Cool already happened in the 1960's

by Ken Robinson
Managing Editor

I just had to laugh. When I learned that the first person in line at Cannabis City was a 65-year-old woman from Ballard, and that about 80 other buyers, hipsters in skinny-leg jeans, were lined up too, I had to laugh because it meant that none of them have a connection.

The legalization of marijuana has taken all the fun out of being paranoid. Now, if you have a pipe and a baggie of weed under the seat of your car, and are stopped by a cop he might say instead "I hope you have some weed on you. It's legal, you know."

In the sixties, many people who are now close to 70 smoked pot. I (I personally did not have the money or inclination to do so, but pot was readily available. One had not trouble getting it).

So it is amusing to see people lined up to buy it retail. There is no longer a need to act furtively, smoked in secret, or make any attempt to hide it.

This is the good part. The bad part is that anyone ever went to jail for possessing marijuana. There is no evidence that any crime was ever committed by someone smoking weed; crimes ('dealing' for example, were committed because it was illegal, not because it was intrinsically bad in that it's use promulgated criminal behavior. So many people were wrongfully jailed and branded for life.

(One day about 10 years ago my car broke down in Monroe, not far from the state prison. Near a bus stop by the Fred Meyer there, I waited for a tow. A young guy who had been at the bus stop approached me and asked for a ride. He was in a bit of a hurry and did not know the bus schedule. We chatted. He has an almost animal-like wariness about him. He told me he had just been released from the prison after two-and-a-half years for possession of marijuana. He gave off a cautious vibe, a style learned from being imprisoned, ready for anything threatening.)

A couple of weeks ago, well after the legalization came about, a neighbor called me to say he had purchased a 'bong'. He wanted to show me. The surprise in this was that here was a conservative guy, a middle-aged engineer, who had decided to wade into the world of pot smoking. I told him to get shirt with a Mickey Mouse picture on it so he would look cool. Forget the Bob Marley shirt with the giant cannabis leaf background.

The young people in line at Cannabis City in Seattle know nothing about cool. Cool already happened in the 60's.

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