As I continue to mull over the concept of legal weed in Colorado and Washington, it is incredible to think of a world where people do not go to jail for weed. I got into Colorado yesterday and technically smoked my first joint of legal adult use weed. It was delicious. I ripped the joint, and it did feel a little different. I drove around in a car with almost an ounce of weed on me, and did not even worry once when the cops pulled up behind us. It was a new day.
But then you start examining the possibilities and what this new legal weed concept may mean to the world around. Just the thought that a cop cannot pull you over and search you with no cause just because he says he “smells weed” is a game changer. This has been the underlying nightmare of the drug war for far too long. Our citizens rights have been stripped from them in the name of weed. Cops have used their “probable cause” of smelling weed to invade the privacy of citizens for decades; and usually with little to no opposition. The US Supreme Court has even ruled these clowns can bring out drug sniffing dogs to help invade your privacy even if they smell something walking around your vehicle. It is nuts.
That power over us goes away when weed is legal. The days of a cop’s right to rummage through your private belongings, car, or residence for smelling weed are numbered. Now that may not sound like much, but it is a huge victory for privacy rights. Often, these illegal searches result in the discovering of other issues, and cops use their “probable cause” foot in the door to examine and judge people’s lives. Taking this right away will result in far fewer meaningless arrests. That is a net positive, no matter how we look at it. Less people going to jail sounds like a great start to me.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg, when thinking about how real and meaningful cannabis reform will change the world. When you think about hemp alone, you can imagine a world with building materials, fuel, food, and fiber being produced more ecologically and efficiently. Jack Herer’s famous quote, “Hemp can save the planet” could be coming true. In a world where drought and industry have depleted many of our resources, a renewable fast-growing plant that can produce incredible resources sounds pretty promising. When we look at the effects of global warming and we see an answer in planting a plant that is hearty and easy to grow that can begin to solve some of the issues we face, the real question is, “what have we been waiting for?”
But think bigger. Think about the collective conscious of a nation. Think about a world where more people choose to smoke weed than drink beer. That can be a pretty big deal, as this thing plays out. If you can even get a percentage of people who abuse alcohol in dangerous ways to change their habits to a less volatile cannabis habit, that can change the world. Alcohol breeds violence and suffering. While many enjoy booze, it is no secret that they have caused great damage in our society. People who use cannabis are safer and less violent. That is just a fact. If more people use weed in an adult use legalized world because they do not have to worry about being a criminal or the stigma, then we will all be better off. That is easy to see. Give me more stoned people than drunk people any day.
When you begin looking at potential business models, you can see how the world would change. How about a cannabis NASCAR team? It could happen. If you have the Budweiser car, could you imagine “Team Tainted” celebrating on pit row? I can. Can you imagine traveling the hills of Mendocino and Humboldt driving from one “Canntation” to another, like a winery tour? People love weed, just like they love wine. Can you imagine and entertainment industry geared around weed, with restaurants and dab bars themed to serve cannabis nation? I can. Weed Disneyland, anyone? Count me in.
The reality is that I am not sure even my deeply imaginative self can imagine what real legalization of weed in a free market will mean for our society. It is beyond anything we have ever experienced in this lifetime. The repeal of alcohol prohibition came after only 13 years, and there was far less of a law enforcement infrastructure built up around it. Here we are decades later and millions of people lost to “the system” because of weed. We will begin to restore justice and humanity to people’s lives in ways none of us can really imagine at this time, on the first cusp of this brave new world. When you try to take it in and imagine a world where nobody goes to jail for weed, do me a favor and THINK BIGGER.