London, Nov. 20 (ANI): America's first and only legal marijuana coffee shop has been opened in Portland, Oregon.
'Cannabis Cafi' which looks like any other coffee shop in America has a special corner for marijuana.
The customers do not have coffee pots in front of them, but "vaporisers" with digital readouts indicating when the plant samples have been heated to precisely 375F, at which point a thin mist rises from them into large transparent plastic bags.
The patrons "sip" on the bags using the kind of valves that you might see on a diver's oxygen tank.
But for how long will 'Cannabis Cafi' survive in America is entirely up to the Obama Administration, which, for the time being, has instructed its Attorney-General, Eric Holder, to leave the policing of marijuana to individual states.
"Prohibition didn't work the first time around. It just created a culture of gangsters and murderers. And now it's happening again. I say we take marijuana away from the Mexican mob," said Madeline Martinez, 58, who runs the cafi.
She added that she would like to see the state of Oregon itself become the primary supplier.
"They could grow it in state prisons. The best growers are already in there," she said.
For the time being, however, visiting the Cannabis Cafi is not quite as easy as going to Starbucks.
First, one must be enrolled in Oregon's Medical Marijuana Programme - available only to residents of the state.
Joining requires a 100-dollar fee and a doctor's certificate confirming that one suffers from cancer, glaucoma, Aids, Alzheimer's, or any condition that results in severe pain, appetite loss, spasms, seizures, or nausea.
Only after being issued with a patient ID card are one is allowed to join the Oregon chapter of the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), which costs 240 dollars a year. (ANI)