I was 14 years old when Ronald Reagan declared war on drugs, that was 1982. Four years later, Nancy Reagan told us kids to ‘just say no’ to drugs.
Fast forward to 2014 and the governement of Colorado is saying now it’s ok to say yes to drugs as long as you buy it from an authorized drug dealer like Native Roots Apothecary. All you have to do is prove you’re 21 and then you can buy your ‘nickle bag’ without having to worry about getting busted for possession.
With a doctor’s prescription, you can get your weed for $150 – $400 dollars an ounce and buy up to two ounces a day. Without a prescription, you’re talking $400 – $500 an ounce. The state of Colorado is making a killing. Consider this, buying marijuana for recretional use only just became legal on 1January 2014 and already there are more cannabis shops in Colorado than there are branches of Starbucks. In one hour, the LoDo Wellness Centre, another authorized drug dealer, clocked in 300 people through the doors. That’s a lot of people getting high.
I’m not up on my drug culture. I’ve only smoked one joint in my entire life. I know the debate to legalise marijuna has been going on for ages, but to be honest, I never took a firm view one way or the other. I did question why it was ok to get wasted on alcohol, but not ok to smoke a joint. To me, the whole marijuana thing had a lot of parallels with the prohibition of alcohol.
It was only a matter of time before the government wizened up and realised there was good money to be made legalising weed for more than medicinal purposes. The State is expected to bring in an extra $70 million in taxes this year. And that’s not to mention the money to be made from Colorado’s budding drug tourism industry sprouting up. People are making the trek to Colorada from places as far away as New Jersey and California. There’s even a weed friendly rating for hotels.
If weed wasn’t big business before, it’s about to get bigger now.
But despite weed being legal now, people are still choosing to buy illegal weed from unauthorized drug dealers simply because it’s cheaper.
I guess it has always been a sliipery slope explaining to kids that this drug is ok, i.e. legal if you’re of the right age (alcohol and cigarettes) and that drug is bad (marijuana). But now, I suspect it will be even more confusing having done a complete reversal on the stance against marijuana, where this time last year it would have been a criminal offense to smoke weed, to now where it is ok to get high.