On October 1st, along with thousands of others around the state, I purchased legal marijuana in Oregon for the first time ever! If you’re not sure how to react to this, let me just say… YOU SHOULD BE CELEBRATING! Even if you don’t consume cannabis, there are many reasons you should be happy there is now a legal system in place for those who do.
Why? Because marijuana is a safer alternative to alcohol. Because marijuana prohibition has failed, and has wasted millions of dollars with zero success. Because now Oregon will actually benefit from sales that have long been diverted to the black market. Because now Oregon law enforcement agencies will have more time to focus on keeping communities safe, by stopping real, dangerous crimes. Because too many people have had their lives ruined for simply possessing a plant. These are people who could have had futures, could have contributed to society, could have added to the economy, but have instead ended up in the cycle of the system, and have in turn become more of a burden than they were before.
Right now, buying legal cannabis is a news story – but I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to the day that saying, “I bought a gram of Multnomah Coma from The Greener Side in Eugene,” is treated the same as saying, “I just bought a fifth of tequila from a liquor store in Eugene.” Even though both of these things are now legal, they are not at all treated equally. (Trust me, I know.)
The reality is, cannabis is safer than alcohol, and it’s less of a burden on society. So, if you’re comfortable with liquor stores, with beer gardens, and with vineyard wine tastings, you should be welcoming legal marijuana sales with open arms.
Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to get Measure 91 on the ballot and passed! I am so thankful for all of your tireless effort! There are still things to work on when it comes to full equality, but today was historic and a major step in the right direction. Now that more people have the
ability to buy legal cannabis, more people will be exposed and educated to the realistic effects of the plant. The social acceptance of cannabis use is inevitable, and days like today just reinforce my belief in that statement.