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Colorado, here they come

January 7, 2014

A full week into Colorado’s bold experiment with recreational marijuana, no specific wrath o’ God has been reported there.  The state is in the Polar Vortex, but so is New Orleans.  (Then again, Pat Robertson claimed that the Crescent City deserved Hurricane Katrina because of all the godless Sodomites in residence.  But that’s another diatribe.)

There hasn’t been an uptick in public nudity in Denver, and that’s good.  If you’re so stoned that you’d consider a bare romp al fresco there in January, you’re hopefully too stoned to correctly use a doorknob.  When the widespread anarchy hoped for by the Rabid Right fails to appear, look for them to fall back on their big guns: comparisons to Nazis, slave owners and Unitarians.

I ask my kooky brethren and sistern to look at the orderly lines of folks braving the arctic blast to buy legal weed.  They’re your neighbours, teachers, accountants, mechanics, nurses, first responders: solid citizens who merely want to buy their drug of choice without stigma or incarceration.

Media coverage of the new law has ranged from amusing to infuriating.  Many reporters can’t refrain from mixing actual information with lame jokes, smirking like rookie tokers.  CNN seeks out the more lurid aspects of the issue, but that’s its stock-in-trade anymore.  Conservative pundit David Brooks is at peace with his own youthful indiscretions with THC, but duns those adults who continue to puff.

Fine.  Let’s get all this bullshit aired out.  Hysteria shrivels under continued examination.  Take, for example, the argument of pot opponents that American culture can’t sustain another drug as common as alcohol and tobacco.  They talk as if weed suddenly appeared this week like a K-Mart Blue Light Special.  Equal protection of the law aside, let’s address the fact that it’s been with us for generations.  It’s here, it’s dear, get over it.  It’s not going away.  Why not stop persecuting and prosecuting, and start making some serious coin from it?

And that’s the crux of it.  As soon as Big Business is convinced the feds won’t intervene, the corporations will move in and the smirking reporters will move on.  Even this early in the infant industry, the money going into state-of-the-art grow ops is impressive.  Obama would be wise to let the Colorado and Washington state situations play out.  And Congress, which excels at inertia, should be glad to ignore this, especially in an election year.

There is a downside, of course.  Increased acceptance of weed could lead to more abuse.  Teenaged brains don’t fare well with THC.  There’s a lot of speculation that DUI’s  and dependence problems will increase.  But there’s no turning back.  Prohibition doesn’t work, anyway.  Let’s start the public discussion in earnest and make adjustments.  The U.S. will be stronger and healthier for it, and I’ll smoke to that.

 

 

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6 Comments
  1. goatbarnwitch permalink
    January 7, 2014 1:38 pm

    Well put!

  2. January 8, 2014 6:45 am

    Well said Allen, and I am all for Legalization. They say Texas will someday be legal but I am really not so sure about that. I think that it will be a battle of the century around here.

    • January 8, 2014 8:10 am

      Thanks, Beth. Never say never. I thought it was going to be legalized in the 60’s until Nixon was elected, but the issue outlived him.

  3. Linda Lee permalink
    January 12, 2014 7:01 pm

    I’m glad you’re posting again. You always have such interesting things to say. I live in a Denver suburb so get the daily news on how the marijuana grows around here. I see this as a lot like the situation where they legalized gambling here a few years back. A bunch of mom-and-pop casinos did okay for a while, then corporate gambling put them all out of business. I’m happy to see the mom-and-pop marijuana shops doing well, but it’s only a matter of time before they get taken over/underbid by big business. Did you know that right now many of the shops have sold out of their stock because they could only legally grow it as of January 1, so all they had in stock was what they had grown for their medical marijuana sales? I just read that today in the paper and found it interesting. My nephew’s cousin (around 40) is going to move here from Texas into my brother’s rental place because he really likes to smoke pot and is tired of the restrictive Texas laws. Anyway, it’s all very fascinating here in trendsetting Colorado, and I don’t even smoke pot anymore.
    Thanks for coming back to the interwebs.
    Linda Lee

  4. January 12, 2014 10:00 pm

    You’re welcome, Linda. I understand that the Denver Post has hired an editor just for the fledgling industry. It’s heartening to see such a cool city get even cooler.

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