Coachella and getting extremely high are as notorious of a pairing as, well, Coachella and donations to GOP candidates. As it turns out, the stuffy, socially conservative arm of the festival is still attempting to curb drug use, even as its legal status has been relaxed in the state. California became the sixth state to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana on January 1, just last week, but the fest is saying “sorry, bro” to anyone who plans on bringing any marijuana products into Coachella this year and beyond.
Even after the recreational marijuana vote passed in November 2016—and before it officially became legal this year—Coachella established that it could make its own rules about drug use, since the festival’s hosted on private property. “Medical marijuana cards are not valid at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival. Even in 2017 and beyond. If that changes so will this answer,” read a passage from the festival’s FAQ page last year. A similar disclaimer is still up on the site—they’ve just adjusted it to include all marijuana and marijuana products.
Of course the kids will still get high—even last year there was a “Marijuana Oasis” of dispensaries six miles away from Coachella grounds for festivalgoers to toke up beforehand, and unknown scores who attempted (succeeded?) to smuggle in past festival security. Even as California relaxes its laws, Coachella remains far from a free-spirited haven.
So while it’s tempting to enjoy 4.20 in the desert with Beyoncé, The Weeknd, Eminem, not many bands, and more latinx artists than Coachella has ever booked before, it’s always important to remember where your money’s going.