San Bernadino, CA: Barely a day before the event was supposed to begin, High Times' event director found herself in perhaps the least mellow place on Earth, a city council meeting, as she tried desperately to bring the festival into compliance with a confusing suite of new regulations that accompanied pot's legalization.
And she failed. After a nearly 45-minute debate Wednesday, the San Bernardino City Council voted unanimously to deny the Cannabis Cup a marijuana permit — leaving uncertain whether it will begin Friday with no drugs, or not begin at all.
The vote also suggests that the once-underground pot movement, which kept U.S. cannabis culture alive through years of prohibition, may face even larger threats in the age of legalization.
“We want to learn how to work with these new rules and regulations,” High Times event director Sameen Ahmad told San Bernardino council members at the beginning of Wednesday's meeting. “We've been here for a very, very long time. We're a community ourselves, as are you.”
Excerpt by: Avi Selk, a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post.