Last month, Seattle finally did something cool again. Well, as did Washington as a whole. In addition to gay marriage, “we” fully legalized weed! Aaah! Amazing! Since the issue started garnering attention this election season, I’ve been as smug and delighted as a person who hasn’t been a resident since leaving for college, has never actually voted in the state, and writes for a publication that is specifically about a different trendy city on the opposite side of the country can reasonably be. Probably a little more.
All of which is to say that going home for Christmas this year was going to fucking rule, no question.
I had a pretty measured, realistic idea of how this whole thing would go down, too. I’d gloat-text all of my friends just as soon as I’d been greeted at the airport with a lei of pot leaves and a freshly rolled joint, all while a group of gentle hippies sang some sort of strange, friendlier re-write of “Come As You Are” near the baggage claim. I’d have 10 full days in the newly declared chill zone, then could come back to Brooklyn and tell everyone all about how it’s gonna go down when New York finally gets its shit together like Washington, guys. And, to be fair, on my flight back, the guy at the gate did start playing the Unplugged version of “On a Plain,” presumably to taunt us during a 2-hour delay. But that was about as close as it came.
In all my vicarious excitement, I failed to notice that when Initiative 502 came into law last month, it did so with the provision that the state Liquor Control board has until next December to hammer out rules for sale and distribution. Meaning, then, that in the intervening year, you can have an entire ounce of pot on your person at any given time, but it’s still illegal to actually buy or sell. For every headline about a Microsoft millionaire laying plans for “the Neiman Marcus of marijuana” businesses, there was another about a major dispensary being hit with drug dealing charges. Ah.