Pubdate: Wed, 16 Dec 2015
Source: Seattle Weekly (WA)
Column: Higher Ground
Copyright: 2015 Village Voice Media
Author: Michael A. Stusser


I have a few concerns.

I'm concerned that I may be fronting the largest drug operation since 
Scarface and meth labs ruled the night.

I'm concerned about kids and marijuana and making more of it 
available to their developing young flea-brains (which, if they're 
like mine, will remain half-baked until their late 20s).

I'm concerned about involving the government in oversight and 
taxation, as we know full well they fuck up everything they get their 
grubby hands on (and are already squabbling over and redirecting the 
massive tax revenue being collected).

I'm concerned about the "dabbing" culture that takes highly 
concentrated cannabis and fires it up with a blowtorch, making users 
look like crack addicts and putting a frightful face on the future of 

I'm concerned Maureen Dowd will try to get stoned again.

I'm concerned about people who are getting too high too often-"All 
Day, Everyday"-and are no better than the drunks, tobacco smokers, 
and opiate addicts we say we're "safer than."

I'm concerned that, despite childproof packaging and clear "Adults 
Only" warning labels, cannabis products that look like gummy bears, 
chocolate bars, lollipops, and peanut-butter cups may fall into the 
hands of youngsters.

I'm concerned that corporate fat cats will see the billions being 
made in legal states, then craft and finance self-serving initiatives 
that make them rich while cutting out the original growers who for 
decades fought prohibition from their black-market basements.

I'm concerned that marijuana's dirty secret will get out-that growing 
weed indoors sucks up water and power like golf courses on 
steroids-and make progressive voters wary of voting for legalization. 
I'm also concerned that, without the proper regulation, even legal 
cannabis will be laden with pesticides, mold, and other untested and 
unlisted chemicals.

I'm concerned that, until we rename cannabis strains such as 
AlienKush OG, Girl Scout Cookies, GreenCrack, and BubbleBerry, we 
won't be taken seriously.

I'm concerned that the stoner cliches of the past are being used 
against individuals who are fabulous souls, but do not wish to be 
involved in capitalistic and ganjapreneurial efforts.

I'm concerned that current growers in California's Emerald Triangle 
have it so good they won't support the legalization efforts in their 
state, and may even actively oppose initiatives with their own money. 
(It's estimated that more than 80 percent of California's marijuana 
is exported-providing little incentive for farmers there to follow a 
seed-to-sale tracking system.)

I'm concerned that a profit-driven Big Pot industry will increase 
potency, decrease regulation, encourage overuse, and abandon limits 
on age and availability of what surely is a mind-bending drug meant 
for fully functioning adults.

I'm concerned that those now organizing "Boycott 502 Store" campaigns 
are missing an important point: that legalization, taxation, and 
regulation are moving the movement forward, and don't (necessarily) 
need to jeopardize the rights of and safe access for patients.

I'm concerned that we're moving more toward Walter White's vision 
than Bob Marley's.

I'm concerned that marijuana will not only be federally legalized, 
but controlled and dominated by mega-corporations who begin to 
squeeze out indie farmers, add pesticides and food coloring, and 
eventually decide that GMO cloning is the easiest option-and we'll 
wind up right back where we started: with "prescription" drugs so far 
from the plant you need a lawyer to read the label.

I'm concerned that with so much emphasis on the amazing medicinal 
attributes of cannabis, the population without ailments will shy away 
from the very real benefits of simply getting high.

I'm concerned that the marijuana movement and cannabis culture may 
not stay true to the ideals that launched the journey, including 
civil rights and personal liberties. It was never about a Green Rush. 
It wasn't about "waking and baking" or dabbing till we got 
couchlocked. It was about allowing people to farm. It was about being 
able to use a natural herb to mellow out, and, as it turns out, for 
medicinal purposes. Ultimately, it's about making sure no one goes to 
prison for possessing a plant that grows out of God's green Earth. 
That vision of personal freedom-that movement-I can get behind. Those 
ideals don't concern me at all.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom