Photo by Bhargava Marripati

Legalization | 12.08.2021

Sunday’s Windy City Smoke Up Celebrated Public Cannabis Consumption And Legalization

We're "one step closer" to normalizing public cannabis consumption throughout the nation.

On Sunday, stoners in Illinois got together for a chill night, passing around blunts and joints while sitting under the clouds of dense cannabis smoke, celebrating legalization.

The underground party in West Town saw dozens of guests that paid $55 to $108 to be a part of the Windy City Smoke Up. The event was deemed a cannabis expo with live music and art and encouraged attendees to consume their cannabis freely.

One attraction that sparked public interest was the legend and headliner Afroman, who created the infamous stoner anthem, “Because I Got High.” Located in a warehouse in the 2100 block of West Fulton Street, DJs spun our favorite tracks while guests lounged on leather couches and indulged in the products sold by vendors. Most of the products were, in fact, from the black market.

Nick Bretti, a 26-year-old from Springfield, told Chicago Sun-Times that events like this bring us “one step closer” to what cannabis smokers should be doing not just in Illinois but throughout the nation. One product that guests seemed to particularly enjoy was Eva Hernandez’s pot brownies.

Hernandez began Crybaby Sweets in 2018, and she creates cannabis-infused products for sale online, delivers them herself, and often sells her products at events where they’re generally accepted. Her cannabis brownies, cake truffles, and drinks sell for $10 each, which is much cheaper than what’s sold at licensed Illinois dispensaries.

Photo by Don Ryan / AP / REX / Shutterstock

The legal cannabis market did bring some fear that she would get the kind of attention she didn’t want. “Everything is still illegal as fuck,” Hernandez told Chicago Sun-Times. However, there aren’t many consequences now, and she hopes no one will try and call her out on the business.

Sunday’s Windy City Smoke Up was organized by Dom Brown, who runs similar events to help “normalize cannabis,” make it easily accessible and remove the stigma around it, he told Chicago Sun-Times. He explained how no one was willing to take the risk to create an event like this, which he says is “100% legal as long as you follow the guidelines.”

Photo by Nate / Pexels

To date, there still aren’t any rules or regulations from the Chicago City Council regarding public consumption lounges, and state law only allows them in approved and licensed dispensaries and tobacco shops. A bill was on hold in Springfield earlier this year, which would allow counties and localities to permit cannabis consumption and sales at pop-up events, weed clubs, and cannabis tours. 

Dom Brown made clear that his event was private and invitation-only, allowing the Smoke Up to run under different public consumption rules that only apply to these types of events. However, he still kept his wits about him and had an off-duty cop and attorney on hand. 

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