So in case you were unaware, recreational use of marijuana is legal in the fine old state of Washington, despite remaining illegal at the federal level.
“What?” I hear you cry, “How could they do something like this? Won’t someone please think of the children!!!”….and so on and so forth.
This post is neither a condemnation nor defence of the legalisation of Mary Jane, rather my insight into how things have panned out. Enjoy!
I live across the road from a dispensary. Literally across the road.
This means that any time I’m headed out for a smoke or to go to the shops I see all sorts of people going in to pick up their weed and then head home for a smoke/vape/eat or whatever else they plan on doing with it.
It isn’t a big deal. It’s like going to a liquor store over here, with no taboo attached and no judgement. Admittedly, Seattle is a pretty liberal place, with “don’t be a dick” pretty much the motto. If you don’t act like a dick, then people aren’t going to have a problem with you and, let’s be honest, it’s far less likely for a stoner to be causing trouble than a drunk.
So what’s happened since the legalisation? This report from the Drug Policy Alliance in 2015 gives a full account of what effects the state had seen one year after legalisation. In summary it states that legalisation saw major fiscal benefits, a drop in violent crime, no substantiated rise in youth uptake of the drug and, of course, significant drops in marijuana-related arrests. This, however, really only looks at legalisation from a legislative point of view. There are other benefits.
Those I’ve spoke to in the city, and there have been more than a few, have said that product quality has increased. Costs have come down significantly since the bill was passed as well, in spite of taxation. It’s also providing people with a living. Being a weed farmer is a legitimate job and product is brought in from across the state, as well as farther down the Pacific coast, from as far away as Southern California.
People here see legalisation as a positive, in fact I haven’t spoken to anyone who stated the opposite, other than being unable to partake due to having to “piss in a cup” for work.
Whether benefiting the state fiscally or allowing users safer and more reliable product, it seems to have been a roaring success in Washington, although it has been said that these benefits could surely be increased if the state was to make a concerted effort at encouraging weed tourism.
Anyway, I guess that’s it for me. I’m going to head out and…go for a walk…or something. Hope you enjoyed, guys. I’m back.