If you are interested in a “Members Frolic”, a “Potfest”, or a “Hempfest”, Washington State, primarily Seattle, is the place to be. When the voters legalized the “recreational use” of marijuana last fall, the partying began.
The downtown area witnesses a gathering of partygoers. In addition, there are glassblowers creating personalized bongs, and of course an abundance of food carts.
The federal government has threatened to file a lawsuit against the recreational use of “pot”, but until they do, entrepreneurs, now known as “ganjapreneurs”, are planning on a large and profitable tourist season.
There are restrictions. In Washington State, residents over the age of 21 can now possess up to an ounce of cannabis, one pound of “a solid marijuana-infused product” like peanut butter fudge brownies, or 72 ounces of an infused liquid like a green tea smoothie. And smoking openly in public is illegal, just as the consumption of alcohol in public areas is forbidden.
The buying and selling of marijuana will not be legal until December. Details of the licensing and taxing of the product need to be worked out by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. And specific wording of law enforcement’s authority must be determined by the state’s attorney general’s office.
Purists warn against Seattle or Denver becoming the “Amsterdam of the west”, concerned that it would “tarnish the reputation” of the cities.
Those that believe the Obama administration will not take action against the mandate of the voters are planning to create lounges and cafes centered around cannabis. Some are talking of “cannabis tours” similar to Washington state’s wine tours.
As I write this, Nevada is considering the merits of legalizing marijuana. Legislators supporting the bill have presented logical and profitable reasons for its passage. Detractors have not offered substantial opposition for its defeat. The only state that is wise enough to legalize prostitution, should do the same for marijuana. No laws against either practice will ever eliminate them. Why should only criminals make money off of the sale of a recreational drug? And why should tax payer money be wasted on futile attempts to eliminate its sale?
This may be the most interesting summer Seattle has ever witnessed. Will it become the “Sturgis” for pot smokers? The money may flow where legal smokers can go.
Columnist-The Guardian Express