Legal Pot

In Washington State, just as in Colorado, it is now legal to buy marijuana. There are many medical marijuana shops, but there are recreational ones as well. In the year I’ve been here I’ve passed these places by because the drug laws used by my employer follow federal guidelines. If you are drug tested and THC is found in your system, you may find yourself out of a job.

It’s kind of like someone frying bacon right under your very nose and then saying you can’t have any. Well, maybe it’s not that bad. If given the choice, I’d take bacon over reefer any day of the week and twice on Sundays. But you get the idea.

Those against the legalization of marijuana would have you believe that these shops will tear at the very fabric of society. Not so much. I actually don’t see any more people stoned in the streets than I did before. The populus is not wandering aimlessly, humming “Purple Haze”. The snack food aisles in the convenience stores haven’t been decimated. And the shops themselves are as discreet as their patrons tend to be. Their windows are blocked out, and their parking lots are usually quiet, if not deserted.

So when a friend came to visit from out of state and said she’d like to go to one of these places, just because she could, I had to confess that I hadn’t even stepped foot in one up to this point. So feeling like a couple of bad girls, off we went.

I chose a shop that I pass by all the time on my way to the grocery store, simply because I knew where it was. And I liked their purple sign. Random, I know, but I don’t know if these places are rated by Yelp. I was flying by the seat of my pants, here.

We sat in the parking lot for a minute. I noticed that every car except mine was black. I don’t need pot to be paranoid, it seems. Shake it off, Barb. But I did notice that my heart rate had increased. Absurd.

We were greeted at the door by a guy who looked like he was a cross between a fire plug and a pit bull. I wouldn’t want to piss him off, but when he asked for our ID, I couldn’t resist saying, with a smile, “What, I don’t look over 21 to you?”

“Standard procedure,” he said solemnly, yet politely.

Then we went into a clean, bright, wide open space that reminded me a great deal of Tiffany & Co. in New York City. Just rows of glass-topped and –fronted counters, displaying their wares. I don’t know why, but I was expecting something dark and musty and much more clandestine. I assumed the employees would be tough yet furtive.

A fresh-faced, petite blonde woman helped my friend make her choice. After some discussion, she settled on a mild product called Cookies and Cream, which came in a nicely packaged glass jar. When I heard how much this was going to cost her I nearly died, but she didn’t seem to mind. So I bought her a cute and colorful glass pipe for 5 bucks (on sale) as the strangest welcome to Seattle gift I’ve ever purchased.

After a brief buzz, my friend slept for 10 hours straight. She went home quite content and feeling as though she had had an adventure, and I got something to write about in my blog. We are living in wild and wonderful times, my friends.



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