Recreational cannabis is available in Michigan in the lucky few municipalities that did not opt out. Lines in Ann Arbor were epic. Revenues were huge. These results are encouraging.
Cannabis consumers are concerned about price. Legal marihuana is more expensive; Ann Arbor sales locations start at $40 for an 1/8 ounce. Its not just price. Plenty of us have been getting cannabis from the same familiar face for years and have a relationship with them.
I get it. Price is the key factor in almost every decision we make and the relationships we have with other people matter. Those things in mind, for the sake of legal cannabis in Michigan, please make a different choice.
Legalization has been the work of many. The attorneys at this firm were vital parts of the movement, which cost countless hours. Many are still in jail from the drug war, now widely seen as a terrible mistake. The first step is over. The laws changed. For this to take the next step, the people must change too.
The majority of communities around Michigan chose to "opt-out" because they want to "see how it goes" when other communities sell legal marihuana. Plenty of people are waiting on the sidelines to see if the water is warm. If the majority of people continue to choose less than legal sources, that's not good for either the communities or the potential businesses in them. If you choose to use cannabis for recreational relaxation, you will make all our communities better if you choose to buy from legal local shops.
I promise you the legal retail experience is better. You don't have to text them to find a meeting place. You don't have to meet someone somewhere, sometimes at a strange house with shrieking birds or lizards in a cage that clearly has not been cleaned this decade.* You don't have to wait for them to finish the show they are watching or listen to a full album they are really excited about. Marijuana sales locations are often aesthetically pleasing, with trained professionals who can answer any question. Cannabis consumers can make an informed choice on THC and CBD percentages, go home and relax.
We are all beneficiaries of legalized marihuana. As taxpayers we can stop wasting money on ridiculous enforcement mechanisms. Patients have easy access to pain management and need not obtain or renew a medical card. Recreational users have access to a substance that many of us believe is far less harmful than alcohol. The late great comedian Bill Hicks said put it best:
"[Y]ou’re at a ballgame or a concert and someone’s really violent, aggressive and obnoxious are they drunk or are they smoking pot? Drunk would be the one and only correct answer. I have never seen people on pot get in a fight because its f******* impossible."
Many people complain that the government does not listen to them and lament that they lack a seat at the table. Here's your chance. If you do not participate in the market for legal cannabis, the market might disappear. If illegal cannabis is still the norm while the legal market dissolves, it could prove a useful scapegoat for the politically ambitious. We don't want to wake up years from now and realize that the moment has passed us by.
If you consume cannabis, find the nearest recreational sales location and buy some. If its a long drive, grab some friends plan a weekend around it. Consider the drive your political statement; the higher cost part of your vote against the drug war and all the misery it caused. Even if you don't consume cannabis, buy some, put it in a jar on the shelf and admire it for its place in history. Use it to remind yourself of your own place in history, and the many many people who didn't have the same choice.
*If description this sounds familiar, tell Antonio I said hi.