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MUMBAI (Reuters) – Plans to open India’s first Playboy club in coastal Goa state have hit a stumbling block, with local politicians rejecting the idea of “bunnies” on its pristine beaches amid growing pressure for better treatment of women after a fatal gang rape last year.
India has strict censorship laws and there is no Indian version of Playboy magazine, but the promoters of the Playboy brand in India last year revealed plans to open clubs around the country, with dress adapted to fit Indian mores.
A lawmaker from the right-wing party that rules the state had threatened a hunger strike if the government allowed Playboy to set up shop in Goa, saying it would tarnish the image of the state.
“If the government had to give a license to Playboy, it amounts to giving a license for prostitution,” Michael Lobo told Reuters, adding that Playboy promoted vulgarity.
“We respect our women,” he said. “We don’t want to promote Goa as a sex tourism destination like Thailand.”
Tens of thousands of tourists visit Goa during the peak October-March season to enjoy its golden beaches, which are also famous for night-long parties.
Media reports suggest many other politicians and women’s groups share Lobo’s misgivings, but the Bharatiya Janata Party that rules Goa has not officially made its displeasure known.
On Monday, though, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the state assembly that Playboy’s license application had been rejected on “technical grounds”, citing rules that allow such licenses for individuals but not companies.
Playboy clubs are part of the hedonistic lifestyle promoted by octogenarian Hugh Hefner, founder of the Playboy magazine which features pictures of naked women. Playboy clubs around the world feature waitresses dressed in black satin bodices, bow ties, cuffs and bunny ears.
The clash highlights the growing pressure for a more restrictive climate in India after the brutal gang rape of a young woman in the capital of New Delhi in December provoked widespread outrage about attitudes towards women.
Undaunted, the promoters of the Playboy brand in India – PB Lifestyle, which has a licensing agreement with U.S.-based Playboy Enterprises Inc – said they would try again.
“There are certain technical glitches that we need to correct and then we’ll take it from there,” said Sanjay Gupta, CEO of PB Lifestyle. “I cannot predict what the government’s decision will be.”
Gupta said they have tried to ensure the Playboy club dresses did not offend Indian sensibilities, even toning down its characteristic bunny costumes to suit local tastes – a first for Playboy clubs worldwide.
He added that the Goa property was planned not as a night club but as a beach café where women would be given special privileges. He did not specify what those privileges were.
“The environment and atmosphere we are creating are women friendly,” Gupta said. “It’s not a male bastion, spouses are more than welcome.”
The company still plans to open Playboy clubs in other Indian cities.
(Writing by Tony Tharakan, Editing by Elaine Lies and Michael Perry)
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Joe | Mar 28, 2013 | Comments 0
A bar in Washington state is testing the limits of the new recreational marijuana legalization law, as well as testing the limits of the state’s smoking ban when it comes to bars and other public places.
The key, at least for Stonegate Pizza and Rum Bar in Tacoma, is vaporizing. The owner charges a cover charge for those who wants to go upstairs and vaporize, privatizing the “vapor club.” And because patrons are vaporizing and not smoking, there should be no problem with the state’s smoking ban.
Of course, much remains to be seen in terms of law enforcement reaction, on a local level and on a federal level. But barring legal troubles, these bars and clubs are the future of folks gathering to enjoy some legal recreational marijuana. Where people go out for a beer or 2 or 6 nowadays, someday friends will be going out to enjoy some tokes at their favorite club.
But Second Pot Club Is Still Open For Business
“By opening early I kind of screwed myself out of my building,” Lovato admitted on Tuesday. He had planned on having a storefront for customers to buy coffee and T-shirts, as well as other souvenirs, with a private building next door where customers could smoke free samples of cannabis.
“To clarify… I had no Landlord dispute!” Lovato posted on Wednesday:
I had an agreement with a family man and an understanding that in a small community his families reputation or possibly well being would be threatened or compromised. There was never a dispute. There was a conversation between men and an agreement made. Nothing more, nothing less. Second, we have not closed our doors, technically! My door is open, and White Horse Inn is still very much alive. My dream of giving cannabis to the world and to anyone who would like to enjoy with me is still open and alive and active. God has blessed us with this plant (Gen 1:29) and who an I to argue with something He made and called good? He knows more than me. So again, our building is gone…but we are not closed! I’m sure there were more inconsistencies, but those are the ones that stuck out and I’ll address anymore if they come to mind. Thanks, all! God bless!
Lovato had posted a similar sentiment, expressed in a somewhat more secular fashion, on Tuesday:
I just want to clarify…the landlord is fkn cool. He’s not your typical asshole anti64 dickhead. He’s a family man concerned about his families reputation and well being. I thank him for the opportunity!
“It went really well,” said attorney Robert J. Corry, Jr., owner and general counsel for Club 64. Corry helped shape the language of Amendment 64, the measure approved by Colorado voters in November which legalized small amounts of marijuana for adults.
“We rented out a retail shop for the evening,” Corry said. “We had a DJ, music, some dancing, there was a bar and people brought alcohol, people brought food. It was a very warm, funny, happy evening.”
“The voters of Colorado have said we want cannabis to be legalized and we want a bunch of like-minded adults to be able to get together and exercise their constitutional rights together and that’s what Club 64 embodies,” Corry said.
“It’s a pathway to further freedom,” said longtime Denver marijuana activist Miguel Lopez, who said Amendment 64 and Club 64 could serve as a model for other communities. “Are we truly free if all human beings cannot possess marijuana? Not just in Colorado but as a human rights campaign globally. Let Denver be a beacon for freedom, for true freedom.”
He then fired up a joint, held in the smoke and exhaled, coughing. “You can’t get off if you don’t cough,” he said, grinning.
Meanwhile, Paul Lovato said he may adopt Club 64′s business model for The White Horse Inn for the next year, then try opening a recreational marijuana shop when he’s legally allowed to.
Amendment 64 requires a year-long waiting period before stores are allowed to open and actually sell marijuana. That provision was written into to law to give state and local government officials time to “regulate” the newly legal industry, and, proponents hoped, time for anti-marijuana elements in the community to allay their irrational fears and just calm the fuck down already.
Selling non-medical marijuana is still illegal in Colorado, but adults are now allowed to give pot to one another without compensation, according to the Denver Post. Public consumption is banned, but there’s nothing in the law to prevent pot parties.
Corry brushed off suggestions that his club is damaging efforts to make marijuana more legally and socially acceptable by opening before the year-long period mandated in Amendment 64.
“This is much larger than just marijuana; this is a civil rights struggle to end prohibition and civil rights struggles and overcoming oppression (do) not happen easily,” Corry said. “It has to happen by people taking chances and sometimes, yes, pushing the envelope.
“And that is how change happens in this country and that’s what got us to this point,” Corry said. “People taking chances and pushing the envelope.”
More links from around the web!
The nation’s first known legal recreational marijuana club has already closed — because of a landlord dispute.
NYT > Marijuana and Medical Marijuana
The420TimesStaff | Nov 23, 2012 | Comments 0
This week’s installment of “Friday Funnies” comes from our friends over at The Stoner Jesus Show. It’s from a show from 2011 when they were still broadcasting on Blog Talk Radio.
The first attempt at the prank call gets a hang up, but the second attempt hits gold.
Warning: strong language.