With the blanket legalization of marijuana use for adults — tightly regulated and heavily taxed — mandated by initiative in Washington State and Colorado, you can be sure another attempt will be made in California to make weed legal. Will it succeed? I wouldn’t be too sure. The state had its chance with Proposition 19 two years ago, and that measure lost handily.
Will the Obama administration clamp down on Washington State and Colorado — two safely blue states — before their marijuana initiatives are fully implemented? One doesn’t think of Washington or Colorado as hotbeds of marijuana use, but the citizens of those two states take every bit as much pleasure from marijuana as Californians are alleged to do.
Having lived in Washington for many years, I can tell you that if I had wanted it, pot was readily available. Thirty years ago, marijuana was considered the unofficial king of cash crops in Washington, as it is known to be in California.
I’ve smoked marijuana twice, both times in Washington. And yes, I did inhale. Each occasion, I was a guest in the homes of friends who in all other things were absolutely law-abiding. I was astonished both times when they offered me marijuana. I accepted more to be polite than anything else, although I had misgivings. In both cases, after a few puffs, I started laughing uncontrollably, which was the extent of my “high.”
In Colorado, I was offered marijuana after I got off a plane in Aspen. I had gone there to cover a news story, and as I was standing outside waiting for a bus, a guy asked me if I wanted “some weed.” I turned him down. I was offered marijuana in Aspen two more times.
But, I’ve never been offered marijuana in California. Another Prop. 19 might not be a sure thing in this state, regardless of the Washington and Colorado initiative outcomes.