Weed Sells Like Hotcakes! Who Knew?

broad cityIt’s high time that potheads get some respect. Turns out, when you make their vice of choice legal, they will indeed turn out to buy it on the open market, even for a higher price, instead of working the old, familiar backchannels. According to Mic.com:

When Washington became the second state to allow legal sales of recreational marijuana last week, Seattle only had a single store, Cannabis City, open for business. It ran out of weed in three days. Cannabis City opened its doors for the first time on Tuesday with 4.5 kg of marijuana ready to be purchased. By the end of Thursday, it had all been bought. It’s even more impressive when you realize that customers were only allowed to buy a maximum of 6 grams each, which means the store made at least 750 individual sales. …

Seattle wasn’t the only city whose store was a (limited) success. Top Shelf in Bellingham, which made the state’s first ever legal sale, set a new record with first-day sales of more than $30,000 thanks to serving more than 1,200 customers. It may be a surprise given how well stores did with their limited product, but not everyone is totally sold on the future of recreational marijuana in Washington. Retailers like Cannabis City have competition, both from medical marijuana (which is cheaper and often relatively easy to obtain) and old fashioned illegal marijuana (which is just cheaper). In addition to the in-state growing restriction, Washington applies a 25% sales tax on recreational weed, making it pretty pricey when compared to those other options.

The Western states aren’t the only ones making news on the subject of recreational drugs. Brooklyn’s DA has announced he will severely limit pot prosecutions (“his office will stop bringing cases against offenders with less than 25 grams of pot and no prior criminal record”) to focus on more serious — some might say actual — crimes. Good news for Williamsburg’s myriad marijuana delivery boys! They’re just trying to make a semi-honest living, man.

Weed has been on my mind since recently re-watching Linklater’s Dazed and Confused (1993). No one in that movie seems to buy drugs, though everyone’s doing them all the time. That jives with my memory of high school: I never exchanged money for goods, I never saw anyone else exchange money for goods, and yet someone must have at some point, right? Weed doesn’t merely appear like a genie when one rubs a bong. It was college before anyone suggested I perhaps contribute to the cost of the evening’s entertainment, and though the amount was only $20, I remember blanching and thinking, No, thank you. Somehow actually paying for it was crossing a line.

How much have you ever paid, or would you ever pay, for pot? Do you get it via bicycle, via genie, via a friend in Colorado or Washington? Are you might likely to indulge if it’s legal, or is the expense what deters you rather than the fear of the iron hand of the law?

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