Liberty, Up In Smoke?
January 1, 2014 7:10 PM   Subscribe

"Building burn as rioters loot the local businesses, lighting their joints on the structure fires they set." First hand account of the disaster unfolding in Colorado on #GreenWednesday.

Colorado legalization previously.
posted by Potomac Avenue (201 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
High-Larious!
posted by evilDoug at 7:13 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


Let's keep this thread serious guys there are lives going down the tubes here.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:17 PM on January 1 [9 favorites]


I'm looking forward to seeing civilization not collapse in chaos as the result of this legalization.
posted by Lexica at 7:18 PM on January 1 [11 favorites]


Bizarrely framed post. I've been watching twitter and the news for this all day and it everything appears to have gone smoothly. My favorite site so far for coverage has been The Cannabist, run by Denver Post, and apparently just launched jn the last few days.

Meanwhile, in Washington, we are still waiting.
posted by Joe Chip at 7:18 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


Wait, so, Joe Chip, you're telling us people are NOT lighting their joints on the buildings they have set fire to in Denver?

Thank God.
posted by xmutex at 7:23 PM on January 1 [5 favorites]


This is parody about the looting, right?.....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:25 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


And they say Americans don't do irony.
posted by um at 7:26 PM on January 1 [28 favorites]


Im sure the DEA and Obama DOJ is watching the evidence of an orderly rollout closely, ready to enact a moratorium on marijuana enforcement while urging Congress to put a swift end to the drug war.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:29 PM on January 1 [5 favorites]


It might not be as noticeable as a building going up in flames, indeed it might be a while before it makes its presence known, but moral decay will destroy a state as surely as a looter's blowtorch.
posted by Flashman at 7:29 PM on January 1 [15 favorites]


These are just a few of the images we've recorded. You can see, it wasn't what we thought. There was no war here, no terraforming event. The environment is stable. It's the pot. The Tetrahydrocannabinol that we added to the list of products it is legal to buy. It was supposed to calm the population, weed out aggression. Well, it works. The people here stopped fighting. And then they stopped everything else. They stopped going to work, they stopped breeding, talking, eating. There's 30 million people here, and they all just let themselves die.
posted by officer_fred at 7:32 PM on January 1 [62 favorites]


Dave? Dave's not here, man.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:34 PM on January 1 [8 favorites]


Ok, um, we usually take our irony out to the dry cleaners and have it done for us.
And while I'm here, seriously, Potomac Avenue? As a Denverite who was out and about today, there are no fires, no looters, and the worse thing I saw were people standing outside in lines on a cold snowy day. And as for lives going down the tubes, yes there are, but that would be in the states where it's still illegal and you can get a mandatory sentence for smoking a joint.
And in the off chance you were practicing a little irony American style, good job. :)
posted by evilDoug at 7:35 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


Irony: in its broadest sense, is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or event characterized by an incongruity, or contrast, between what the expectations of a situation are and what is really the case, with a third element, that defines that what is really the case is ironic because of the situation that led to it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:39 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


'I'm here more for the history than the marijuana,' said teacher Savannah Edwards, who drove to Colorado from Lubbock, Texas.

"History is, you know, it's like, the past," Edwards said later. "But for our, like, grandparents or whatever, it was the present. And we're in, like, their future, because we're all kind of, like, time travelers. Like, time is the ultimate time machine. Shit, man. Fuck."
posted by Snarl Furillo at 7:39 PM on January 1 [90 favorites]


It's weird to see some actual sanity happen in this country.
posted by octothorpe at 7:42 PM on January 1 [14 favorites]


I'm looking forward to seeing civilization not collapse in chaos as the result of this legalization.

Well, of course not. Civilization already collapsed when the gays started marriaging or maybe when women got the vote. Civilization can't collapse multiple times, silly! I swear, some people just don't know their history.
posted by hattifattener at 7:43 PM on January 1 [10 favorites]


The only thing more dangerous than marijuana drugs is clicking on links in posts. Thank you all for staying vigilant.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:44 PM on January 1 [40 favorites]


This is like that moment when the United States swore in an openly lesbian Senator.

Amazing. Hard to believe. Makes you smile uncontrollably when you remember it's real.
posted by mediareport at 7:45 PM on January 1 [3 favorites]


I'm looking for all the Onion articles about organized crime rings, with members sharing a love of using marijuana products, pooling their resources to take over the city - but were thwarted by the fact that they all just wanted to stay in that evening, smoke pot, and order take out pizza.
posted by alex_skazat at 7:47 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


I knew this was all really happening a few months ago, when Jack in the Box released their Munchie Menu, with an ad campaign that stopped thiiiis short of just flat-out saying who their audience was.
posted by emjaybee at 7:51 PM on January 1 [7 favorites]


hattifattener: "I swear, some people just don't know their history."

Not my fault — I am the product of the American educational system. You all made me this way, man! <storms off moodily>
posted by Lexica at 7:57 PM on January 1 [3 favorites]


Please, don’t do marijuana. It’s the most dangerous drug out there. Please don’t wind up like Becky.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 8:00 PM on January 1 [25 favorites]


I was worried about MMJ stocks getting run on before today but found all all sorts of New Year's sales instead. (end of year liquidation). Got an ounce of organic chocolate OG for $113 and it's flawless. Ten years ago it'd be $375. Two sampler eights for $18. I love this state.
posted by lordaych at 8:00 PM on January 1 [4 favorites]


I am nowhere near Colorado and yet I can smell my neighbors getting baked right now. No wait, as I type this they are heading out for munchies trying to get organized on their porch, you can't make this up.

The creeping moral corrosion is already spreading!
posted by Dip Flash at 8:03 PM on January 1 [5 favorites]


an ad campaign that stopped thiiiis short of just flat-out saying who their audience was

Jack stays one step behind the line, Mighty Taco takes that step over it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:04 PM on January 1


Which is not to minimize the importance of MMJ. The strain names are absurd but chocolate OG seems to hit my most inflamed areas (knee joints) and turn pain into bliss without making me go to sleep. Being allergic to NSAIDS and being totally accident prone with a lifetime of accumulated joint damage sucks, but MMJ rules. The only thing close to it that isn't a hard-core drug is Kratom, which is a plant that contains endogenous opioids. It causes sweating, itching, mild fever, and constipation at decent doses. MMJ wins.

Yes it was used to usher in pseudo-legalization but in a much more disciplined fashion than California. It was a great statement that many Coloradans felt "duped" by MMJ after seeing all of the 20-something white males getting their "red cards," but then realized shit really didn't hit the fan, the tax revenue was nice, and hey, let's just make it official.

MMJ is currently spared the 25% extra tax on recreational so it'll be interesting to see the economic price forces at work when some people are getting more quality-for-their-buck and others might be pressured to go with "bottom shelf" due to the 25%.
posted by lordaych at 8:06 PM on January 1


What does MMJ stand for?
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 8:09 PM on January 1


OH I figured it out.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 8:12 PM on January 1


Merry Mary Jane, obviously.
posted by MillMan at 8:28 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


reminds me of a Joe Walsh song
posted by philip-random at 8:29 PM on January 1


Mary Mary Juana.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 8:29 PM on January 1


Please, don’t do marijuana LSD PCP crack meth. It’s the most dangerous drug out there. Please don’t wind up like Becky.

But seriously, good on you Colorado. Have a celebratory bag of Doritos on me.
posted by Justinian at 8:31 PM on January 1


No wait, as I type this they are heading out for munchies trying to get organized on their porch, you can't make this up.

You know, you could make a few dollars with a food truck right about now...
posted by eriko at 8:40 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


Oh, that's what Bruce Sterling meant by "structure hits"? Shit, never mind, then.
posted by runehog at 8:43 PM on January 1 [3 favorites]


Please, don’t do marijuana LSD PCP crack meth. It’s the most dangerous drug out there. Please don’t wind up like Becky.

unless you are a medical doctor on rotation, or an air force pilot or Paul Erdos...
posted by ennui.bz at 9:06 PM on January 1


reefer madness is on youtube!

(Don't watch it unless you are really bored. Definitely don't watch it if you are high. If you are high you might want to listen to some Zeppelin instead.)
posted by bukvich at 9:08 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


What's wrong with watching it high. I've never watched it when I wasn't high.
posted by philip-random at 9:12 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


If you are high you might want to listen to some Zeppelin instead.

I knew something was missing from my evening.
posted by brennen at 9:19 PM on January 1


It's been, what? Twelve hours into this thing? I'm a little worried the legal pot is just another vehicle of immediate gratification for the lower class. Living in Denver, you can see the lines out the door, and around the block of the dispensaries - it's not a varied crowd. The problem is a cultural one, but I'm of the opinion that delayed gratification leads to a more prolonged happiness.

I can't remember that last time I partaked, but it's been like, *a while*, and I've no interest in using - but it's hard to stop myself from thinking that the dude taking my coffee order, that can't string two words together tonight? Fucking high. The person outside the window that can't parallel park after 5 minutes with nearly a car length of extra room? Fuckin' high.

I know that's not the most popular way of thinking, but I hope shit does in fact, chill the fuck out around here. My east coast mentality wants my coffee fucking right now, and the cyclist in me doesn't want the odds of me getting hit by a car to go up.
posted by alex_skazat at 9:31 PM on January 1 [4 favorites]


What is the point of smoking pot without the cloak and daggers? If its normal its boring.
posted by Colonel Panic at 9:34 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


but I hope shit does in fact, chill the fuck out around here. My east coast mentality wants my coffee fucking right now

One of these sentiments is not like the other.
posted by brennen at 9:39 PM on January 1 [31 favorites]


It's been, what? Twelve hours into this thing? I'm a little worried the legal pot is just another vehicle of immediate gratification for the lower class.

Well, I see it hasn't done any harm to our ability to jump to immediate judgment of the undeserving poor, anyway.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 9:42 PM on January 1 [71 favorites]


If its normal its boring.

or it's mostly benign, possibly even beneficial, in an innocuous way.
posted by philip-random at 9:45 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


It's been, what? Twelve hours into this thing? I'm a little worried the legal pot is just another vehicle of immediate gratification for the lower class.

