by Michellas Baca
Weed. Everyone who is anyone has indulged in this classic drug, a people’s favorite- from creative minds, political libertarians and college students all across America. Weed has played a big part in many life’s, creating a community of its own with those who partake in it.
In Las Vegas, you can’t go to one store without seeing at least one person sporting a pro-weed shirt, socks or bucket hat. Why, though? How did this happen? This is an outsider’s take.
I’ve never smoked weed. That isn’t to say I think smoking weed is bad, I don’t. I just really don’t have an opinion on weed. All I have to say is that people shouldn’t go to jail for it and that narrative was only pushed to incarcerate low income minority groups in the 80’s and has followed us until now.
So what is it like being an outsider to this community and watching many dispensaries pop up all around town? Well, at first it was strange seeing something that was hidden and taboo now out everywhere. Suddenly everyone was talking about weed and it was okay. I do have to admit, during the early days of legalization, I was under the impression that weed was something bad and only rockstars did to be cool. I didn’t understand why someone would fight for something so “bad” to be allowed.
Flash forward a couple of months into 2016, and the push to pass Ballot Question #2 was still going strong and the conversation was everywhere. There is this sudden urgency to get this law passed and I slowly started to understand why. I started to hear more about people who have been serving ridiculously hard sentences for simply being found with weed and how legalizing it will help these people. I also started to hear about the benefits in taxing the selling of weed to help with the educational system. During this I was still in High School, easily impressionable, but I started to see the benefits in legalizing cannabis. I was 17, I couldn’t vote, but I still all for Ballot Question #2.
The law would go on to be passed and weed is finally legal. In no time, dispensaries started popping up all over the place. My older friends were always getting high, the smell of weed, everywhere. It did change the atmosphere of the city and as someone who doesn’t really part-take in indulging in CBD, it’s still interesting to watch this community grow and to listen to how passionate people are about smoking.
There is value in learning more about this community. While figuring out topics, I’ve reached out to many friends and learned there is a lot more to this than a joint and grass. There are accessories, levels of all kinds to look into before purchasing, cash only laws.
As an outsider looking in, I think the war on drugs is unfair and was only meant to target low-income minorities and the only way to reverse the effects of Regan’s Reign, is if people like me- on the outside- remain open minded and are willing to learn more about the positives that legalizing weed can bring. Positives like, creating a safe drug culture, boosting the economy, lower crime rates and phasing out the black market.
As someone from the outside, I am excited to take on this journey, to be open minded, experience new things and understand a culture all on its own.