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Dopeless in Seattle… For Now

Voters in the states of Washington and Colorado have recently approved measures decriminalizing marijuana.  Despite this, there is no place to legally purchase it.

Both states now allow adults over the age of 21 to consume and possess small amounts of marijuana, but there is no place to get it yet. This is because the stores that marijuana profiteers hope to set up are being shunned in many communities.

The Colorado law, known as constitutional Amendment 64, was written with an “opt out” clause for municipalities that didn’t want to sanction marijuana sales and use. Up to now, more than 50 municipal councils have decided to protect their best interests and say no to pot by banning dope-selling shops. That is according to the Colorado Municipal League.

Potheads are persistent, though, and willing to do almost anything to get their fix. Even though cities and counties have moved to keep pot out, consumers will just drive to the nearest city or county to re-up their supplies. Passing ordinances or “opting out” will certainly discourage the potheads and add to their cost, but it probably won’t be enough to stop them.

I hope that police will update their DUI field-testing capabilities to detect THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Having a bunch of stoners drive around and looking for pot sounds dangerous to me. Most cities and counties are concerned with revenue. Tagging marijuana users behind the wheel would raise substantial revenue and discourage use.

Colorado Springs is one of the larger cities in Colorado stepping up against pot. City leaders say that, even though pot sales would be taxed to raise revenue, the revenue lost by a potential backlash and added costs would far outweigh what is brought in through taxation. Colorado Springs tourism would suffer and they would likely lose some of the military presence that helps to keep their economy going. Councilman Don Knight, who voted against allowing pot sales in Colorado Springs, said that it’s important to remain competitive when attempting to retain military bases and units. Other cities that do not allow easy access to pot would be more ideal for soldiers, as the federal government won’t allow them to access it even if local laws permit them to.

The state of Washington’s legalization legislation differs from Colorado in one key way. Washington’s bill did not include language permitting cities or counties to opt out. The state liquor board, who will be tasked with regulating pot sales, is working on regulations. If everything goes smoothly, it plans to start accepting applications sometime in November.

I find it objectionable that a liquor board, which is probably already extremely busy regulating alcohol sales, is now required to monitor marijuana sales also.

 

Source:

1.  Mangan, Faith, and Alicia Acuna. “Reefer Sadness: You Can Smoke It, but You Can’t Buy It.” Foxnews.com. FOX News Network, 22 Aug. 2013. Web. 23 Aug. 2013.

 

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Kevin Giles is a product of Santa Cruz, CA – the stoner capitol of the world. A born again Christian, Kevin loves his Lord Jesus and believes that his purpose in life is determined by God. He first entered drug recovery at the age of 19, suffering from an addiction to marijuana. He is a recent graduate of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master’s degree in Christian Ministry. Passionate about God’s Word, he aspires to become a pastor or missionary. Kevin has also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Monterey Bay. His interests include traveling, movies, golf, fitness and reading. He also enjoys being outdoors as well as spending time with friends and family. Kevin’s faith, education and life experience give him a unique perspective on addiction, recovery and spirituality.

Filed under: Alcohol and Drugs · Tags: Colorado, marijuana, pot