My Legalization Fantasy: Day One

At 12:01 a.m. eastern time, today, cannabis once again became legal in the United States.  A thousand-and-one 420 parties sparked up at that magic moment.  I slept in til seven.  But when I got up, for the first time in my life, I wasn’t in danger of arrest for my choice of medicine, intoxicant, or the fibre in my clothing.
On my drive to work there was froth coming from the talk-radio windbags. Nothing either significant or newsworthy had occurred since midnight, and the media was disappointed. Why didn’t the pot people go wild? Pictures of people smiling ear-to-ear don’t sell many papers. Where’s the orgy? Maybe someone should check on Oreo sales — surely they’ve spiked. Sill, it’s early in the day. There’s lots of time to embarrass ourselves.

There are parties scheduled in most cities and towns, and a big one in D.C., but no trouble is expected, at least not from the newly liberated cannabis culture. Ever seen a fight at a pot-only party? Me neither. European soccer fans might switch, wean themselves from their alcohol fueled fighting at matches. Can you imagine what the doughnut franchise would be worth in a pot-friendly sports stadium?

At lunch I was somewhat surprised to see no one toking up. Then I realized that, long ago, the city put smoking outside. Rules created for tobacco now apply to herb. So, no blazing in the deli, and surprising little of it outside, all things considered. Most pot smokers, with the exception of their love for the herb, were responsible, law-abiding citizens prior to re-legalization. That didn’t change with the return of legal weed.

One big change was on street corners. From carts that once sold flowers and lemonade, with licenses and tax i.d. numbers proudly displayed, cannabis was being openly traded in the central business district. This style of retail may not last, but it’s fun to watch as long as it does. It might be nice if each community could decide its own local rules for retail, but in time that decision will get made at the state level, if not higher. Even today there are communities which are dry — no alcohol sales — and that will impact pot sales sooner or later. Something to watch.

Dealers eyes got brutally opened as price and quality competition came to the American cannabis marketplace. Once a person had to go to Amsterdam, or walk around Vancouver, for this experience. Today, in America, buyers can walk a few feet to compare quality and haggle price. The day of $500 ounces probably aren’t gone. There will always be people willing to pay top dollar for exceptional quality. But we are on the way to a time when anyone, of legal age, can easily and safely purchase an eighth for the evening at a fair price.

Certainly more change is coming. Corporations see great futures in industrial hemp, a rebirth of cannabis based pharmaceuticals and quality weed for smoking. There will be some type of cigarette style distribution system sooner rather than later. Several clubs are already advertising themselves as 420 friendly, and one says 420 only.

I spoke with several uniformed officers moving from cart-to-cart checking documents. They were also taking a minute to make sure sellers understood that, even with cannabis once again legal, providing it to minors is not. That’s a quick way to lose your retail license. It’s going to be a lot more challenging for thirteen year-olds to find pot than it used to be. That’s a change long overdue.

For the most part life looked like it did before re-legalization. No new wave of tokers broke over the wall. People who were not interested in cannabis did not start smoking just because of re-legalization. Are you planning on trying heroin when it’s legal? Me neither. Still, people were interested. Did the generally quiet and exemplary behavior of the cannabis community cause confusion on the part of the non-tokers? Probably. The government has been telling lies about cannabis for so long that, when the gates of hell failed to open and swallow us all, the educated-by-DARE-so-educationally-impaired were at a loss.

Returning home I walked the dog, had some dinner, and roamed through two hundred channels of not much on. At the close of day one, for me, not much had changed. Except, of course, that for the first time in my life I wasn’t in danger of being arrested for something I do in a responsible fashion.

How was day one for you?

[image: google images dreams]

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Author: DavidB

a heathen, but hopefully not an unenlightened one

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