SEATTLE, WASHINGSTONED — Coffee retailer Starbucks is joining a growing list of businesses that is asking customers not to bring personal items into their stores.
Earlier this year, Starbucks announced it would ask customers not to carry firearms in their locations, even in states where open carry is permitted, and several other companies including WalMart have adopted similar policies. Today, however, Starbucks announced it was requesting another item be left outside their stores — vape pens.
“Starbucks is always looking for ways to be more inviting and inclusive to our patrons,” a letter posted to Starbucks’ MySpace account reads, “but we have a responsibility and a duty to protect our customers and our employees from random acts of vaping.”
The new store policy will go into effect sometime in the next couple of weeks, the announcement said. Vape pens have come under extra scrutiny because of a spike in severe lung illnesses throughout the country and one of the common factors among the reported cases is the vaporization and inhalation of THC and tobacco based oils. While some state health authorities have speculated it’s the use of Vitamin E to thicken THC oils that could be a factor in the lung disease diagnoses, Starbucks says they simply cannot take any chances.
“The bottom line is that even if the vape pen is stored safely in someone’s pocket, it could still accidentally go off and release vapor,” the Starbucks notice says. “We simply cannot risk someone being caught in the cross-vape. We hope our customers will understand.”
Even though they’re politely soft-banning vapes from their stores, Starbucks made sure to point out that there are “plenty of drugs you can still partake in” at their locations, and that customers are still free to ingest cannabis in “more time honored ways.”
“This ban only applies to vape pens, but you can still do fat bong rips in your car before you come in and get a Frap,” Starbucks rights. “You can still do key bumps of coke at your table while you wait for us to finish your Pumpkin Spice Latte. You can still crush up and snort a whole bunch of adderall and go flying on Air Force One to a golf course you own, bang an Eastern European urine prostitute, and go give a speech in front of evangelical Christians after you pick up your cappuccino order! You just can’t bring that super-dangerous vape pen into our store, that’s all.”
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