The people you are worried about smoking marijuana probably could already get ahold of it pretty easily. Anybody could, but the law tended to ignore the whiter, wealthier smokers. Now the "lower class" won't face ridiculously disproportionate jail sentences either. At least not for pot.

And dollars to donuts, your coffee guy is probably already very good at working high. It's a valuable skill to have when you work a customer service job catering to judgmental, demanding people (otherwise known as a customer service job).

Mmmmm, donuts. Anybody up for a donut run?
posted by bibliowench at 9:55 PM on January 1 [43 favorites]


They were paying high prices for new recreational marijuana — $50 to $60 for an eighth of an ounce, nearly double the price of medical marijuana

That's interesting economics; why the price difference? Is the tax structure for recreational and medical different in Colorado? Or just supply & demand not quite evened out yet?

some tourists puzzled over where they would consume their purchases. One group from Nebraska said it would find a parking lot and roll up the car windows.

Apparently the verb "hotbox" is not part of the NYT house style.
posted by Nelson at 10:01 PM on January 1 [9 favorites]


phillip-random I was specifically thinking of this (Ocean off Houses Holy but the whole album is mostly pretty great) which is four minutes whereas reefer madness is > than a flippin' hour which might seem like six if you really are high.
posted by bukvich at 10:29 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Donuts (I was too!) Voodoo Doughnut just opened a shop next to a dispensary. Coincidence? I think not!
Sorry, Google Street View hasn't updated to show Voodoo Doughnut yet.
posted by evilDoug at 10:37 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


That's interesting economics; why the price difference? Is the tax structure for recreational and medical different in Colorado? Or just supply & demand not quite evened out yet?

The tax hungry bureaucrats are getting this all wrong. Marijuana is not tobacco. The idea that you can heavily tax something alteady being produced in quantity without any tax is going to create legions of tax-evaders. I fully expect the police to chase these tax evaders with the same vigor as they previously chased users. Weed should be tax free or very lightly taxed. But let's watch organised crime take over the Colorado experiment and maybe other states will get it right.

Also very strange to see nullification being cheered on Metafilter. State's rights is normally a bad word round here.
posted by three blind mice at 10:45 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


I believe there are still people in the downtown parks in Denver that give away joints daily as free promotions for their dispensaries.

And I think the whole deal has been great. Nobody driving off the mountain, few dispensary robberies ( nighttime if anytime ), local police have hired detectives and cold case personnel, thousands of new jobs and hundreds of formally vacant spaces rented.

And then the Reavers came.
posted by buzzman at 10:47 PM on January 1 [5 favorites]


I can report that, 24 hours in with the new law, the grocery store shelves are still stocked with Doritos.

Repeat: there is no dorite emergency, no need for panic.
posted by rewil at 11:13 PM on January 1 [8 favorites]


Less encouraging is the fact that the (overwhelmingly poor and minority) people sitting in Colorado jails for marijuana possession cannot take advantage, as they are still in jail.

Nevertheless, this is a very good thing, because it puts all the prohibition arguments on the table right in front of people's eyes and everyone can see just how silly and utterly without merit they are. Sanity is coming.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:17 PM on January 1 [5 favorites]


The idea that you can heavily tax something alteady being produced in quantity without any tax is going to create legions of tax-evaders.

You can manufacture alcohol at home as well, certainly more easily than growing cannabis (using nothing that can't be obtained from a grocery and hardware store), and yet most people don't bother despite the very high excise taxes on alcohol. (In my state the tax on liquor is 20%, beer is 5%.) There is a very significant value in being able to walk down to the store, put cash on the counter, receive a product of known quality, and walk out without having to worry about being arrested for it.

It really depends on the degree of enforcement that's placed on tax evasion. The (very mild, probably more myth than reality) enforcement effort assigned to bootleg distilleries is more than enough to keep people from producing bathtub gin in favor of the ABC store in my neck of the woods, even with the 20% tax. If that level of enforcement gets customers paying a 20% tax, I could easily see the 'only legal recreational cannabis in the world' fetching much higher premiums.

It seems like it would be better if the tax were a flat rate rather than a percent-of-retail, similar to Federal excise taxes on alcohol. That would probably help to stabilize prices, and also make the amount of tax revenue more predictable. (It's going to do some interesting things to their education budget when a significant part of it depends on the market price of recreational weed.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:27 PM on January 1 [12 favorites]


"Also very strange to see nullification being cheered on Metafilter. State's rights is normally a bad word round here."

This is not nullification. Nullification is when a state attempts to directly contradict federal law, which means that it obstructs enforcement of federal law. These laws legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana do not speak to federal law in any way and Colorado and Washington will not interfere with the federal government's enforcement of federal law.

Which means that the states can't and won't shield residents from federal charges, which is fine.

The history of actual nullification are anti-civil rights laws in the south which specifically charged state and local officials with a responsibility to oppose federal civil rights law. It includes the Kansas gun law that specifically charges state and local officials to obstruct federal law enforcement about weapons manufactured in Kansas which do not leave the state; that is, it's a amateurish attempt to make their law constitutional, which it isn't. Nullification includes the towns that try to pass local laws which specifically oppose the ability for state and federal officials to carry out duties in accordance with federal law, such as the case of the eminent domain power-line case in New England that's been the subject of a post.

Nullification is when a state or local government passes a law that specifically opposes the activities and enforcement of federal law.

In contrast, a state or local government has no responsibility or requirement to prohibit everything that federal law prohibits, they can have something be completely legal with regard to their own laws, and in fact this is extremely common because, of course, localities don't replicate the entire federal code because that would be stupid.

As long as Colorado doesn't interfere with the US government enforcing its own laws, this isn't nullification. Do not call this nullification. It is not nullification.

Reporters and others who do not understand what nullification is and is not really annoy the hell out of me. I'm very much opposed to nullification, it's stupid and wasteful and the SCOTUS is unambiguous about it, it does not work. And it should not work. But not criminalizing something that the federal government criminalizes is absolutely not equivalent to nullification.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:40 PM on January 1 [27 favorites]


Also very strange to see nullification being cheered on Metafilter. State's rights is normally a bad word round here.

My understanding of this is that there is nothing wrong with states being independent in itself, that's a core part of what makes America great. The phrase "states rights", though, has become so tightly associated with racism that it is basically now a slur that is divorced from the concept it originally represented. Bigots, taking perfectly good words and symbols and making them unusable to good people everywhere.
posted by breath at 11:42 PM on January 1 [6 favorites]


"moral decay will destroy a state"

It's arguable that marijuana is the least of this country's worries in regards to morals and character.
posted by stormyteal at 11:45 PM on January 1 [3 favorites]


After a few moments of discussion here at Casa Stormy, we've come to the conclusion that they need to hand out pot to the people in lines for Black Friday sales... either that or Feliway the crowd. ;)
posted by stormyteal at 11:50 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


I'm a little worried the legal pot is just another vehicle of immediate gratification for the lower class. Living in Denver, you can see the lines out the door, and around the block of the dispensaries - it's not a varied crowd. The problem is a cultural one, but I'm of the opinion that delayed gratification leads to a more prolonged happiness.

Maybe you're right. Why don't you wait 10 years until the next time you have sex? That should lead to a more prolonged happiness for you. Or is that just a solution for the lower class?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:35 AM on January 2 [14 favorites]


the cyclist in me doesn't want the odds of me getting hit by a car to go up

Agreed. Washington state drivers are shitty enough at the act of driving without weed being added to the equation.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:57 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


You know marijuana is an anagram for I am a-rajun'
Makes you think.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:08 AM on January 2


Can we legalize psilocybin next?
posted by crayz at 2:14 AM on January 2 [5 favorites]



It's been, what? Twelve hours into this thing? I'm a little worried the legal pot is just another vehicle of immediate gratification for the lower class.


And what sort of vehicle is it for the middle and upper classes? You do realize they partake, but they deserve to enjoy it and certainly don't do it daily, right? We're off to a rocky start...

Living in Denver, you can see the lines out the door, and around the block of the dispensaries - it's not a varied crowd. The problem is a cultural one, but I'm of the opinion that delayed gratification leads to a more prolonged happiness.

There was diversity in the crowds, but I do notice that when I go to dispensaries in Denver there are some blacks and Mexicans there!!!!! Don't worry, the white people are in Boulder and Golden and Wheat Ridge and Youngfield or they paid the help to score.

I see lots of them blacks and Mexicans in Denver dispensaries along with the hippies and old white ladies and whatnot. They're pretty cool if you talk them up.

What I'm hearing is an extra-smug, ignorant, racist version of "if you make something legal, people of a particular class will turn into fucking degenerates because they're just waiting to do so." The clever omission of other classes suggests they've "made it enough" to be slackers or they just won't do it because they are suddenly responsible. You have nooooo idea.

What happens every time, culture to culture, is that the illegality and unavailability of innocuous substances like this leads to pursuing horrible alternatives like spice, krokodil, model airplane glue, meth, bath salts, whatever the fuck. But you don't really pay attention to that because this stuff doesn't really affect your life other than your interpretation of the state of your barista's mind or whatever the ...

I can't remember that last time I partaked, but it's been like, *a while*, and I've no interest in using - but it's hard to stop myself from thinking that the dude taking my coffee order, that can't string two words together tonight? Fucking high. The person outside the window that can't parallel park after 5 minutes with nearly a car length of extra room? Fuckin' high.

First of all, like you just said, it's been 12 hours or whatever it's been at this point. If you have a problem with coffee shop guy, give it a day, we just had a historical moment here whether you like it or not, and then take it up with him or his boss if you have trouble obtaining your drug of choice from him.

I know that's not the most popular way of thinking, but I hope shit does in fact, chill the fuck out around here. My east coast mentality wants my coffee fucking right now, and the cyclist in me doesn't want the odds of me getting hit by a car to go up.

The East Coast mentality is my 6 year old son when he's over-tired.

Hate to rain on your parade but Colorado has pretty much been #1 in chronic marijuana use for quite some time. Your East Coast mentality can basically go climb the highest mountain and scream as loud as it wants and hear its echo and feel aid and comfort in its echo, duuude, but we tend to mock and despise that particular style of expressing self-important smugness and have our own less abrasive implementations.

