What will the rest of this year bring? Already a month into two states legalizing marijuana and the collapse of society did not happen, or at least nothing more than the usual. At least in those two states, consumers of cannabis are able to self-medicate with a little more pride and faith. This will be a year of legalization limbo for Washington, as lawmakers ask for a halt on progress to the State Liquor Control Board, but the medical scene flourishes more than ever due to new attitudes of the marijuana consumer. Marijuana DUI's are in full effect now and this was the biggest argument against the present legislation. Do we write those individuals off as casualties of the legalization war or can we as adults accept parts of the law was wrong with a mea culpa.
I'm eager to learn about the upcoming laws and regulations applied to the plant itself and then to the people. I even threw in my hate to be part of the quality control; how weird it was to get an e-mail confirming my application for Marijuana Licensing and Regulatory Manager. Never in all my years did I think there would be an opportunity to work supporting marijuana and be legitimate at the same time. Even if I don't get the job this time, I have a new career goal; especially since it starts at 80k for a multi-million dollar industry. Here's a real chance to ensure quality and to create transparency on your product. Regulations are going to be in place on gardens and I hope in the beginning its more of a generic type deal, where you have to list the components of your soil and any sprays used in the process. Each grower has their own methods and the choice should be left to the end consumer.
I'm eager to see what next year will be like with the arrival of legal pot shops, since in the year I've been a patient here in Washington, we've been through random raids and other forms of government coercing. One of my favorite dispensaries had to close doors because they were railroaded by their bank which is also controlled by the Fed. In the year that I-502 passed, multiple cities and townships have also passed their own regulations against marijuana, I'm eager to see how they react to the new source of revenue. As a Washington resident and patient, I'm not concerned about the present day situation of marijuana here, but next year when the rules and regulations placed upon the plant and then the people. Dispensaries have gone out of business, not due to lack of business, but due to much government.
The Emerald City is full of positive greenies; a lot of them well employed, but at the same time we have to feed our families. The revolution is not being televised because its gradually happening before your eyes as weed takes the backdoor, no longer a concern for others. Two years ago when I went to volunteer at Seattle Hempfest, I walked behind two relatively young women who were talking and walking for some early morning exercise. I heard one mention she had asthma, than the conversation went into "I don't know what the big deal is about pot?" But that's exactly the point, nobody can point to the big deal about marijuana, all while we're incarcerating farmers and business savvy people for a plant. I still regret not grabbing that moment to try sway another opinion based off of wrongful imprisonments alone, let alone its true medicinal value.
Cannabis flourishes here in Seattle and its surrounding areas. With various farmers markets and dispensaries, the quality of herb and people never gets old. We are all on the right side of a terrible wrong, unfortunately the right side still has many legal implications against it and I can't wait to write about my first smoke in a cannabis bar.
The past year seems to have been an emotional roller-coaster for everyone in the movement, but I'd like to say simmer down and let us not forget those who have gone before and for us. There are more shops to make note of, but these are the only ones that I'm personally aware of that are no more; R.I.P The Medince Jar, Cannabis Oasis, Buzy Bee, The G.A.M.E Collective (Who might I add won their case in federal court) and MHP of Spokane (Who are presently fighting there case in Federal Court).
To all the advocates, activists and weed warriors out there, I say "Keep up the good work. We're wearing them down." The next couple years could be our 'Arab Spring,' but more like American Green; a time when people realize they're being lied to, and not out of concern for your well being but some weird bottom dollar. Opinions are swaying and common sense is prevailing, marijuana will soon be as taboo as Prozac prescribed to little kids. As a 39 year old man with mouths to feed I can't be out in the open, but as a 18 year old boy, the world is more mine that those before me.