Being a stoner is a lot easier than it used to be, unless maybe you live in Alabama. State and local governments are increasingly looking the other way or even legalizing the drug. And medical marijuana is so common we almost don’t need legalization. Almost.
Once weed is legal from coast to coast, we’ll be able to leave behind decades of political, legal, and medical baggage. Here are four of the worst things we won’t have to deal with when that day comes, as it surely will.
1. The Hassle of Getting a Medical Card
Medical marijuana is now legal in more than half the states. Others are likely to join soon. But registering as a patient can be a real pain in the ass, especially in places with overly restrictive programs or bureaucratic backlogs.
Being a patient will always have benefits over being a recreational user. Medical weed is typically cheaper, especially when you factor in the steep taxes on recreational pot.
But a functioning, legal recreational market will mean far less hassle for people who have had to rely on the medical market. This will be huge in California, where MMJ keeps countless recreational users in supply.
2. Criminal Records
A low-level marijuana ticket can be a badge of honor for a pothead, proof of stoner authenticity. But a real criminal record is unnecessary and wasteful. Far too many people, specifically young black men, have suffered tremendously as a result of marijuana-related rap sheets.
Sixteen states have decriminalized weed, removing criminal penalties for small-time busts and replacing them with civil fines – as little as $25 in some cities. People who are cited don’t see the inside of a jail, and in most states with decriminalization, weed tickets don’t leave a public record. They’re essentially the same as common traffic citations.
If governments go even further and wipe previous marijuana convictions from the public record, they would free a lot of people to live respectable lives. A criminal record can be a barrier to employment, residence, and lending, among many other problems.
Just think: a world without shady dealers and the crap so many of them try to peddle. Feeling light in the wallet? Just buy less good stuff and get thoroughly baked by smoking a little of that.
No more seeds! No more middies! Just bud, bud, bud as far as the eye can see.
If you grow at home, it’s wise to save and use every psychoactive part of the plant. But that doesn’t mean you should buy the sub-grade stuff. If you can get a major discount, that’s fine. But once legalization hits, lousy weed will never be a necessity again.
4. Trying to Find a Hookup
Is there anything worse than landing in a new place, with no friends, no family, and no way to find weed? There’s always Craigslist, but that can be hit or miss. So unless you have an early contact who smokes up, you may be out of luck.
That won’t be a problem once legalization arrives. You’ll be able to walk into a clean, well-lit store, lay your money on the counter, and bring some good shit home with you.
Forget the awkward game of nudge-nudge so many people must play to get a hookup. Forget the meets your dealer never bothers to make. And forget the wasted money spent on bad weed from dealers more concerned with quick profit than good business.