Historic L.A. hotel remodeled as pot-friendly lodging

A California entrepreneur is reopening a historic 1920’s L.A. hotel as America’s first pot-friendly accommodation. Dennis Peron, a long-time marijuana dispensary owner and medicinal marijuana advocate, is currently remodeling Los Angeles’ Hotel Normandie with plans to turn its 106 rooms into a haven for smokers around the world.

Though the property is far from complete, Peron is planning a grand opening for the new residence today, April 20th, or “4/20” in smoker slang. Once complete, Peron’s vision is a hotel with a “hippie rustic” theme and a rooftop deck where users could light up, framed by the hotel’s vintage neon sign.

Unfortunately the dreams for America’s first marijuana hotel are threatening to go up in flames. As it currently stands, Peron and friend Richard Eastman are running short on funding for the ambitious project. A few rooms have been remodeled but the majority are not. The proposed renovation is likely to cost upwards of $500,000 and the real estate investor who purchased the property for Peron is $200,000 behind on payments.

Will this pot-friendly hotel ever see the light of day? The answer, it appears, is hidden by a cloud of smoke.

Marijuana declared legal over international waters [Update]

Box of Mary JaneThough cigarette smoking seems to be on the outs, marijuana smoking is becoming more and more widely accepted.

Yesterday, in an international symposium held by the FAA, a presentation was given encouraging airlines to consider purchasing stocks of marijuana for their overseas flights. Specialist Sanford Kronenbergerstein appeared outside the conference afterward to talk to the press.

“In international waters, international jurisdictions apply. If smoking marijuana is legal anywhere, and it is, it should be legal over international waters, by air or by sea,” he said.

International waters, or trans-boundary waters, are defined as areas 12 nautical miles from any given country’s shoreline.

“People could get in trouble for having it in various airports, so it’s up to the airlines to supply the marijuana. I think most airlines will find this to be a tremendous source of additional income, which we all know they could really use in this economic climate. There should be smoking and non-smoking areas designated — and I think they’ll find their smoking areas full of mellower, happier passengers,” said Kronenbergerstein with a smile.

Guess they’d better stock up on chips, too. Mile-high munchies.

UPDATE: Holland’s national carrier, KLM, announced immediate plans to to carve out space in this new market. Apparently, they plan to —
1.) rebrand KLM as “Keep Loving Marijuana”;
2.) designate sections of all planes as either “toking” or “non-toking” (rumors are circling that they plan to charge additional fees for choosing seats in one section or the other, though it’s unclear which section which will come with an additional fee);
3.) hire Woody Harrelson as their new “tokesperson.”

[Thanks, Rick!]

Argentina court ruling may legalize personal use of marijuana

On Tuesday, the Argentina Supreme Court ruled that punishing an adult for personal use of marijuana, so long as that use doesn’t harm anyone else, is unconstitutional. It’s a major step towards decriminalizing the possession and use of pot in the country, and comes on the heels of Mexico’s passage of a similar law that made it legal for adults to carry small amounts of pot, cocaine, heroin, LSD, and methamphetamine. Earlier this year, a Brazilian appeals court also ruled that possession of small amounts of pot was not illegal in that country.

It’s a new approach to the war on drugs – one that focuses more on reducing harm to drug users and society than on prosecuting recreational users – and one that seems to be forming a trend in Latin and South America. Only time will tell if that trend extends to the United States, but many members of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy hope so. Back in May, Mexico’s former President Vicente Fox was quoted by CNN as saying, “I believe it’s time to open the debate over legalizing drugs. It must be done in conjunction with the United States, but it is time to open the debate.”

I stick to the booze, but I won’t begrudge someone the right of recreational use of a naturally-growing plant. And while I won’t jump on the bandwagon for legalizing all drugs, I would support the passage of a law that allows adults to possess small amounts of pot. I just don’t believe it’ll happen in the United States any time soon. Until then, tokers can use this guide to get their smoke on in several other countries around the world where pot is legal or more publicly tolerated.

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