Marijuana is now legal in Oregon and Alaska. Exciting news, as the number of states that have legalized it has now doubled. As a former resident of Oregon, I was very surprised to see that it wasn’t legalized during the last presidential election. Having lived in both Oregon and Colorado, I would have expected it to pass in Oregon before it would have in Colorado.
Having experienced the implementation of Amendment 64 in Colorado, I can only hope it goes a lot smother in the new states. In the county of La Plata, we are just now getting over the moratorium and just now starting to get legal retail. The sin-tax imposed on weed here ends up being around 30% once everyone takes their cut, and the Federal Government is collecting tax off of it, while at the same time kicking people out of federal housing because they’re medical patients. Colorado has succeeded in overregulating, which has made retail much more difficult than medical. There are many dispensaries that want nothing to do with legal retail just for that reasons. Many cannot create two separate entrances (one for medical, one for retail) and everyone is wondering what silly new regulations will come out of Denver.
All the while, our (publically) pot hating governor has appointed a new head of Health and Environment, who has basically launched a crusade against medical caregivers, stating that everyone should just convert to legal retail anyway. Now the entire medical community is worried about medical marijuana being completely destroyed (or overregulated) because of the passing of Amendment 64.
In fact, many people in the medical community (me included) selfishly wish Amendment 64 never happened. It was legal for us before. Nothings changed. The only thing different since legalization for us, is the fact that we can now Facebook about it and tell bosses or clients that we’re not going to be available for the month of October because of harvest. Now there’s this Dr. Larry Wolk trying to impose change on the medical community that’s been operating perfectly fine for years. Yeah, screw legalization.
So please, Oregon and Alaska, don’t overregulate it. Enable businesses to thrive and don’t make them have to jump through 50 new hurdles every single month. Treat legal retail like a normal business. Don’t put 50 moratoriums in place and please, don’t freak out about how everyone is already smoking. Everyone already is….
Will Washington D.C. Really Legalize It?
Washington D.C. is the real interesting player in the legalization game. Congress has 60 days to pass a bill blocking Initiative 71 and forbidding Washington D.C. from spending the money to implement it. Will that happen? Who knows? The international spotlight is going to be on Washington D.C., however. How ironic it would be if one of the few places where it was legal was in the nation’s capitol, although still legal across most the nation. That would be very ironic, to say the least.