U.S. advocacy group lobbies for cannabis consumption in public places

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-24 15:47:01|Editor: xuxin
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SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- An advocacy group in the U.S. state of Oregon, one of the states where marijuana is legal, is lobbying to change a law that restricts smoking cannabis in public places.

Sam Chapman with the New Revenue Coalition (NRC) urged Oregon lawmakers to allow smoking in public places, given how many rental agreements don't allow smoking on the property.

"Oregon has a lot of cannabis and not a lot of places to smoke it. This group wants to change that," Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) tweeted Friday.

Chapman said the NRC plans to have a lobby day in early December and a fundraising event in Portland on Dec. 13, to make public places such as cafes accessible by cannabis consumers.

Oregon's public health agencies have banned tobacco smoking in pubs and restaurants, which forced people to consume cannabis in private.

NRC members are trying to persuade lawmakers to permit waivers to the Indoor Clean Air Act, which aims to protect people from secondhand smoke by creating smoke-free public places.

Tom Jeanne, an epidemiologist at the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division, said cannabis smoke is not harmless, but cannabis cafes will likely normalize the use of cannabis, especially among children.

Oregon was the first U.S. state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis including marijuana.

In 2015, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a controversial bill declaring marijuana sales legal for recreational users from dispensaries starting that year.

The NRC, which is a political action committee comprised of cannabis industry businesses and representatives, said on its website that legalization of cannabis consumption in Oregon has created thousands of jobs and generated hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars in new revenue for the state.