While California's legalization of recreational marijuana use went into effect on January 1, the right to use it will not be extended to the Coachella festival grounds.
According to the guidelines published on the music festival's website, "marijuana and marijuana products aren't allowed inside the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival."
How can this be? At the start of this year, California joined the ranks of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia in legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Under the new law that went into effect in California, towns are allowed to decide whether or not to allow recreational sales. Indio, where Coachella is held, is among the cities that have chosen to abstain. They have strict rules when it comes to smoking and possessing the drug. They are not allowing anyone to sell, cultivate, or distribute cannabis within the city. While they allow people to have small amounts of it in their personal possession, it is not allowed to be smoked in public.
In an ironic coincidence, the start of the second weekend of Coachella falls on 4/20. But, festival attendees hoping to partake will have to go to nearby cities such as Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, and Cathedral City in order to do so.
Where there's a will, there is a way — and probably a social media campaign. WeedMaps, which is basically Yelp for marijuana, and marketing firm Talent Resources are teaming up to create an "oasis" for anyone hoping to enjoy California's new law, located six miles from the festival, reports Spin.
Coachella banning drug use on festival grounds is not a new policy. It also doesn't look like it will change anytime soon. Under frequently asked questions, the festival planners address the question with an unequivocal answer adding, "Even in 2018 and beyond. If that changes we will update this answer."