When I fantasized about legal cannabis in college, I never thought about the possibilities of a bureaucratic nightmare besieging my state’s eventual legal weed program.
Instead, I would look at the photos of cannabis plants in high times magazine with a look of awe on my face and full of hope that I’d have access to the best weed in the world once it became legal in my area.
At the time we had no choice but to buy it from local growers on the black market. Very little of it at one point was coming from out west where it was legal at the time. There were a lot of home growers who had hydroponic setups in their garages and spare bedrooms while trying to evade police detections for a number of years. Some of the weed we bought from these local black market growers is almost as good as the legal cannabis that I buy from dispensaries nowadays. But this was not always the case, and often we were forced to smoke moldy marijuana or buds that were obviously grown with pesticides at one point or another. I was so focused on cannabis legalization for the sake of it that I failed to consider possible negative side effects of the legalization process. Your marijuana industry’s success in your state is going to depend on how it is set up by your state government. Even the “best” marijuana industries out west are being stymied by too many state taxes that are leaving cannabis users more financially burdened than ever before. I should be happy that we don’t have these cannabis taxes here, but we have rules that force us to keep products in original containers with their printed labels when we transport our weed from our home to another.