CO also ranks pretty high on fitness and happiness and such, but removing common criminal penalties for petty crimes is a good thing. And the people in Boulder who have been effectively living with legal weed even before dispensaries, because they're white and well to do? They're happy about this too, they tend to support social justice despite their privilege, it's like they care about their fellow man even if they can't effort to live somewhere awesome like Boulder.

But this Denver crowd is different! Recreationally getting all to' up and not delaying their gratification! Weed is like making it and going to Maui! But it's not real! It's like being successful and you think you're Rick Ross 'n shit then you wake up poor, so you keep smoking and you die. Somewhere in here I'm also picking up on resentment that some people just want to get by and get high and not be ambitious every free moment of their lives, because reasons. Squares need 'em, and we need squares in the end...
posted by lordaych at 2:22 AM on January 2 [42 favorites]


Thats right all you gammas deltas and epsilons, line up here for your daily dose of Soma.

also:

You can manufacture alcohol at home as well, certainly more easily than growing cannabis (using nothing that can't be obtained from a grocery and hardware store), and yet most people don't bother despite the very high excise taxes on alcohol.

I've made beer and other liquors for some time and while it is cheaper in essence it actually tends to work out rather expensive. See once you buy your first kit ($80) you'll need a pot for the biol ($30) and the ingredients for a batch ($20-$40 depending on the beer) and you'll also need some bottles ($0 to $40 depending on if you're organised enough to recycle). After a few batches you'll be a bit sick of bottling all of that beer so you might need to buy a few nice growlers ($15-20 each) so you've half growlered your beer batch and still have some bottles to give away. Then maybe when you've done a bit more you'll want to start kegging your beer so you need a 5 gallon ball-lock keg ($30-$50) and a CO2 system with cylinder and regulator ($150+) along with a party tap and associated tubing ($10). Soon you'll shift to building a three tier all grain setup with a hot liquor tank mashing vessen and biol kettle and invariably because you're a geek you'll provide computer controls so you can monitor temperature easily and consistently, and the next thing you know you've finished over your basement and have 3 different beers on tap at your own personal bar cooled in a home-built modified kegerator running at different pressures depending on the beer styles and then you've got to put in the pizza oven and big screen TV because you never get to a real bar with your friends anymore cause everyone just comes over to your house because you've got such a sweet setup and they prefer a 15 minute tipsy walk home rather than a 10 minute tipsy drive home (not that I blame anyone for preferring that much safer to walk down the path drunk than drive slightly tipsy). Pretty soon you've got friends coming over helping you to build an extension on the house so you can fit a pool table and build a bbq pit outside followed by some horseshoe pits in the summer and then somone suggests putting in a pool so that it is less man cavey and more amenable to a family gathering then you need to build another bar out by the pool and run lines out there with chilled taps. You do all to save a few bucks a case on tax?

By all means make your own booze because you love it and it is a nice challenge and a rewarding hobby, but it certainly isn't cheaper.
posted by koolkat at 2:26 AM on January 2 [24 favorites]


In my white bread middle class context, getting high and getting by is finding a wage that serves you without killing your soul, or at least finding something in your comfort zone that keeps you out of misery, whatever you can maintain, and just staying there and enjoying it for awhile with the aid of things like entertainment, love, sex, marijuana, food, etc.
posted by lordaych at 2:27 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


If weed is soma, booze is death squads, destroying families, emboldening manslaughterers, gay-bashers, and general assholes the world over.
posted by lordaych at 2:28 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


(sips Bourbon, rips toke, just sayin' if a drug should be banned because of its undeniable effects on society, it's ethanol)
posted by lordaych at 2:29 AM on January 2


Before I bow out, this is a pretty good even-handed discussion... [SLYT Podcast]
posted by lordaych at 2:34 AM on January 2


I see the Soma role of MJ more as a means of placating and controlling the lower classes than anything else. I am all for the legalisation of MJ and also for many others as well, but there is a reason MJ is called the great demotivator. I also can imagine how a guy bussing tables at a busy restaurant would want to be stoned most of the time. The upper classes have never had to worry about their drug supply, or really getting caught with any drugs as usually it would just be a large fine and some community service and not major impact on their lives. The lower classes have always had to worry about their drug supply and if caught would have the book thrown at them and be put in jail for lengthy prison sentences along with having their assets seized.
posted by koolkat at 2:51 AM on January 2


there is a reason MJ is called the great demotivator

This is an oversimplification. One of the amazing things about marijuana is it really is a plant more than a drug. The plant produces at least dozens of different chemical cannabinoids, in quantities that vary greatly depending on genetics, cultivation and harvesting. This is the primary reason "synthetic marijuana" doesn't work nearly as well, because you're only getting one of the huge numbers of chemicals. One of my main complaints about illegal marijuana is it tends to heavily lean towards the "stoned" chemicals rather than the "high" chemicals, but there's a lot more variety in effects than just a single axis. See a site like Leafly for users subjective ratings of the effects of differing strains, from pain relief, anti-anxiety, euphoria, mental/physical energy.

Many "connoisseurs" will very consciously choose to smoke different strains with different effects for different situations - e.g. you might have a veg out and play video games strain as well as a do all the mundane housework and hit the gym strain. There's certainly not much marijuana that's helpful for say, rote memorization, but I would argue that the underlying problem getting high working the night shift at Taco Bell is working the night shift at Taco Bell. Weed is what makes it tolerable.
posted by crayz at 3:09 AM on January 2 [9 favorites]


Most people don't get high and then go to work. Some do, sure. But there's a lot of people who are quite capable of having a cone or two in the evening after work to relax. This applies to all the classes!
posted by h00py at 3:11 AM on January 2 [4 favorites]


First of all, like you just said, it's been 12 hours or whatever it's been at this point. If you have a problem with coffee shop guy, give it a day, we just had a historical moment here whether you like it or not, and then take it up with him or his boss if you have trouble obtaining your drug of choice from him.

I hadn't noticed that. Yeah, thread won.
posted by effugas at 3:33 AM on January 2


By all means make your own booze because you love it and it is a nice challenge and a rewarding hobby, but it certainly isn't cheaper.

Well, yeah, if you go ahead and do all the spendy things you described because you 'might want to'. Or you could put some fruit juice in a bucket, throw in some yeast, and transfer it to demijohn with an airlock after a couple days, then bottle it a few weeks hence again. That's what I did for a long time. Literally the most expensive part was the bucket, even after I started getting all fancy with different wine yeasts and nutrients and pure acids and so on. You sure as heck don't need a computer-controlled anything to make perfectly good alcoholic beverages.
posted by Dysk at 4:23 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Alternatively one can use sugar, water, food flavoring, rando-yeast, a milk jug, and a balloon to determine aerobic/anaerobic phase. Make sure there's a decent amount of headspace in the milk jug for the yeasties to divide and conquer and the balloon will deflate to tell you when its near completion.

Its alcohol, tastes like shit though.
posted by Slackermagee at 4:59 AM on January 2


In my white bread middle class context, getting high and getting by is finding a wage that serves you without killing your soul, or at least finding something in your comfort zone that keeps you out of misery, whatever you can maintain, and just staying there and enjoying it for awhile with the aid of things like entertainment, love, sex, marijuana, food, etc.

Or coffee
posted by angrycat at 5:08 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I can't remember that last time I partaked

One of the first signs of impairment due to recreational drug use is the inability to conjugate irregular verbs.
posted by mr vino at 5:10 AM on January 2 [23 favorites]


Slackermagee, yeah, you can go so slipshod with the whole thing that the product is terrible, but it's not like you need to be spending hundreds (or even high tens) of dollars to make good booze.
posted by Dysk at 5:11 AM on January 2


Yay freedom, hail discord.
posted by 0 at 5:18 AM on January 2


I think it's a good way to go about it, a few states get to be the test areas, figure out the pros and cons. What works and what needs to be tweaked, the hopefully other states can learn and implement with the needed modifications. I've always been on the side of legalization or at least decriminalization, but have seen some negative side effects of heavy use, so don't really fall into the "it's entirely benign" camp. It is a drug, and like all drugs should be used with caution. There will likely be an uptick in motor vehicle accidents, and other things related to impairment issues. That will be balanced out by increased revenue and over time fewer prison inmates and the high social cost that incurs.
posted by edgeways at 6:06 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


Or you could put some fruit juice in a bucket, throw in some yeast, and transfer it to demijohn with an airlock after a couple days, then bottle it a few weeks hence again

One of the nice things about not being in prison is not needing to drink pruno.

I know a lot of hobbyist beer and wine makers, but no one who makes their own as a cost-saving measure. I suspect this will be the case with weed as well in WA and CO -- why go through the trouble of growing it yourself when you can go down and buy the equivalent of a six pack of beer? I don't smoke, but that's what I'd do if I did.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:07 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


One of my main complaints about illegal marijuana is it tends to heavily lean towards the "stoned" chemicals rather than the "high" chemicals, but there's a lot more variety in effects than just a single axis.

Holy cats, you mean I could specify? You know how high I'd be nearly all the time if I didn't have to worry about forgetting where I parked my laptop?
posted by Mooski at 6:33 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


By all means make your own booze because you love it and it is a nice challenge and a rewarding hobby, but it certainly isn't cheaper.

We make wines at a local winemaker store. We buy the expensive juice and skins kits, as we find we like those better. For 28 bottles, we pay about $160 CAD, or $5.75/bottle. It takes about 40 minutes to do a double batch, 60 bottles, mostly bottling. Plonk at the LCBO runs $10-$12 a bottle now, which, as far as our palettes can tell is roughly similar. Our carrying cost is really only the price of the bottles, which we've reused dozens of times by now.

My FIL makes wines from grapes he imports, crushes and ferments himself. His wine is better than ours, but cheaper per bottle. He does have a fair bit of infrastructure, presses, demijohns and a home-built racking set-up, but his per bottle cost is on the order of a couple dollars each. With the volume of wine he makes, I'd be surprised if he hadn't recovered most costs within a year.
posted by bonehead at 6:40 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


One of the nice things about not being in prison is not needing to drink pruno.

