So now Marihuana is legal in Washington... and there is a short list of potential growers/merchants to provide it here in the Okanogan Valley of Eastern Washington State. I know the common belief was that California would beat others to the punch on this one, but here's a dirty little secret- that chunderload of cash spent keeping dope illegal in the Golden State came from straw-dog operations that attempted to hide the cash flow from Humbolt County, where the stuff is grown. Growers will loose their profit margins once the stuff is legalized- seems odd they didn't do the same thing here, but I saw no PSA speaking of the ills of grass...
Personally, I quit using the stuff back in the '80s- just makes me stupid, paranoid and hungry. Wasn't hard to give up. People want to use it, fine- tax it and let the existing DUI laws handle it. You show up for work stoned and your boss doesn't like it- you're fired. Same as drunk. Certain trades have 'no tolerance' regarding this sort of thing... imagine your surgeon or airline pilot with big, glassy red-lined pupils and a weird grin and see if that makes you comfortable. You have to be of age to indulge. Public intoxication will get you in trouble, be it hooch or weed.
And now we shall see what happens, eh? Hard to predict, I think... but my suspicions are this- once the law figures how to handle this situation (which won't take a great deal of time) then the rules of play will be established, those who wish to indulge will do so while the rest of us watch with amusement, concern, disgust or whatever emotion fits your political point of view on the subject. For the most part, it will go on un-noticed... with the exception of tourist trade. Busloads of Dopers from the People's Soviet Socialist Republic of California will converge on the marihoochie Houses, bringing their bongs, pipes, hookahs, wallets and appetites. 'Free range Stoner's Grounds' will be established where those who are high can wander freely (and safely), not bothering locals or livestock or distracting traffic. I see a place where there is a high concentration of fast food, local cuisine (this could put Indian fry bread on the map big time!) cheap theaters showing old movies, flop houses, boutiques and whatever else can hold a deficient attention span. This would be world-class, year-round tourist income!
Now for the potential threats-
1) These 'tourists' decide they want to stay and bring their politics with them, making the Okanogan Valley more liberal than Seattle
2) Humbolt County takes offence, separates from California and declares war on us
3) The area around these 'tourists' has to be quarantined due to the 'contact high' effect of the continual cloud of smoke
4) People working in the 'tourist zone' are stoned whether they want to be or not (paramedics will need a gas mask)
5) Local livestock appears glassy eyed and marginally responsive... eating everything in sight
6) We loose a great deal of harvest labor to the tourist traps
..... now in full honesty, I am not really sure what will happen as a result of this... experiment. It will be interesting to see, don't you think?
Gregory F. (the Old Sgt.) Howard