Sunday, January 26, 2014

Colorado Legalization Creates Dangerous Trust in the State

CC BY-SA (Patmhickey)

I just happen to reside in the first geographic area in the world to legalize the consumption and distribution of marijuana. And if you live in Colorado, USA or make a visit, the first thing you will experience when testing the herb, before you ever smell it, are soul-crushing lines.

While hearing a number of recreational users about to complete their first "legal" transaction for the drug, it hit me that we were universally thankful to not be threatened with jail for doing what we've always done peacefully. There was a palpable calm, especially for a crowd that knew they were going to be waiting for an hour or more

We had all abruptly left behind the indignation of no-knock raids and the angst of parking lot deals on 12/31/13, and moved to a new phase of "coming out" together in celebration.

They were a friendly couple, who apparently thought that someone with their nose in their phone and headphones on was probably there to make new friends. I had just overheard them tell another bro that it was "so cool" that "they let us do this". And that "the politicians finally got it right".

"Don't you think?", he said, inexplicably turning to me.

I couldn't bite my tongue any longer, and I now no longer had to.

I reminded him of all the people currently sitting in jail cells, in this very state, for doing what we were about to do. I let them know that the people we were about to trade with could not get a bank account and were thus susceptible to violence of the worst kind. I also reminded them that the state was taxing us over 30% for our upcoming purchases. And that ridiculous "stoned driving" laws threatened to make the whole legalization thing a moot point.

Though I know I was able to keep my voice down, I couldn't help but notice the number of ears now listening.

"I never thought of it like that", she said.

So I pressed on.

"And what about heroin and cocaine? We're seriously going to keep caging others because their drug of choice is 'worse' than ours?"

At this point the receptionist, maybe prematurely maybe not, buzzed me in through the security door with a nervous nod.

I just smiled at the couple as the sweet scent of the skunkiest skunk filled the waiting room and said, "Yeah, I think it's cool we can do this too."