You know wine that you buy in shops? Like, red and white and stuff? That's just fermented fruit juice. There's no reason why it has have any resemblance to pruno, which is typically made with processed sugars and crap like ketchup. It's also often cheaper to buy seasonal fruit and press the juice yourself.
posted by Dysk at 6:42 AM on January 2


Does anyone else ever find it strange that so many Americans have latched on so strongly to marijuana culture, something that evokes Eastern mysticism, hippies, altered mind states, jazz, the Wu-Tang Clan, etc. Even relatively "straight" people are in support of marijuana legalization. I know the arguments have a lot to do with its relative harmlessness, use as a medicine, and libertarian ideals, but, still, isn't it an unlikely contrast to the Puritanical practicality at the base of American society? I mean, a lot of Americans don't like to swear, have rather bland diets, dress simply, go to church on Sundays, and are into healthy living.
posted by ChuckRamone at 6:52 AM on January 2



You know wine that you buy in shops? Like, red and white and stuff? That's just fermented fruit juice.


Joking aside, I wasn't meaning to disparage your personal product. I've been served several versions of what you describe -- kitchen counter quick alcohol, I guess you could call it? -- and it's been uniformly terrible to my taste, but the people making it loved it. Different strokes, different folks, and all that.

isn't it an unlikely contrast to the Puritanical practicality at the base of American society?

People always say this, but I'm not sure it really holds up all that well. The Puritans left England, and yet drugs are (broadly speaking) illegal there as well. I think it's easy to overstate the Puritanical aspects of American life, and understate the more freewheeling side of things.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:55 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


I mean, a lot of Americans don't like to swear, have rather bland diets, dress simply, go to church on Sundays, and are into healthy living.

Really? Because from where I sit, we are a nation obsessed with food (to the point of having multiple cable networks about it, extreme eating competitions, Instagramming meals, and recipe websites everywhere), we have magazines,websites, and TV shows full of fashion advice, church attendance is down, and people talk a lot more about exercise than actually do it.

I'm not sure about the swearing either. People try to repress it, but that doesn't mean they don't curse like sailors when no-one can hear them.

We may still have the Puritan guilt, but are really shitty at the practice.
posted by emjaybee at 7:05 AM on January 2


It's great how so many people have kept up the joke of the main post by trundling out one hilarious pack of absurd clichés and generalizations after another. Marijuana: the ink blot test of liberal leaning smarty pants political discourse.
posted by nanojath at 7:12 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Marijuana: the ink blot test of liberal leaning smarty pants political discourse.

Oh yeah? Um... what were we talking about?
posted by lordrunningclam at 7:28 AM on January 2


I mean, a lot of Americans don't like to swear, have rather bland diets, dress simply, go to church on Sundays, and are into healthy living.

Personally, that's not how I would describe the culture in the US on the whole. The nation isn't a continent-wide Smallville.

But even if that description rang true, all of what you describe is very, very compatible with MJ.

Speaking of, your description actually sounds to me more like the Netherlands than it does the US anyway.
posted by rue72 at 7:36 AM on January 2


Really? Because from where I sit, we are a nation obsessed with food (to the point of having multiple cable networks about it, extreme eating competitions, Instagramming meals, and recipe websites everywhere) ...

We may still have the Puritan guilt, but are really shitty at the practice.


I think the food craze is a pretty recent phenomenon. Growing up, I knew so many Americans who were totally grossed by any food that was even remotely "exotic." Americans have the Puritan guilt still, I think, even if they like to display to others that they are hardcore partiers or open-minded - after partying or adventurous eating, they feel like they need to go for a jog and "detox" or ritually restore their "normal" behavior. Deep down, Americans are still weirded out by other cultures and peoples. Marijuana has made inroads simply through time and exposure.
posted by ChuckRamone at 7:41 AM on January 2


I don't think it's just parochialism. Culturally, we have an extremely fucked up relationship with pleasure. If something feels good, it's probably "bad" for you. If you indulge in it anyway, then you are morally weak and don't deserve to feel good. Like that.
posted by rtha at 7:44 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


marijuana culture, something that evokes Eastern mysticism, hippies, altered mind states, jazz, the Wu-Tang Clan, etc

Well, altered mind states, sure, because that's what it's for... But the rest of your list is um what? Yes there are people who are into all of those things but marijuana is not what's at the center of that particular Venn diagram; if anything it's the opposite, the drug's becoming more generally socially acceptable precisely because it's not just for hippies and freaks anymore.

Even relatively "straight" people are in support of marijuana legalization.

Which has been a very long time coming. I think a great deal of the recent increase in public support is more about the social harm caused by prohibition (overcrowded prisons, weirdly unbalanced minimum sentences for drugs compared to, say, murder, etc) combined with it becoming clear that the "war on drugs" approach just plain isn't working, and that even if you're anti-drug, it's increasingly apparent that lumping all drugs into one category of Drugs is kind of silly and counterproductive. There is certainly not a broad cultural shift towards jazz and mysticism going on, I don't know where you're getting that.

Growing up, I knew so many Americans who were totally grossed by any food that was even remotely "exotic."

What part of America did you grow up in? Do you still live there? You're listing an awful lot of cliches about "Americans" that tbh feel rather dated and/or parochial in themselves...
posted by ook at 7:54 AM on January 2


Got an ounce of organic chocolate OG for $113 and it's flawless. Ten years ago it'd be $375. Two sampler eights for $18.

Holy fuck are you serious? Even in Soviet Canuckistan an ounce'll run you two bills at least.

Or so I've heard.

excuse me please booking tickets to Denver
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:08 AM on January 2


Well, altered mind states, sure, because that's what it's for... But the rest of your list is um what? Yes there are people who are into all of those things but marijuana is not what's at the center of that particular Venn diagram; if anything it's the opposite, the drug's becoming more generally socially acceptable precisely because it's not just for hippies and freaks anymore.

I agree. I just mean that's what it conjures up in the minds of some people, or at least it did at one time. I imagine if marijuana did not have its PR campaign, as in people didn't know what it actually was and hadn't disentangled it from those perceptions, both cultural and psychological, it wouldn't be as widely accepted. Marijuana, like tacos and yoga, has been mediated to a degree.
posted by ChuckRamone at 8:15 AM on January 2


Look, if you're going to pick a track off Houses of the Holy to fire up to, No Quarter is really the proper choice.
posted by Ber at 8:17 AM on January 2


I know a lot of hobbyist beer and wine makers, but no one who makes their own as a cost-saving measure.

Agreed, at least in my experience — which was sort of my original point. Even with the high taxes on alcohol, people don't seem to be going to the black market for their booze, despite it being easy to produce. The people who make beer/wine/liquor at home are generally doing it because they're really interested in the process rather than the end product.

I kinda suspect that it will eventually be the same way with marijuana. The stuff you can buy in a store will be of such high quality that unless you really want to grow-your-own as a hobby, similar to being a homebrewer, you'll just go down to the local shop and buy it.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:30 AM on January 2


but it's hard to stop myself from thinking that the dude taking my coffee order, that can't string two words together tonight? Fucking high. The person outside the window that can't parallel park after 5 minutes with nearly a car length of extra room? Fuckin' high.

For the last twenty years or so, I've just been assuming jackasses like that were drunk. Weed doesn't really make a difference in the equation.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:32 AM on January 2


> Holy cats, you mean I could specify? You know how high I'd be nearly all the time if I didn't have to worry about forgetting where I parked my laptop

There was an interesting article about that (about the strength of pot, not where your laptop is) in Slate not too long ago.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:45 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Even with the high taxes on alcohol, people don't seem to be going to the black market for their booze, despite it being easy to produce. The people who make beer/wine/liquor at home are generally doing it because they're really interested in the process rather than the end product.

Yeah, but people are used to $booze costing $amount in their neck of the woods. People are also used to pot costing $amount. If the legal cost is higher than the cost from your girlfriend's younger sister, you're going to be buying from her and not the store (if you were someone who was purchasing prior to legalization). Something something rational actor.

but it's hard to stop myself from thinking that the dude taking my coffee order, that can't string two words together tonight? Fucking high.

You've never worked entry-level customer service jobs eh. Or in a kitchen for that matter. That's the only time it bugs me in public; IDGAF if the dishwasher is blasted out of his mind. It's a shit, shit job and as long as you're doing it effectively by all means walk in with your eyes spinning in opposite directions. Anyone on the line with me who shows up high, though, gets a fucking earful. It's unprofessional, and more importantly it is dangerous.

I know lots of people who work in coffee shops or other front line low-end customer service, and getting baked lets them get through their day without screaming at the world. This is a good thing. I don't know anyone (apart from some kitchen people, and the danger they pose is only to the people working with them) who works in anything that requires more thought and more alertness who gets high before work. It's as socially unacceptable as showing up to work drunk. Obviously it happens, but it's really not all that frequent.

I am concerned about driving stoned though. 'Don't drive drunk' has largely permeated the public consciousness (or maybe that's just my circles, which don't really include all that many drivers anyway so ymmv), and I don't know anyone who thinks it's acceptable to drive after more than a glass or two of wine. I do know a lot of people who think it's fine to drive stoned though, and that needs to change.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:48 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Serious question: what measures are in place, if any, to prevent leakage out of Colorado? It's my understanding that CO residents can buy up to an ounce per transaction and non-residents a quarter. So what prevents a CO resident from making the rounds of dispensaries, putting together a pound, and driving that package over to Kansas City or Oklahoma or up to Minneapolis or whatever? What prevents a non-resident on a road trip from doing the same and driving home with a couple ounces as a souvenir?
posted by werkzeuger at 8:50 AM on January 2


Serious question: what measures are in place, if any, to prevent leakage out of Colorado?

Fear of getting arrested as fuck if they happen to get caught when they go home? NB: this fear probably doesn't apply so much to middle-class (and up) white kids.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:52 AM on January 2


"Even relatively "straight" people are in support of marijuana legalization."

If pot use led to widespread jazz smug I'd be against it.

As it is, I'm irritated with recreational marijuana use in that, for years before this the rhetoric was that hemp can be used for so many other things: paper, rope, etc. it's more nutritious than soybeans, obviates the need for pesticides that cotton has, you can make biodiesel from it, etc. etc. etc. (not sure what happens when its exposed to dead bodies...)

