Last week, Westword, a Denver weekly, published a list of "Top Ten Things to Expect When Your State Legalizes Marijuana." The list is filled with simple, straightforward observations.In the spirit of that list, here is a list of "Top 10 Things NOT to Expect When Your State Legalizes Cannabis."
10. People will not start calling it "cannabis." For some reason, people still insist on calling it "marijuana" even though that term originated as Mexican-Spanish slang. Mexicans call it "mota" now.
9. Despite what we were told in the propaganda film, "Reefer Madness," the rate of car crashes, manslaughter, suicide, attempted rape, and other bizarre and anti-social behavior will not increase.
8. Despite what we were told by certain members of the City of Bend's Marijuana Advisory Committee, a "red light district" of pot shops and other vice-related businesses will not form.
7. No children will be given pot edibles when trick-or-treating.
6. People will not suddenly become educated about cannabis; prohibitionists will continue to raise the same discredited arguments in attempts to keep cannabis businesses out of town. Fortunately, these arguments will now occur in the context of zoning ordinances rather than prison sentences.
5. Everybody will not start using cannabis. This is another trope of prohibitionists. The conversation goes like this:
Staunch Prohibitionist: "Well, if we legalize it then a lot of people will start using it, and that won't be good."
Reasonable Person: "If it's legalized, will you start using cannabis?"
Staunch Prohibitionist: "No, of course not. But other people will."
4. People will not drink as much. That is, people will drink less.
3. Quality of life will not be destroyed. Instead, the economy will grow from all the new businesses and the extra visitors.
2. Cannabis will not be on par legally with alcohol. Despite the removal of criminal penalties and the recognition of cannabis businesses, it will not be possible to go "down to the pub" and enjoy a spliff with friends after work.
1. In response to the request for snacks from the domestic terrorists occupying a nearby local wildlife refuge, no one will send "special" brownies, thus unnecessarily prolonging a tense situation.