Oh, yeah, the times are definitely a'changing here in Oregon. High times are coming soon to Washington state, which legalized adult marijuana sales/use last year.
Willamette Week has reported news of considerable interest to those of a cannabis-consuming bent in northwest Oregon: the would-be sellers and growers in Clark County, a mere crossing of the Columbia River away from Portland.
I'm 65. I've been used to marijuana being illegal my entire life, obviously.
I still feel a pang in my '60s heart (the decade, not my age) when I remember driving with similarly stoned friends in my smoke-filled '57 VW bug to the ill-fated Altamont Free Concert, the flip side of Woodstock. The traffic was heavy as we neared the concert site.
I saw flashing lights and heard a siren behind us. Those being paranoid times, I rolled down my window and dropped the baggie that contained our entire stash onto the pavement. Only to watch the police car zoom past us. My friends weren't happy with me. But, hey, back then getting caught with Mary Jane was a pretty big deal.
Not for much longer. At least in the more enlightened states.
Washington and Colorado are showing Oregon the way to legalization. New Approach Oregon likely will have an initiative on the 2014 ballot one way or the other -- by a legislative referral or by gathering signatures.
It's pleasantly weird to look at the names of absolutely legal Clark County businesses that hope to sell or grow marijuana. Cultural changes can come fast, once a tipping point is reached. (Gay marriage is another example.)
Clear Mind Canteen, LLC
David Sarasohn has an entertaining piece in today's Oregonian, "Marijuana goes from a crime to a consumer story."
Just when things looked bleak for newspapers, The Denver Post has found a way.
Readying itself to cover Colorado's voter-directed legalization of recreational marijuana, the Post has named a marijuana editor to oversee its coverage and its marijuana website, and is planning to add a freelance marijuana advice columnist and a freelance marijuana critic. (Of course, most marijuana critics are freelance.) Applications are flowing in, many of them written on rolling papers.
Finally, newspaper jobs that people are excited about.
And the Post jobs could well be a training ground. Washington also has voted to legalize marijuana, and the on-line Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a sponsored blog on the subject. Legalization will be on the Oregon ballot again next November – this column is not a job listing – and California is likely to be close behind.
And if it's a major position to be the rock critic of The Los Angeles Times or the restaurant critic of The San Francisco Chronicle, to be the marijuana critic of either of them would be a truly big deal.
Not to be confused with being a big dealer.
Portland's Willamette Week also has gotten on the journalistic bandwagon with its Willy Weed column.
Very soon, on what is likely to be a cloudy day, storefronts across Portland’s plucky northernmost suburb will be front and center for one of America’s newest and nuttiest experiments. The question on some minds: Can marijuana use occur without humans devolving into rage-fueled cannibalism? The question on everyone else’s: Why did it take so long?
Of course, we Oregonians will be adjacent to the action, heads bowed in silent shame as Washington passes a glittery glass piece from Ilwaco to Colville.
Oregon was the first state to decriminalize marijuana, but this time those Appleheads out-pioneered us, and out-pioneered us good. Which makes it a little odd that, for the first time in its 40-year history, Willamette Week is rolling out a marijuana column. (This is that column.) Why not wait until marijuana is legal in, say, Portland proper?
Weed will be legally and openly sold a short drive away in only a few weeks. And we won’t have long to wait before it’s permitted here, too. A new legalization measure will almost certainly be on next year’s ballot, and there’s hint of the Oregon Legislature going no-huddle and passing a law earlier.
Washington’s approval of Initiative 502 conjures images of hangdog Oregonians trudging north for supplies in much the way our forefathers relied on Fort Vancouver for huggable beaver pelts. We’ll be paying weed taxes to Sounders fans, and paying their regressive sales tax on Juanita’s Chilipeño chips because it’s just so far back across the river and I’m hungry now, damn it.
And you know how much of that tax revenue will go toward building a bridge with light rail across the Columbia? Zero-point-zero percent.
Excellent point. Which goes a long way toward explaining why the money-hungry Oregon Legislature might take the lead in getting marijuana legalized here.