UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. -- Lost in all the talk of fescue and poa annua is another grass-y novelty in U.S. Open history: For the first time ever, patrons can carry marijuana on the course.
Starting in 2012, marijuana use became legal in Washington state, and with the U.S. Open coming to the Pacific Northwest for the first time, circumstances aligned to make this the first weed-friendly major ever. But it comes with a caveat: State law dictates that you can't actually smoke marijuana in public areas, so while it's kosher to carry the wicked weed in your pocket, the minute you try to light up on the grounds of Chambers Bay, you're opening yourself up to a citation and a fine. (Although considering how friendly the marshals have been so far this week, a friendly warning is far more likely . . . not that we're encouraging anybody to test the smoky waters.)
There's a bit of irony here, too. As The Smokers Club pointed out, spectators can stuff their pockets full of marijuana, but they will be stopped in their tracks if they try to bring water inside the grounds -- that has to be purchased at the course. Capitalism makes for some strange paradoxes, right? (And I have to wonder if the tournament organizers are kicking themselves for not commissioning any weed vendors. . .)
So, two obvious questions. First: How many players will be tempted to indulge on their own after surviving (or not surviving) the rigors of this unique, challenging course? Second: Now that marijuana is allowed on the grounds of a major golf tournament, does that mean the drug has officially "sold out"?
I think I can answer the last one: Not until it's allowed at Augusta National . . . which should only take another 3,000 years or so.