Recreational Marijuana is going legal in California starting January 1.
Now I am the very last person to be discussing marijuana. I have never tried it. Well, that's not entirely true. I went to a party where marijuana was liberally shared. The party was hosted by the director of our kids' nursery school. But when the pipe came around to me, I passed it, without trying. I tried to smoke it once (one puff) but since I have never smoked anything, I didn't know how to get it into my lungs and the attempt was a disaster.
My sad confession: I grew up in San Francisco in the 1960s and know nothing about marijuana.
My father put such a fear of God in me about any drugs that I remember going to the movies once and noticing a guy sitting a row behind me by himself and not able to enjoy the movie because I was convinced he was going to come and sit next to me, jab me with a needle, and turn me into a drug addict.
Heck, I never even watched that HBO show on marijuana...was it Weeds?
My father probably never saw Reefer Madness, but that was the mentality he had about drugs, especially marijuana. (This parody by Alan Cumming is wonderful)
I saw my first billboard for a marijuana dispensary after medical marijuana was legalized here in California. It was, of course, in San Francisco, but someone told me later there are others along I-80 between Davis and San Francisco, though I have looked since then and haven't seen one. I have to admit that a huge billboard greeting me as we got off the freeway was somewhat of a shock.
Now I assume that advertising is going to get even more pervasive. This was the cover of one of the local newspapers today.
This paper has a large section just for marijuana advertisements. Big full page ads to various dispensaries, places that will deliver, places where you can get baked items. There are articles that give you tips on growing your own ("Cannabis trimming requires good vision, nimble fingers, and the ability to focus on a monotonous task for eight hours or more"). There are tips on starting your own cannabis business, and how to get your cannabis license from the state
. And there is a full page map of where to buy your marijuana in Sacramento.
(This newspaper has been a goldmine for making junk journals to send to states where marijuana is not legal!).
Of course, marijuana is not legal nationally and that presents unique problems. While you can grow, buy, and enjoy all you want in California, only 7 other states have legalized it and if you bring your weed to North Dakota, I assume you can be arrested if someone finds out.
There is also the problem of money. Part of Laurel's job with the bank where she works is to deal with marijuana business persons, who are raking in literally millions of dollars that they can't bank because banks have to follow federal rules, and under the federal rules, dealing with money from the sale if marijuana is illegal! Laurel mentioned knowing of one business person with a safe that holds a million dollars because there is nowhere else to legally put it!
Given the mentality in Washington, DC at the moment, I don't think this is going to be a problem that is going to be resolved any time soon!
Fortunately this is not going to be a problem that affects me, but I am amused and interested to read the progression from the first attempts to legalize marijuana in 1972 to 1996 when it was finally legal for closely supervised medical marijuana to be sold to 2018 when it finally becomes legal for everything.
I remember when my cousin Peach's daughter got her some marijuana to help her cope with the uncomfortable effects of her chemotherapy and how she hid it from her husband who would have been furious if he knew she was taking a dose that would have fit on the head of a pin. Many years earlier her mother, dying of lung cancer, had to find people who buy marijuana for her to ease her discomfort.
It's going to be interesting. It is less dangerous than alcohol but the anti weed lobby is stronger, even than the prohibitionists.