And I'm sayin' - yeah? C'mon then. Where is it?

Medicinal uses are swell. Recreational uses, not my thing but ok. But there's so much potential here to y'know, not dump tons and tons of industrial waste from paper processing and cotton pesticides into the environment, so much more we can do now than just use it recreationally.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:54 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


People might be late to the game at this point, but I'm making a serious killing on marijuana stocks right now... every single one of them is on fire. (TRTC, PHOT, CBIS, ERBB etc. etc.)
posted by cloeburner at 8:55 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


There are people here who make their own wine because it is cheaper but then the taxes here are much higher than in the US. I live in a relatively old neighborhood and half the houses here have established grape vines. The old vine at my place easily produces enough grapes to fill three of the 18 gallon rubbermaid roughneck totes.

alex_skazat: "I'm a little worried the legal pot is just another vehicle of immediate gratification for the lower class. Living in Denver, you can see the lines out the door, and around the block of the dispensaries - it's not a varied crowd."

Even if that is true and not just a confirmation bias it would make sense that people with a steady job aren't going to be standing in line for their fix; especially considering they already have a reliable dealer. However I wouldn't be surprised at all if lots of the people standing in line, while users, were there to buy on pretty historic opening day in the same way gay people rush to get married on the first day it becomes legal. This would tend to diversify the crowd.
posted by Mitheral at 8:55 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Congratulations, Colorado. You made the civilized choice.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:56 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Serious question: what measures are in place, if any, to prevent leakage out of Colorado?

Same thing as now: The Feds, and one's fear of them. Prior to legalization in CO, residents in Minneapolis or wherever got their weed from people smuggling it in from out of state. Medical marijuana grown in California has been finding its way to other states for decidedly non-medical use. This is not a new or weird problem.
posted by rtha at 8:57 AM on January 2


Sorry, I meant that leakage question as a more nut-and-bolts thing. I'm curious if the surrounding states will be doing random drug dog stuff on the interstates, etc...
posted by werkzeuger at 9:00 AM on January 2


This is not a new or weird problem.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:00 AM on January 2


Estimates have day one sales of one million dollars, at a 25% tax rate I am seeing many of the local municipalities that 'opted out' ( well, ok; the elected officials chose to; the voters by and large did Not, I.E. Colorado Springs, Manitou, ... ) going to tears over the lost tax dollar opportunity. Election time will be interesting.
posted by buzzman at 9:08 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


I love the hand-wringing over medical- vs recreational cannabis use.

The difference between medicine and poison is dosage. The reason Big Pharma's medicines are so heavily regulated is that difference often comes with a razor-thin margin. So maybe people self-medicating with them is not to be encouraged. This is why someone with a whole lot of schooling has to sign off on the paperwork for one to get them.

Unlike alcohol, heroin, and other intoxicants, Cannabis has no receptors on the CNS, so no matter how much you intake there is no way for it to shut down your breathing and kill you. This is why no one has ever died from cannabis toxicity. It's also an enti-emetic, which is why sick people who can't keep food down like it.

I just spent NYE managing 6 VIP area bartenders at a huge party. Saw vomit on the floor before the countdown. Saw intoxicated people cut off before the countdown. I work dispensing legally regulated intoxicants that kill directly people, make them combative, and summon vomit.

Never seen combative assholes hurling inside a dispensary, especially inside one that allows on-premises vaporizing. I'm guessing few NYE hookah-lounge managers saw vomit.

I also know a guy who is being sentenced in a couple of days on an assault on a federal officer charge after a fed I was filming shoved a crowd of protestors during the Apr 2, 2012 raids on Oaksterdam/Richard Lee. Those raids never would have happened if legalization had been done right the first time in California.

As I'm fond of sayin, we have meth, heroin, crack, guns, and underage prostitutes liberally sprinkled over Oakland, CA. And there is no significant crime associated with the City-regulated dispensaries, all of which pay sales tax. The fact that the Fed even have cannabis in their sights really pisses me off.

So congratulations, Colorado. What we have in Cali is better than outright prohibition. But I really fucking hope we follow your lead next time out.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:25 AM on January 2 [11 favorites]


And in a total shocking turn of events, I am not a fan. But the public has clearly spoken, and now the rest of the country sees what happens next.

The parody of the looting was great. *shrug*

Of the problems to tackle, fighting the drug war as currently implemented isn't one of them. It bothers me greatly that the only two actual choices are "put them all (but mostly just the not-whites) in prison" and "legalize it." But that is how this has played out, unfortunately. I like neither result.

I guess I hate the race- and class-hating application of the drug laws as currently implemented slightly more.
posted by andreaazure at 9:34 AM on January 2


It's great how so many people have kept up the joke of the main post by trundling out one hilarious pack of absurd clichés and generalizations after another.

Yes. I am so over Doritos, Taco Bell, parent's basement, Dave's not here man, etcetcetc.

I live in Colorado and recreational pot is legal here. It's in our state constitution. I could walk two blocks down the street and buy it. That is awesome. Could we please celebrate by not being a cliche or using one?

And BTW, I plan to grow my own because I did it 35 years ago, I am a gardener and grow a lot of what I eat, and it seems like a fun thing to do.
posted by caryatid at 9:40 AM on January 2 [7 favorites]


But that is how this has played out, unfortunately. I like neither result.

I'm honestly curious to know what you think the optimal solution is.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:41 AM on January 2


Washington state drivers are shitty enough at the act of driving without weed being added to the equation.

Introduction of legal marijuana usually makes traffic fatalities drop by about 10%.
posted by KathrynT at 9:50 AM on January 2 [5 favorites]


I do know a lot of people who think it's fine to drive stoned though,

I would never say it's fine to drive stoned, and I wouldn't get into a car with either one -- but if I had to choose between a drunk driver or a stoned driver I sure know which one I'd rather be a pedestrian near. Drunks drive a hundred miles an hour because wheeee, stoned people pull up behind parked cars and take a half hour before realizing that it's not, like, a really long red light.

(And having confiscated keys from both types in my past, I can also say it's a lot easier to talk a stoner out of driving than a determined drunk.)

Not that it's an either/or choice, and you're of course right that sober or passenger are the only correct choices, but I don't think stoned and drunk driving are equivalent concerns.
posted by ook at 9:52 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


it's hard to stop myself from thinking that the dude taking my coffee order, that can't string two words together tonight? Fucking high.

As a fun exercise, perhaps you could train yourself to think that maybe a slack education system played a role. Or a learning disability! That probably won't give you the same feeling of smug superiority, but it might be less stressful for you.

If that fails to help, try this mantra: you can stop anytime you want.
posted by heyho at 9:55 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


but I don't think stoned and drunk driving are equivalent concerns.

They are. What matters most when driving is reaction time. The quicker you see a potential problem, the more time you have to react in a safe and rational manner.

Reaction time on pot is... poor. Yes, you can play videogames! But you are hyperfocused on one small thing and not noticing external stimuli like the asshat in the next lane suddenly swerving in front of you and oops, rear-end. True story, luckily my friend got off with a ticket and a warning (due to the asshat swerving with about six inches to spare), and hasn't driven stoned since.

So yeah, they're pretty equivalent concerns. I'm not worried about the 99% of the time that driving is safe and boring and predictable and not accident prone. I'm worried about the 1% of the time that there's suddenly a situation to react to, and some idiot is drunk or stoned (sometimes on prescription meds!) or talking on their cellphone or shaving or doing their makeup (!!! HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN PASSENGER IN CAR WHILE THIS HAPPENED AT ~100KM/hr) or any other stupid thing that distracts them from operating a deadly bit of machinery at high speeds while squishable people are around.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:57 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]



but it's hard to stop myself from thinking that the dude taking my coffee order, that can't string two words together tonight? Fucking high. The person outside the window that can't parallel park after 5 minutes with nearly a car length of extra room? Fuckin' high.


Or, you know, up all night and hungover because it was New Year's Day. I'm amazed you even had an open cafe to go to, much less one with functional employees.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:58 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Should have been a BuzzFeed link.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:00 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


If they hadn't already taken the name I would so move to Denver and start a late-night food truck called BuzzFeed.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:02 AM on January 2


The New Yorker ran a great article a few weeks ago on how Washington State is preparing for legalization: figuring out how to price it and who will grow it, new laws, taxes etc.
posted by Flashman at 10:03 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


any other stupid thing that distracts them from operating a deadly bit of machinery at high speeds

Right there with you. And I agree of course that stoned is more dangerous than sober. I'm saying (and KathrynT's link seems to bear this out) that stoned is a lot less dangerous than drunk. A concern, but not an equivalent concern.
posted by ook at 10:04 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure I'd say 10% is a lot less, but I think we'll have to agree to disagree on that point. I'm a squishy pedestrian and would prefer that everyone around be sober and attentive, doubly so on the rare occasions that I'm actually in a car. So I find them pretty equivalent concerns. Impaired judgement is, at the end of the day, impaired judgement. If that leads to stumbling to 7-11 and eating those terrifyingly addictive taquito things, fine. But when you're operating something potentially very dangerous, the math changes. Whether your judgement is impaired by pot or alcohol or too much caffeine or yelling on your cellphone, I don't care: stop doing it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:09 AM on January 2


I'm not sure I'd say 10% is a lot less

The study didn't say that stoned driving was 10% safer than drunk driving; it said that the introduction of medical marijuana reduced traffic fatalities overall by 10%:

drivers who were high on marijuana had nearly double the risk of a serious crash compared to sober counterparts. But driving drunk is worse, causing a tenfold increase in accident risk for drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration at the legal limit of 0.08, or a forty-eightfold increase at the old legal limit of 0.1.

Taking it as a given that some people are going to be stupid and make stupid decisions, I'd prefer they make the stupid decision to drive on the drug that makes them twice as dangerous instead of the drug that makes them ten to forty-eight times as dangerous.
posted by ook at 10:22 AM on January 2


fffm: Whether your judgement is impaired by pot or alcohol or too much caffeine or yelling on your cellphone, I don't care: stop doing it.

