Eclipse tip: Don’t toke and drive in Oregon

The solar eclipse will happen August 21, 2017

The Joint on Market in Salem has prepared for months for the visitors during the eclipse, August 18, 2017 (KOIN)
The Joint on Market in Salem has prepared for months for the visitors during the eclipse, August 18, 2017 (KOIN)

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — For about 3 months, Kyle DeMarre has been preparing The Joint on Market for the influx of out-of-state eclipse visitors who wish to imbibe in a certain item that’s legal in Oregon.

The store, which calls itself Oregon’s cannabis destination spot, is just off I-5 in Salem and in the path of totality. DeMarre, who is the sales manager, told KOIN 6 News they’ve had about a 50% jump in customers and expect the spike to hit 75% this weekend.

“We’ve seen people from out of the country, even from Japan,” he said.

The total solar eclipse will first hit the US along the Oregon coast and cross the continent over Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. Of those states, only Oregon has legalized pot.

The customers may be new to Oregon and its customs, but he said they’re not novices about pot.

Oregon Pot — FAQs
What’s legal in Oregon

“I’m finding that most of the people that come in here do this on a regular basis back where they’re from. They’re just amazed by the openness that we have here.”

He said a lot of visiting customers are curious about the legal pot rules, about where they can and can’t smoke.

“They still say not to do it in public view, that’s for sure. They say to treat it like alcohol,” he said. “But a lot of the people, they don’t really have a place to go, so they’re going to be doing it discreetly where they can. I guarantee it.”

Marijuana next to a joint. (Kevin Harden/Portland Tribune)

DeMarre said the staff has been reminding people not to get high and drive. And Marion County Sheriff’s Lt. Chris Baldridge echoes that sentiment.

“If you’re going to smoke marijuana, ingest marijuana, whatever you’re going to do, just please don’t get behind the wheel,” Baldridge told KOIN 6 News. “Have a great time, enjoy the eclipse, just don’t drive on our roadways and help us keep everybody safe.”

Complete Coverage: Oregon Solar Eclipse

Among the priorities for law enforcement during this Eclipse Weekend, citing people for smoking pot in public is very low, he said.

“We have several priorities,” mainly the life and safety of residents and visitors. Deputies will deal with motor vehicle crashes and crimes in progress, he said.

The Joint on Market in Salem has prepared for months for the visitors during the eclipse, August 18, 2017 (KOIN)
The Joint on Market in Salem has prepared for months for the visitors during the eclipse, August 18, 2017 (KOIN)

“Our second is to colloborate with other agencies in the are to help keep our roadways clear, and then we’re going to deal with property crimes,” then protecting private property areas.

But if instances arise with pot, “we’ll deal with those on an individual basis as we have time,” Baldridge said. “But really, our primary role is a much bigger picture of let’s keep the county functions rolling and let’s get through this eclipse so we can get back to business.”

His advice to eclipse visitors: “Be patient and be kind to others.”

DeMarre is doing his part at The Joint on Market. He said they haven’t had any supply issues yet and in true marketing fashion of legal products, they even have a special.

“With a $20 purchase you get the (solar eclipse) glasses,” he said. “You can view it the entire time its happening.”

The Joint on Market in Salem has prepared for months for the visitors during the eclipse, August 18, 2017 (KOIN)
The Joint on Market in Salem has prepared for months for the visitors during the eclipse, August 18, 2017 (KOIN)