Woop! One more month and Oregon will become the 4th state to legalize recreational pot! Just a reminder – in November 2014 Oregon approved Measure 91, which legalized recreational marijuana for people ages 21 and older. The initiative was sponsored by the group New Approach Oregon. As of July 1 possession will be legal and fellow tokers of Oregon will be allowed to grow up to 8 plants at home and posses up to 8 ounces away from home. Retail sales applications will be open in January 2016 with sales expected sometime later in the year.
Big changes for the community
As hype about legalization of pot is getting stronger, government officials are warning that sales are still not legal and consumption must take place at home. “You cannot use it in public and so people should not be thinking they can walk down the street consuming marijuana openly or you’ll be in violation of the law,” said State Sen. Floyd Prozanski, who sits on the Measure 91 committee.
Legalizing marijuana has a huge effect on the community, not just for people who are consuming it, but everyone else as well. These are cultural changes that affect people’s perception in general. Marijuana enters the language once again, only this time not as a gateway drug, but instead as a medicine and recreation. Thinking, talking and eventually feeling about it is about to change for many people who live in Oregon. The culture of consuming marijuana in Western world has been marginalized for a long time, and naturally, police officers have every reason to worry, as this transitional time is the most fragile one for their community.
Police prepare for marijuana law to take effect
Besides obvious changes in legal framework, which affects the police force in large part as they learn about the new ecosystem under which they will soon operate – there are also changes that come with the influx of people who will be crossing state borders to get high legally. This will, naturally, boost the economy, but it will also bring a lot of new people in state and that is always a delicate issue. And finally, getting to Oregon to get high is one thing, however, there is still the issue of bringing marijuana across state lines – once you cross the border into Idaho, the weed in your pocket becomes illegal. You have every reason to expect more police control around the borders of two states.
Message from an old stoner
Recent article from the Observer featured a blog post by a writer named Donnell Alexander who expressed his feelings about the legalization and smoking pot when it was dangerous. As a reference to marijuana entering our culture under new circumstances, Alexander said: “Bud around my way will now be available for purchase, carry, and consumption modes recreational, medicinal, professional or whatever… a.k.a. the way I’ve been doing it for decades.” Nothing changes and everything changes all at once, only this time, no one has to hide while they talk, smoke and eat their greens.