Pot: The Big Surprise

potIf you asked 18 year Geoff if marijuana would ever be sold legally in the United States, the answer would be, “No!” Granted, he was probably stoned at the time. But even grownup Geoff is surprised at what just happened.

Unless you have no short term memory, you probably know marijuana sales became legal in Colorado on January 1. Medical marijuana (wink, wink, nod, nod) was already legal in Colorado and a bunch of other states.

Conventional wisdom says governments are risk averse. Pols don’t want the blame should legalization go bad. The status quo has much less downside.

So, again, big surprise this would happen.

Some friends are worried about their children. Valid concern. I don’t want my doctor/dentist/airline pilot going to work stoned either. Will legalization change that? No.

Too many people are in jail for simple drug offenses. They’re not from everywhere. We enforce our laws more stringently against the poor and non-whites. That’s unfair.

This morning in the Times, David Brooks wrote in opposition to Colorado’s change. He told stories of his teen years, when he was stoned–which he now regrets.

Only luck and privilege kept him from going to jail. That’s what today’s drug laws do.

Business is brisk in Colorado. There are lines to get in.

The price of pot, predicted to fall over time, has gone up. The AP reports one dispensary selling 1/8 ounce for $70.

Doesn’t anyone else find this a bit surreal? People are walking into stores and buying pot! Through my entire life those who govern have said exactly the opposite. Some still do.

Big surprise, all of it.