This morning, my friend, Diane, complained that she was unable to get decent Chinese food delivered to her house in Puyallup, Washington, but that she had the option, if she so desired, to have marijuana and related products delivered without problem. I checked out the link that she posted and this appears to be true. A website called THCfinder.com lists Puyallup as a delivery location for the new legalized marijuana products such as an $8 pack of Boggle Gum or other hybrid and specially cultivated marijuana products.
The state became one of the first to legalize pot for recreational use two years ago, but there remain many challenges ahead. Washington is currently setting up a licensing system for pot growers and sellers and the Fed is busy setting a new limit on the amount of pot that can be found in the bloodstream for safe driving. Medical marijuana is also still in the picture.
Things are really changing. Now, it is legal to light up in both Denver and Seattle, and marijuana is approved for medicinal use in some 20 states. There’s one thing the Obama administration is most concerned when it comes to legalized recreational marijuana. That is making sure that kids are not part of this grand pot experiment. In Washington, the rules have been written to restrict marketing and advertising. And there’s a hefty tax levied on legal pot.
Yup. everything is changing. Many view this as a bad thing…but is it really? Is it even as bad as alcohol? Guess we’ll see. Colorado is already reporting a lower crime rate and profits from legal marijuana crops going toward school improvements. However, Washington has run into problems. A legal and political haze is making it all but impossible for entrepreneurs, activists, regulators, and smokers to know when legal pot will actually be a reality in Washington — which puts the high-stakes marijuana legalization experiment at risk of failure not just in the state, but in the rest of country.
Some of the bizarre complications currently plaguing Washington are inherent in any conflict between state and federal government. Marijuana remains a Schedule I prohibited substance under federal law, although US Attorney General Eric Holder has said the Justice Department will allow Washington and Colorado — Amendment 64 there also legalized recreational pot as of January 1 — to proceed unhindered. Some complications arise due to cumbersome provisions in the Washington law itself. And others from the way the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) has interpreted its authority to create a new recreational marijuana system.
Even when Washington’s aspiring weed moguls finally do get their licenses, they’ll have only begun the permit process. Each license holder must also secure business permits from local authorities who are often openly hostile to legal pot. Most growing operations will need construction permits to build their irrigation, electrical, and waste-disposal systems. Premises must be found. Leases must be signed. Finances must be secured to pay for all this, and not from traditional lenders — banks remain skittish about funding an industry that remains illegal under federal law, even after the Justice and Treasury departments announced in February that financial institutions may work with licensed pot businesses. Lastly, marijuana has to actually grow. It takes at least a couple of months to produce a crop.
Over the next decade, we will probably see more states legalize marijuana. Oklahoma is in line and there is talk of legalization down the road in Texas and in other states. Only time will tell if this will be a good thing. One thing that even opponents of legalization should consider, however. Even if you are opposed to smoking marijuana yourselves, legalizing it will make things safer all around. It will cut down on drug-related crimes by eliminating street dealers. Regulation of bud will keep the quality high and the dangerous chemicals out. It will generate revenue for schools, roads and health care and it will cause it to be much less likely to fall into the hands of children.
The jury is out on this one. We’ll see how it goes. There was a tremendous bruhaha about the legalization of alcohol, back in the day. Now it is legal everywhere. I have a feeling the same will be true of pot.