LA Times reports: The sale of marijuana for recreational use began in Washington on Tuesday morning, the second state in the nation where the once-scorned drug is now legal for all.
Eager customers began lining up well before dawn at Bellingham’s Top Shelf Cannabis, one of about six stores statewide expected to sell on the first day. Licenses were issued to 25 stores, but not all are open.
“I feel it is something people should have the choice to do, or not do, on their own,” said Cale Holdsworth, 29, the first in a line of about 100 people. The line snaked around the corner from the store through the industrial area of the city north of Seattle.
“This is a great moment. I am thrilled to be a part of this. It’s awesome. I love it.”
Holdsworth, from Abilene, Kan., said he was visiting relatives and planned to smoke his purchase at their home. He described himself as a frequent user of pot, which remains illegal in Kansas. At present, only Colorado allows the sale of pot for recreational use, though Holdsworth said he hoped that Kansas would permit it at some point.
Holdsworth walked into the store shortly after it opened at 8 a.m. By 8:05 a.m., he was at the glass counter where pipes and other paraphernalia were on display. Because the Washington law does not allow the buyer to touch or sample product, Holdsworth sniffed the pot aroma from a bottle. Read the rest of this entry »
INVESTIGATING THE MEOW MEOW MENACE
For Rolling Stone, Julianne Escobedo Shepherd reports: Of all the nicknames for a street drug, the newish “meow meow” might be the most innocuous ever, but its effects can be gruesome. On December 29th of last year, a British 19 year old, home for the holidays and geeked on meow meow, stabbed his mother before cutting off his own penis with the same knife.
“…what type of intoxicant could drive a level-headed teen to such a far corner of berzerk?
According to The Mirror, police responded to an emergency call placed by his mother, 46, and discovered the son “hanging out of a bedroom window with blood pouring from his wounds.” As of early January, the mother was in stable condition, and the son’s penis had been reattached. “He is normally a very lovely lad and very bright,” reported a family friend. “But unfortunately, he had started dabbling in drugs.” Yes, very unfortunately.
So what type of intoxicant could drive a level-headed teen to such a far corner of berzerk? Meow meow’s scientific name is “mephedrone,” and the drug is a type of designer amphetamine that produces effects similar to those of both MDMA and cocaine, including everyone’s favorite drug byproduct, teeth grinding.
David Harsanyi writes: As a Denver Post columnist from 2004-11, I spent a considerable amount of time writing pieces advocating the legalization of pot. So I was happy when Colorado became one of the first to decriminalize small amounts of “recreational” marijuana. I believe that the war on drugs is a tragically misplaced use of resources—an immoral venture that produces far more suffering than it alleviates. And on a philosophical level, I believe that adults should be permitted to ingest whatever they desire—including, but not limited to, trans fats, tobacco, cough syrup, colossal sodas and so on—as long as they live with the consequences.
You know, that old chestnut.
Unrealistic? Maybe. But less so than allowing myself to believe that human behavior can/should be endlessly nudged, cajoled and coerced by politicians.
“The problem is that Americans use the state as a moral compass. For libertarians, it is often frustrating to explain that advocating the decriminalization of x is not synonymous with endorsing x. It’s often easier to rationalize away the consequences of enhanced choice than to admit it exists.”
So naturally, I was curious to see how marijuana sales in Colorado would shake out. According to the Denver Post, there are nearly 40 stores in Colorado licensed to sell “recreational” pot. Medical marijuana has been legal for more than a decade. Not surprisingly, pot stores can’t keep up with demand for a hit of recreational tetrahydrocannabinol. Outside Denver shops, people are waiting for up to five hours to buy some well-taxed and “regulated” cannabis. The pot tourists also have arrived. All this, the Denver Post estimates, will translate into $40 million of additional tax revenue in 2014—the real reason legalization in Colorado became a reality.
The news coverage swung from mild bemusement to acting as if society were on the cusp of a major civil rights victory. For me, the entire spectacle seemed rather pathetic and anticlimactic.