Marijuana usage became legal in Ohio last week. GoreMade Pizza in Columbus celebrated the occasion with “Fire It Up Friday,” an event where customers were welcome to smoke pot on the pizzeria’s back patio.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, a group of about 40 gathered to enjoy the new status quo, smoking, socializing and eating pizza. The pizzeria screened “Reefer Madness,” a 1936 propagandic film meant to show the negatives of smoking marijuana that has achieved cult-like status amongst marijuana smokers for its overly wrought nature.

The event was the brainchild of GoreMade Pizza owner Nick Gore, who called the event a celebration. Gore noted it wasn’t something the pizzeria had to do, but wanted to do.

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“I am honored to have a space in this city that I can support what is going on,” Gore told WSYX, an ABC affiliate in the Columbus area. “This is a day for people who are excited and want to be at the foreground of this experience. There will also be people who take a while to understand, and that’s okay too.”

An Instagram post created by GoreMade Pizza in Columbus, Ohio, regarding the pizzeria's "Fire it Up Friday" event celebrating the legalization of marijuana in Ohio.

The Dispatch noted that the event was a joyous occasion, with attendees going on record to discuss how pleasant it was to be able to smoke marijuana in public after years of having to hide it.

“It feels great to finally have that stress off your back,” a man named Trevor, 22, told the Dispatch. Trevor said he had been smoking weed for years and was looking forward to more events like “Fire It Up Friday.”

“It’s kind of silly it was illegal for this long,” Chris, another attendee, told the Dispatch. The publication noted that both of the attendees who went on record requested their full name not be published. In other words, despite the legality of the substance, they were aware that not everyone would be comfortable at an event like “Fire It Up Friday.”

As owner of the pizzeria, Gore was acutely aware of the lingering stigma as well. He noted that there would be no marijuana usage indoors and that the back patio was tucked away from the pizza shop’s indoor seating.

This psychedelic AI-generated image depicts a young woman in a meditative pose, wearing very colorful clothing and surrounded by colorful bubbles as what appears to be marijuana leaves sprout from her air.

GoreMade Pizza

“You have to walk through the building to get here,” Gore said. “We aren’t taking part in any of these things inside. The patio is a designated space for that.”

Marijuana became legal in Ohio on Dec. 7 due to a Nov. 7 vote on Issue 2, passing with 57% support.

GoreMade Pizza was founded by Gore as a community event. He’d have friends over and cook pizza. Word spread, and soon Gore was selling pizza at farmers markets and out of his mobile wood-fired oven attached to a Subaru. The pizzeria found a home in Columbus’s Italian Village and has been making wood-fired pizzas in its brick-and-mortar location ever since.

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