These days, my paranoia while cycling or walking is mostly focused on people driving while using touch-panels. The thing about impairment is it's not super dangerous in itself. It's dangerous when you don't know you're impaired. With booze (and electronic devices), people are much more impaired than they think they are--with pot, people think they're impaired, and slow down. Not advocating driving while stoned, mind you. Just sayin'.
posted by mondo dentro at 10:28 AM on January 2 [4 favorites]


with pot, people think they're impaired, and slow down

...and have poor reaction times, which is kind of the point, since not everybody else has slowed down.

And frankly if it were at all possible I'd love for all cars to be mobile Faraday cages so playing with your tablet while driving is pointless.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:34 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Here's one example of the pot vs. booze impairment research I'm referring to (emphasis mine):
Detrimental effects of cannabis use vary in a dose-related fashion, and are more pronounced with highly automatic driving functions than with more complex tasks that require conscious control, whereas alcohol produces an opposite pattern of impairment. Because of both this and an increased awareness that they are impaired, marijuana smokers tend to compensate effectively while driving by utilizing a variety of behavioral strategies.
Don't know how well this is holding up in ongoing research, though...
posted by mondo dentro at 10:34 AM on January 2


line up here for your daily dose of Soma.

I always thought of Ecstasy as Soma -- a more all encompassing pleasure, with no particular side effects ... except what happens the next day etc. Whereas with weed, I've found that every now and then, it tells me to lay off for a while. I'm just not enjoying the high as much as I should be. In fact, it's making me a little worried and/or paranoid, making me not particularly good company for myself. Or as I heard it put a few decades back, "If you can't enjoy a marijuana high, it means you've got some work to do on yourself."

This after about thirty-five years of not daily imbibing, but maybe every second day, definitely weekly.
posted by philip-random at 10:34 AM on January 2


Smedleyman:

And I'm sayin' - yeah? C'mon then. Where is it?

Medicinal uses are swell. Recreational uses, not my thing but ok. But there's so much potential here to y'know, not dump tons and tons of industrial waste from paper processing and cotton pesticides into the environment, so much more we can do now than just use it recreationally.

People are working on the industrial / large-scale-ag hemp problem here in Colorado, now that they can legally do so. Of course it's not actually the panacea that some stoner evangelists have made it out to be, but it sounds like a promising crop. The reason that it's not here yet in general is, unsurprisingly, the same prohibition that has been applied to recreational pot for so long. It would be a bit odd to expect a major shift in agricultural practice overnight at the first stirrings of legal weed.
posted by brennen at 10:54 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I don't know why we'd expect big ag devoted to pot to be better than big ag in general. Agriculture is a leading source of GHGs, toxin pollution, and habitat destruction (I hear the peepers in the stream the runs by my property get wiped out every year when my farmer neighbor sprays his fields). So, I'm sure many, if not most, pot growers will be dicks, too. I'm not expecting them to all be organic permaculturalists--but it would be lovely if they were.
posted by mondo dentro at 11:22 AM on January 2


I don't know why we'd expect big ag devoted to pot to be better than big ag in general.

Unless we are assuming that they are going to be opening up new farmland that's not currently under cultivation at all, for any current crop, it seems like six of one vs half-a-dozen of the other.

I mean, if RJR/Nabisco or some other Giant Agribusiness Conglomerate decides to get into the cannabis game and start producing, it would probably be on land that's currently used for commercial-scale farming of some other crop in the same region. And I don't know why farming cannabis at industrial scale would be any worse than farming, say, hops at industrial scale. (Thinking specifically about crops that are farmed in Colorado. Hops is the only thing that came to mind.)

Though the idea of increasing the price of hops due to legal weed doesn't excite me as a beer drinker, it doesn't seem like it would be either a net gain or loss for the environment.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:04 PM on January 2


That's been an issue here in Washington State. The original laws said the growing facilities had to be indoors. They changed the laws more recently to allow for outdoor growing, which -- according to its supporters, I haven't looked into it deeply -- should be more environmentally friendly. I bet this will lead to marketing "sun-grown" marijuana, like free-range chickens or grass-fed beef.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:05 PM on January 2


Some of these comments seem to be conflating industrial hemp with cannabis grown for human consumption. The two are bound to play out quite a bit differently.
posted by brennen at 12:07 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Regarding tax rates, this section from the New Yorker article on Washington's legalization scheme is interesting:
Early in the summer, Kleiman projected that legal cannabis in Washington will initially sell for at least forty-two dollars for an eighth of an ounce. Outdoor growing will lower that figure, but probably not enough to undercut street dealers. [...]

At the city-council meeting in Seattle, Kleiman said that the tax scheme outlined in I-502 was rigid and shortsighted. Because of the state’s heavy surcharges, legal marijuana will likely be more expensive than the illicit equivalent; but, as production costs plunge, legal pot will become much cheaper. “We’re gonna have a tax that starts too high and winds up too low,” Kleiman said. He laid out a better approach: “The optimal tax system . . . if I were doing it on a blackboard, would have been somewhat homeostatic. You’re looking to maintain a price maybe a little bit below, or a little bit above, the current illicit price. And, therefore, you’d like to have the tax be low at the beginning . . . and rise as the cost in the industry falls.” The state didn’t reconsider its tax plan, however; the prospect of an immediate windfall was perhaps too tempting.
Really what you want is a very low tax initially, in order to undercut and collapse the black market, followed by increased taxes as economies of scale develop.

Maybe the correct way is to have some fixed "target price" and then only tax it when the price, averaged across the state, is below that? Or have some sort of tax relief when the price exceeds a certain point?
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:32 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


A good high school buddy of mine wrote this Examiner article. Yeah, the Examiner sucks when it comes to popups and advertising moreso than anything I've experienced, but he's a good writer taking it seriously and he speaks to the demographics of people standing in lines...
posted by lordaych at 12:46 PM on January 2


Pullquote on those lines:
It could have something to do with it being earlier than 9 o'clock in the morning after New Year’s Eve, but the demographic skews surprisingly old; forty and fifty-somethings outnumber twenty and thirty-somethings by a ratio of nearly 2-to-1. A solid majority are men. Everyone is extremely friendly, if a bit bleary (due to the hour and, perhaps, you know...). The cherubic woman in front of us looks like a school librarian and the man behind us is a 57-year-old plumber. Employees from a Dunkin’ Donuts that serendipitously opened next door less than a week ago pass out donut samples and one of the store’s many exceedingly polite employee’s periodically pops outside and offers customers a marijuana fact sheet with a pot-themed puzzle and a maze on the back.
posted by lordaych at 12:47 PM on January 2


State's rights is normally a bad word round here.

A just law does not become unjust (nor the other way around) because it's enacted locally rather than federally.
posted by straight at 12:51 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


previously in the category of drunk v stoned
posted by twist my arm at 12:54 PM on January 2


Unlike alcohol, heroin, and other intoxicants, Cannabis has no receptors on the CNS, so no matter how much you intake there is no way for it to shut down your breathing and kill you.

You're right about cannabis not having any effects on breathing (except through the act of smoking, which isn't necessary to partake) and it not being harmful in high doses, but just to be pedantic, the CNR1 receptor is mostly expressed in the CNS. All of the recreational effects are due to its action on the brain.

I'm very happy with legalization in CO and I'm hoping it spreads to other states. I heard on NPR this morning, though, that at some dispensaries demand was so high prices were raised three times over the course of the day, ending up costing ~$110 for an eight of an ounce after taxes. That's much more expensive than in CA either from medical dispensaries or from shady black marketeers. Hopefully prices become more reasonable in the near future.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 1:33 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Don't you have to be a stoner to get a job as a dishwasher? You clean chef's pots and then you get him some.
posted by humanfont at 1:43 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I've been served several versions of what you describe -- kitchen counter quick alcohol, I guess you could call it? -- and it's been uniformly terrible to my taste, but the people making it loved it.

Well yeah, if it's quick alcohol. Half the trick is letting the fermentation take its time, and then giving the result lots of time in the bottle. Being merciless when racking and re-racking helps too - if you're the sort to worry about throwing some away ("I'm sure I can get juuuust a bit more over without getting it full of yeast residue!") and aren't patient, then yes, you will end up with something terrible.
posted by Dysk at 1:43 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]


mondo dentro: "I don't know why we'd expect big ag devoted to pot to be better than big ag in general. Agriculture is a leading source of GHGs, toxin pollution, and habitat destruction (I hear the peepers in the stream the runs by my property get wiped out every year when my farmer neighbor sprays his fields). So, I'm sure many, if not most, pot growers will be dicks, too. I'm not expecting them to all be organic permaculturalists--but it would be lovely if they were."

Well sure but it's a matter of scale; it's not like the average suburban lawn is a bastion of eco friendliness.
posted by Mitheral at 2:36 PM on January 2


People might be late to the game at this point, but I'm making a serious killing on marijuana stocks right now... every single one of them is on fire. (TRTC, PHOT, CBIS, ERBB etc. etc.)

cloeburner - how do you buy those?
posted by Smedleyman at 5:27 PM on January 2


Those are penny stocks. You might as well go to Vegas and put all your money on red.
posted by Justinian at 7:19 PM on January 2


""I'm very happy with legalization in CO and I'm hoping it spreads to other states. I heard on NPR this morning, though, that at some dispensaries demand was so high prices were raised three times over the course of the day, ending up costing ~$110 for an eight of an ounce after taxes. That's much more expensive than in CA either from medical dispensaries or from shady black marketeers. Hopefully prices become more reasonable in the near future.""

This contrasts with teh MMJ businesses; which are as prevalent as liquor stores; selling OZs of any 'strain' for $99, or welcoming any card holder to their first purchase with a two for one special on any strain, etc... I've sat in coffee shops across the street from the MMJs; a lot of them are ghost towns for hours on end until an end of day shift change brings folks in for a end of day blunt or baggie, and then the traffic disappears again until the evening bar crowd might bring a few customers. I'm surprised more of them have not gone out of business; maybe the minimum wage employees are spend their wages at work, who knows.

'Tourist trap', jacked prices, and curiosity seekers will probably define the recreational segment for a while.

