In early November of 2012, my sister, a resident of Seattle since 1978, called me for my opinion on how she should vote on Washington’s Ballot Initiative 502, which would legalize marijuana for personal use for the people of Washington state. Her concern focused on the strict driving regulations and the number of plants allowed. I advised, practically screaming at her, “What the heck are you talking about?!? You have the chance to have it legal for adults in your state! The law will get better and more fair as it settles in. But you have to get it legal first.”
And as we know, Washington voted to legalize marijuana for personal use, as did Colorado, on November 6, 2012. Seven other states and Washington DC have followed suit and legalized marijuana since then.
My first visit to a legal state was November 4, 2014. As soon as I got off the plane in Seattle and checked into my hotel, I was looking at Google Maps to find the nearest cannabis dispensary. I was too excited not to be deterred by the 2.5 mile walk to “Cannabis City,” where I found the employees as I’ve found them in other dispensaries I’ve visited since then: courteous, informative, and extremely conscientious of the law when allowing me in the shop.
When I awoke the next day, I read the results of the midterms of 2014 and immediately was thankful for being in a legal state that day. It made the sting of those results less painful. But it was still a bit new to us as we were whispering about it at breakfast the next morning. All the sudden I spoke out, “Why are we whispering? It’s legal here!”
A few years later, I visited Colorado two different times, the first was during my 60th birthday. I joked that breathing in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain air and experiencing Colorado’s freedom allowed me to smile while admitting I was 60-years-old. On my last night during my last visit to Colorado, I was on my friend’s back patio, watching a light snowfall, and smoking a joint. I don’t know if I ever felt more peaceful. One thing I observed during these trips, alcohol consumption was minimal, much less so than previous vacations. That, my readers, is a good thing.
What do these experiences tell me? I am a law-abiding person and wish to remain so. I continued to be a law-abiding person while in Washington and Colorado. The people I came in contact with in Washington and Colorado appeared to all be law-abiding people. That is what I want for Indiana, a place where I can continue being law-abiding while enjoying something that gives me such a feeling of peace and happiness.