I haven’t effectively been home in about a year. In about the same span of time, since the 2012 election cycle, Washington state joined Colorado in being the first two states to legalize the use of Recreational weed. And legalization has increased acceptance tenfold.
Certainly, for Colorado, there will be big concerns about stoners on the ski slopes, and in Washington, even bigger concerns about stoned lumberjacks wielding chainsaws. Here are some of my reflections about how pot has changed the way I see my cozy little beach town in the Seattle suburbia.
Disclaimer: All this post is assuming that what I see having changed actually has changed, rather than me just growing into a scene I haven’t known before. I’m pretty definite that it’s not just me, but hey, what the hell do I really know right?
Washington has always held the kind of environment that lends toward being weed-friendly. After San Francisco, I dare to say Seattle is the hipster capital of the states, chock full of friendly health nuts, musicians, bikers, and environmentalists. When Medical Marijuana was legalized, there was a huge spike in usage, facilitated by the acceptance and ease of obtaining a green card, effectively allowing anyone to sell. But now, a year after recreational weed’s use has been legally accepted, I almost feel overwhelmed by its abundance.
People en masse, including parents, teachers, what have you just don’t smoke like this in Boston, or Sydney, or any other city I’ve been to.
The openness to weed, unveiled by WA adults'(age 21+) ability to posses up to one ounce of ganja and smoke it, has opened the previously leaking floodgates of pot into our local culture, and arguably, society (and damn, this is before the stuff is even available for sale to everyone in marijuana stores, coming in 2014). More people are smoking, and in higher quantities, than I’ve ever seen before (which might be really saying something). It’s everywhere. My 15-year-old brother- who I had presumed was just your average always-hungry, sleepy teenage boy- has all but admitted he and all his once-nerdy friends are all practically stoners. I found out the cutesy little girl next door who spoke no more than 10 words in high school is now selling. My friend, who works at a cupcake shop in Ballard, admits that probably about half of her customers are high. “Hell, I’m high half of the time, too,” Tima says.
The cherry on top for me was finding out that all the construction commotion going on at the neighbor’s house next door to her was not simple home improvement, but the building of a full on pot farm in their garage. Casual.
The number of weed dispensaries, has now grown and been capped at 334 in this small state, about 9 per county and enough to keep many pot heads happy. The ease in obtaining a green card has made it so that anyone can sell. With more sellers come more buyers, naturally. Smoke shops and pipe sales have cropped up everywhere, including a handful in my cutesy little hometown, saving the trek all the way to the University District in Seattle.
Not even just in Washington, nationally acceptance is becoming a greater and greater trend. TIME Magazine admits
“now, according to a new Gallup Poll, fully 58 percent of Americans believe that pot should be available in a way that’s similar to tobacco, beer, wine, and alcohol, which arguably cause more harm than marijuana.
That’s a 10-point increase over last year and the latest indicator that the federal war on weed, which officially began in 1937, is finally drawing to a close.”
Even, my idol, President Obama admitted to smoking weed as a young person. Aside from his admittances to pot and coke in his novel Dreams From My Father, as a presidential candidate he joked to a gathering of fawning journalists, “When I was a kid, I inhaled….That was the point.”
And I’m beginning to think it’s a very good point, too.
More to come soon,
Sources I used to help write this piece:
- Read more: Pot Legalization: 8 Things We Won’t Miss When Marijuana Is Legal Everywhere | TIME.com http://ideas.time.com/2013/10/24/8-things-we-wont-miss-when-pot-is-legal-everywhere/#ixzz2okaZ6H6m