Meanwhile, day two had downtown Colorado Springs as comatose as ever.
posted by buzzman at 8:51 PM on January 2


'Tis the season.
posted by telstar at 12:59 AM on January 3


Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado On First Day of Legalization (satirical)
posted by jeffburdges at 2:42 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]


David Brooks: Weed should be illegal because my friends and I got bored with it forty years ago. Or something. I'm pretty sure that if you're trying to argue that drugs make you incoherent, you should probably write a more coherent column in defense of that argument.
posted by octothorpe at 10:11 AM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Part of me wants to immediately send resumes to every weed-related nonprofit and advocacy group in Colorado. Another part isn't sure I want the word 'marijuana' on my resume for the rest of my life. Hmm.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:24 AM on January 3


Legal weed raised something like half a million dollars for Colorado schools in two days. Clearly the collapse of society is at hand.
posted by Justinian at 10:31 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Oh. My. God. That David Brooks essay is so fucking hilarious! His argument is that even though he and most of his friends were able to both explore and self-moderate at an age that is years younger than the new laws even permit first use, it is nonetheless more moral to foster an environment where exploration at any age requires one to break the law. Can his calls for bans on alcohol and pre-marital sex be far behind? Chastity belts for everyone! Don't do as I doobie-doobie-doo, do as I say.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:39 AM on January 3 [3 favorites]


Conservatives make a lot of noise about freedom but they don't seem to actually understand it very well.
posted by octothorpe at 10:42 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]


David Brooks said something dumb? No way!
posted by rtha at 10:46 AM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Well, to be fair, he may have been high when he wrote it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:49 AM on January 3


Perhaps he was in an alcoholic stupor.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:25 AM on January 3


Weed is less dangerous than alcohol. There is still however a flip side to Carl Hart's statement that "drug effects .. have less to do with pharmacology and more to do with context : the history of the user, the dose of the drug, etc.", namely our culture should learn to use all drugs more responsibly. I'd likely favor imposing extra taxes on stimulants like energy drinks when sold at places with liquor licenses, for example.

Weed is theoretically more enjoyable without alcohol. And psilocybin is definitely better without alcohol. I've found alcohol actually prevents small doses of hallucinogens from taking effect too. We should therefore find "harm reduction" tricks that discourage people from mixing them with alcohol.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:25 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]


It's Raining Florence Henderson: "Oh. My. God. That David Brooks essay is so fucking hilarious!"

WaPo's Ruth Marcus out-Brookses Brooks. Charlie Pierce has the play-by-play.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:51 AM on January 3 [4 favorites]


squares on morning joe can't wrap their heads around it
posted by twist my arm at 12:44 PM on January 3


Those million+ people sitting in jail for non-violent drug offenses are having a substantially higher and more measurable impact on our collective productivity than any gains lost from legalization.
posted by humanfont at 1:25 PM on January 3 [8 favorites]


An article that has "In my days of doing the blog, I have pondered, often, the teleological conundrum of whether an omnipotent god could make a stick big enough to shove up his own ass." closely followed by "There is more of David Brooks in David Brooks than there is anywhere else in the world" is a very good article.
posted by edgeways at 2:33 PM on January 3


Charlie Pierce is a national treasure and should be way more well known than most of the tedious hacks who he gleefully deflates.
posted by octothorpe at 2:41 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Brooks reads like a parody to me now. I mean, in all honesty and no exaggeration, I pretty much can't read anything he writes without having to continually remind myself that it's in earnest and not satire.

I am willing to entertain the idea that this is more about me than about him. I've come to feel very negatively about his entire class. Maybe watching Ezra Klein be assimilated, borg-like, by the Beltway VSPs sharpened my cynicism. Maybe enduring Friedman through the Iraq War. I've come to despise that whole group and everything about David Brooks seems to epitomize it. He's the New York Times columnist version of Office Space's "Bill Lumbergh".

What's infuriating is that, like a clock twice a day, he's occasionally correct through no real virtue of his own, just some intersection of chance and a grandiose vacuity that can mean anything and nothing, and so often does. Brooks invents an Applebee's Salad Bar Sociology Theory of Everything, although Applebee's doesn't actually have a salad bar. He defends the fabrication as being essentially truthful and, incidentally, wondering if the person calling him about it doesn't have anything better to do?

Does his column today contradict itself? Of course it does! That's not a vice, it's a virtue, because therefore all conclusions based upon it are provable. More importantly, Brooks has successfully deployed his calm, patrician, mild intolerance; a sense of judicious concern; an even-handedness. Brooks yearns for the dignity of the bench, his dreams are filled with might-have-been centrist fantasies of sitting in Anthony Kennedy's place, if only he'd worked a little harder or demonstrated any intellectual acuity whatsoever.

Oh, to be Solomon who so carefully, thoughtfully ruled that the baby should be divided in two! An unpleasant decision, to be sure, but one has to be willing to make the hard rulings, to be the adult in the room. (Little David never quite made it to the end of the story, having been diverted into speculation about Sheba's personality, based upon the letters of her name. In English.)

I suspect we'd find, were we to travel back in time to young David's English report, that he'd been excluded from the group of kids who'd snuck away to get high. Sitting on the bench, in his sport jacket and tie, glumly he'd watched them, their dirty t-shirts and sneakers, chatting and laughing in a huddle of five or seven, walking off the school campus to the aluminum-sided house shared by that prole Becky and her divorced mother, who was, of course, at work, where proper mothers, respectable mothers, never are. He was rewriting a sentence in his English paper when they returned; watching them with their bloodshot eyes squinting, hearing their scratchy voices murmuring, for a moment he was filled with a murderous rage so profound and powerful that it subtly-but-undeniably changed the course of his life, though he would bury the memory of that moment so deep it couldn't exist.

And so, young David gave his report, without stumbling — indeed, with perfect elocution, even a bit of a mid-Atlantic flair — received an "A+", went home that afternoon and burned the paper in the backyard, and within just a few years everyone who knew him had heard the story of how marijuana had made him dumb that day, with those kids, laughing and teary-eyed, stumbling over his English report in front of the class. He'd been young and reckless and stupid, like all normal teens, but now he was an adult.

An adult with gravitas, an adult who will make recommend the hard decisions, an adult who won't let a divided baby stand in the way of what's right and true. And brave.

Honest, too.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:20 PM on January 3 [9 favorites]


I like what John Cole says here:
As I have said before, going into schools and telling kids that if they smoke pot they are going to kill their family or jump out of windows or become a bum is a great strategy if you believe in fear appeals. The problem is it takes exactly one joint and a few kids smoking said joint, experiencing a mild euphoric high and listening to Frampton Comes Alive while guzzling Jolt and playing D&D to figure out that everyone in authority is completely and totally full of shit.
posted by octothorpe at 5:43 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


And honestly, figuring out that everyone in authority is completely and totally full of shit is a valuable lesson that authorities probably don't really want the kids to learn. ERGO, it is in the best interests of the authorities to stop lying to kids and get into the pot business. QED.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:48 PM on January 3


"Goldie Taylor Drops Knowledge On Marjuana [sic] Legalization," Goldie Taylor as compiled by Kashann Kilson, Storify, 03 January 2014

The gist as I understand it is that Taylor posits that recreational marijuana was really only legalized for middle-class people who can afford $220/oz. or more plus tax for weed. Poor folks — disproportionately black, of course — will still get pinched, sent to prison, and have their lives ruined over simple possession. She concludes, "[T]he so-called 'war on drugs' continues. They just gave themselves a moral blanket to wrap themselves in."
posted by ob1quixote at 7:42 PM on January 3


How are the authorities going to tell whether the pot in your pocket is legal or not?
posted by Mitheral at 10:53 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Introduction of legal marijuana usually makes traffic fatalities drop by about 10%.

Since Mexican lemons prevent highway deaths, we should crossbreed lemons with weed to multiply their life-saving powers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:35 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


The gist as I understand it is that Taylor posits that recreational marijuana was really only legalized for middle-class people who can afford $220/oz. or more plus tax for weed. Poor folks — disproportionately black, of course — will still get pinched, sent to prison, and have their lives ruined over simple possession.

But simple possession has been legalized! It's not like you get arrested if you don't show your receipt.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:42 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]


showbiz_liz: “It's not like you get arrested if you don't show your receipt.”
Reading back over Taylor's tweets, I think her point is that the current regime prices poor communities out of the legal market so they'll still be buying on the black market. I presume her column Monday will cover the same subject in more detail.

As is customary across the U.S., I imagine the laws covering "intent to distribute" will provide enough pretext to send people to jail.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:44 AM on January 4


I think her point is that the current regime prices poor communities out of the legal market so they'll still be buying on the black market.

When I was buying illegal weed illegally in DC in the 90s, it wasn't a whole lot cheaper than that, and was sometimes more. I feel like there's this growing mythology floating around that once upon a time weed everywhere was really cheap and it's only the MMJ/decrim/legalization process that's pushed the price up, and that's just never been my experience. I'm sure that in some places at some times you could get weed from A Guy that was less than $200/oz, but I've never lived in those places at those times.
posted by rtha at 9:40 AM on January 4 [5 favorites]


I think her point is that the current regime prices poor communities out of the legal market so they'll still be buying on the black market.

Someone should go back through old issues of High Times, check the Trans High Market Quotes, and look to see if that analysis holds a drop of water. Because I can't for the life of me believe that legalization/decrim//MMJ drives up prices. My experience says that's completely at odds with how things have actually turned out in the real world.

Now, the street dealer who doesn't have the resources to get a storefront and a tax ID and go legit, they're SOL. Shit happens, the business climate has changed. Adapt.

Her main thrust seems to be
"The Prison-Industrial Complex has those beds that need filling, so they're going to fill them one way or another... <SOMETHING HAPPENS HERE>.... PROFIT poor people of color get busted for black market weed while white folk wave their get-out-of-jail-free receipts".
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:06 AM on January 4


How long would an ounce last a weekend casual user? Or alternatively how many joints are typically in an ounce? Just so I can relate the cost to say beer for a casual recreational user.
posted by Mitheral at 10:07 AM on January 4


HYPOTHETICALLY

You can get 7-10 joints, depending on your preferred size, from 1/8oz. Depending on your definition of 'casual' (I'd call that 1-2 joints per week maybe), that's a couple months worth at least.

For a hypothetically heavy user (1-3/day), 1/8oz will last about six days. So an ounce would last that hypothetical person a month, ish.

