Golden State voters took a stand against pot prohibition in the 2016 election. Now, adults 21 and over can walk into their friendly neighborhood marijuana dispensary and purchase a variety of pot products in manner similar to beer.
Perhaps the Federal Government Has Coachella Organizers Frightened
It is conceivable the dimwitted forces of the federal government, specifically the big league thugs deemed the Trump Administration, may be one of the primary reasons Coachella’s anti-drug policy isn’t budging.
Sources close to the situation say that event organizers are still nervous about opening the concert up to weed due to some concern that it could become a hard target for Uncle Sam’s drug war shenanigans.
Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo that has given states the freedom to experiment with legal marijuana without federal interference since 2013. The famed Cole Memo, which was never a binding agreement between the Feds and pot-friendly states, was sort of an illusion that gave everyone who cultivated and sold marijuana in a taxed and regulated market the sense they were safe from prosecution. But the smoke and mirrors of the pseudo policy could have come crashing down at any time. Why it took a year for Sessions, a man who has fought against weed since his days in the Senate, to toss this worthless piece of paper in the trash is anyone’s guess.
The consensus around the advocacy community is that this renewal of the war on weed is more symbolic than a heavy handed threat from the goons at the Department of Justice, but the folks responsible Coachella are not willing to take any chances.
Coachella Wants to Be Neighborly
It is more likely that Coachella organizers are maintaining the weed ban as a way to keep in good standings with the community. In the city of Indio, where the Coachella festival goes down, officials have taken a mighty stand against the concept of legal marijuana. Under state law, each city can choose whether to open its domain to the cannabis industry or stomp it out. Indio has gone with the latter. This means there is no cultivation, distribution or sales of anything pertaining to the cannabis plant allowed in the city limits. So, as a way to appease the town and prevent future hassles, Coachella organizers have simply decided to keep its prohibitionary standard in place.
“The promoter has a standing right to the property, and they can determine what can and cannot be brought onto the premises,” Indio police Sgt. Dan Marshall told the Los Angeles Daily News. “(For instance) you have the right to bear arms, but you don’t have the right to bear arms in my house.”
Final Hit: You’re Not Going to Jail As Long As You Use Common Sense
Much like last year, reports indicate that Coachella will provide “amnesty boxes” at the entrance to the grounds as a way to give people one last chance to dispose of cannabis before stepping inside. Anyone caught smoking weed during the event will be punished under state law, which means they will be slapped with a $100 fine for public consumption.
But it is perfectly legal to carry small amounts of marijuana, so there is not really a possibility folks will be dragged to jail for trying to smuggle marijuana into Coachella. It’s not quite than draconian. Although it could get them kicked out of the event.
Furthermore, while “marijuana and marijuana products” have been banned from the show, a resourceful stoner can always find a way to enjoy the festivities without catching any heat from security.
This year’s Coachella festival takes place April 13-15 and again on April 20-22. The 2018 lineup includes Eminem, A Perfect Circle, Beyonce and a variety of others. Most of which we are sure will have weed backstage.