Hypothetically.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:24 AM on January 4 [6 favorites]


FFFM's numbers match my own hypothetical recollections of earlier hypothetical times.
posted by KathrynT at 10:26 AM on January 4 [4 favorites]


How long would it last if you didn't inhale and didn't enjoy it?
posted by mondo dentro at 10:31 AM on January 4


You guys have much better hypothetical memories than I do.
posted by octothorpe at 10:32 AM on January 4


The one time I hypothetically saw an entire ounce of weed, it made a gallon-size zip top bag bulge nicely, if a hypothetical visual helps.
posted by rtha at 10:35 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


If less than $10 a gram is pricing anybody out of the market for weed that is 3-5x more potent than it was several years ago; geez. This modern stuff is the equivalent of whiskey compared to wine.

MMJ folk can have 2oz at any time legally. General public can have 1oz at any time. People have however; been arrested for waving around 4oz bags in public parks such as Acacia in downtown Colorado Springs. Which is still in a semi-coma state on day four. Or day -four.
posted by buzzman at 10:37 AM on January 4


You guys have much better hypothetical memories than I do.

Well that happens sometimes for people who have been heavily hypothetical.
posted by mondo dentro at 10:38 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


In my defense, I haven't actually been hypothetical in more than a quarter century.
posted by octothorpe at 10:42 AM on January 4


OK, so weed even at $200/oz is about 1-2 times as expensive as beer around here (bought a 30 of Bud last night for ~$70) for a light to medium casual user.
posted by Mitheral at 11:16 AM on January 4


Not really, no. One, even smallish, joint for a casual user is going to get you significantly more buzzed than three bottles of Bud will. Or so I've heard.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:22 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


The one time I hypothetically saw an entire ounce of weed, it made a gallon-size zip top bag bulge nicely, if a hypothetical visual helps.

What kind of ounces are you talking about? Albanian? Because up here in BC, you'd be able to fit at least a half pound of decent weed into one of those bags, as much as a pound if you were dealing with serious buds, all nicely compressed.

Nothing hypothetical about it.
posted by philip-random at 11:43 AM on January 4


The kind of ounces that are being hypothetically remembered by a 20-year-old memory! To be fair, it was definitely not nice, compressed buds like I see now.
posted by rtha at 11:56 AM on January 4


Hypothetically; I miss the natural as compared to the near-GMO that fills every dispensary now.
posted by buzzman at 12:59 PM on January 4


How long would it last if you didn't inhale and didn't enjoy it?

Two terms.

I feel like there's this growing mythology floating around that once upon a time weed everywhere was really cheap and it's only the MMJ/decrim/legalization process that's pushed the price up

In Washington the run up to legalization caused the wholesale price to drop, is what I am told by people in the growing business. If part of the price is a risk premium -- compensating the grower for the risk of a couple of years in the slammer -- then I'd expect to see that go down at least to start with. Once legal weed stores are open and the state starts cracking down on illegal growers to raise tax revenue, the prices might go back up. At a minimum I'd expect to see average quality go up just from competitive pressure.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:53 PM on January 4


How Chris Hayes narrowly avoided getting busted for pot at the 2000 RNC.
posted by mondo dentro at 4:07 PM on January 4


MeFi's Maias has a response to the Brooks and Marcus columns.
posted by rtha at 3:25 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


"#Breaking Black: Why Colorado’s weed laws may backfire for black Americans," Goldie Taylor, The Grio, 6 January 2014
Despite what my learned colleagues might tell you, there is nothing progressive about laws that will effectively deepen the chasm of inequities in the criminalization of marijuana. Even in the short-term, while we are still working out the kinks, the dispossessed black and brown masses will be lining courtrooms and serving time.

When they tell you this is about lessening the strain of law enforcement, don’t believe them. It’s about advancing—even if unintentionally– institutionalized profiling. It’s a license to descend upon every street corner and alleyway in search of illegal weed peddlers. Aside from tourism and real estate, the prison industrial complex is among the biggest employers in Colorado. That will not change. Those metal prison beds, run by private for-profit companies, must still be sold. And we know who will not be sleeping in them.
P.S. Just to make my own position clear, while I feel like Taylor's argument has merit, I'm still in favor of a Colorado-style law here in Georgia. Sending people to prison for having a little weed in their pocket is ridiculous on its face. Unfortunately, ridiculous ideas seem to ever find fertile ground among the kind of people who swallow a lie as bald-faced as "marijuana is a gateway drug."
posted by ob1quixote at 11:36 PM on January 6


It’s a license to descend upon every street corner and alleyway in search of illegal weed peddlers.

Legalization did not grant this license. This license has been around and active for decades, and the cops and prosecutors have not needed an excuse to exercise it.

Overall, her point that this is not the silver bullet that's going to solve the racial disparities in th criminal justice system is a good one and I agree. There is no one silver bullet, and legalization of weed is not going to magically keep cops from arresting black and brown (and poor) kids for stuff that white/middle class kids would get a wrist-slap over. But her emphasis that legalization is just what cops were waiting for in order to go after corner boys is, I think, wrong.
posted by rtha at 6:20 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


That argument sounds like arguing against ending Prohibition because poor whites might be more likely to get busted with stills. In both cases there's a small piece of truth to it, but the overall benefit to society is so much larger as to outweigh that.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:20 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking an Oz. of MJ in a baggie is going to be treated like a flask of whisky... LEO is not going to be concerned about where it came from.

On the other side of that argument; a couple of guys in CO just got busted from an unlicensed grow operation ... Of 1,200 plants.

http://gazette.com/marijuana-bust-in-southeast-colorado-turns-up-1200-plants/article/1512096

And downtown Colorado Springs remains in a near stupor with day +7 continuing to match day - 7.
posted by buzzman at 8:26 AM on January 7


And downtown Colorado Springs remains in a near stupor with day +7 continuing to match day - 7.

It's all of those people who work at Focus on the Family. No lie.
posted by mondo dentro at 9:14 AM on January 7


An interesting thing about the price-affecting-the-poor concern is that recreational users have some basic growing rights now, which is huge. 6 plants, 3 flowering at a time, indoors only if I recall correctly. Not an efficient limit intended for producing easily and it's still favorable to the privileged who have have a reliable roof over their heads, money to pay the electric bill, have ownership and no landlords, etc. But here we have a situation where people can challenge the landlord situation and even offer their landlords free gifts legally at say, Christmas time, again legal so long as there's no compensation!

The way I see it working is, networks of friends creatively using their plant counts to cycle between clones, mothers, flowing plants, etc. It's somewhat liberating, but I can see how it will still be easy to "heavily enforce the laws" on undesirable groups and give them never-ending grief for trying to grow legally. The "give freely" component just asks for that sort of "look the other way except when I don't want to"discretionary behavior but it's still somehow slightly better and I think it's more rooted in increasing tax collection because "that's the deal" than just limiting rights.

Prices went up big time because the only legal source of product was existing medical dispensary stock that was plundered in a sense after being grown ostensibly using patient's 6-plant-per-capita caregiver rights which are already kind of weakly-compensated when turned over to a dispensary, usually conferring around $50 a month in benefits to a patient who surrenders their right to grow medical marijuana.

It was historic in that the supply itself was deemed legal, and these dispensaries know exactly how much they have left, they want to satisfy every new customer while hopefully not losing patients, and they want to make a ton of money to get re-invested back into meeting the demand fully within 2-3 months.

For now there's all of this extra "making history! fuck yeah!" and out of state demand, the latter of which will have effects I'm sure for some time.

Colorado medical marijuana started around $375-400/oz before taxes which exactly matched the black market. Then there was a ton of shuffling and extra regulations and extra costs imposed on owners of dispensaries, and prices still managed to fall to $150-250 an ounce over the years for decent stuff, $250 usually being as good as you'll ever see it. There are crazy discounts like two ounces for $200 if one is pure shake but I've never visited the more "downmarket" dispensaries that do this; most of them would take that shake and make BHO / wax / shatter / whatever or pay someone else to do it for them.

I'm not sure how the price of MMJ has been affected, as I stocked up in advance expecting price shocks though all of the operators I talked to insisted they wouldn't be affected, and I'm afraid to look for awhile... The $113/oz deal I mentioned was from a medical-only facility and they normally sell a few strains for $150 but it was some end-of-year closeout and they were in an oddball part of town with less customers. I had also recently visited a place that sold great $150 ounces and their rule was that they didn't sell any sub-par pot, they just treated their buds like Stone Crabs, selling the larger sized marketable nugs at a premium, and then pre-packaging (people don't like this I guess) the smaller ones at a discount.

By sticking to reviewed places (Westword / Village Voice Media) the three places I've visited over the year were all exceptional.

I just stumbled on them during the last week of the year and they seemed positive about being medical-only for the foreseeable future, but I almost feel like they were getting out of the business and will have to swing by just to see what's goin' on...
posted by lordaych at 1:04 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


"His ignorance about this subject is vast."
posted by homunculus at 1:25 PM on January 12


Legalizing Pot Makes Police Departments Poorer by Lucy Steigerwald
And I still haven't fixed up my previous attempt to do a post based on her work, eventually.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:56 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


Oh noes, we'll actually have to fund police departments from tax revenues instead of out of control civil forfeiture.
posted by Mitheral at 6:56 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


President Obama Says Pot Is Less Dangerous Than Alcohol For The Individual Consumer
posted by tonycpsu at 10:40 AM on January 19 [4 favorites]


FACT: A state has never legalized marijuana and not immediately made the Super Bowl. (via)
posted by tonycpsu at 9:09 PM on January 19 [8 favorites]


Manitou is in on the recreation.

Day something update 80903 Colorado Springs: Lame, with 2" of snow.
posted by buzzman at 11:37 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Your Money Stinks: Why banks won’t do business with the marijuana industry. (And why it’s a huge problem.)
posted by homunculus at 1:54 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Well, not the official, legal marijuana industry. They've been laundering cartel money for years, and are quite happy to keep doing so.
posted by mondo dentro at 10:56 AM on February 1


Obama, Who Evidently Has Not Read the Controlled Substances Act, Denies That He Has the Power to Reclassify Marijuana
posted by homunculus at 1:00 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


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