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- I wish I still lived in you, Spokane.
Today is an historic day in Washington. I'm not there, but if I were, I bet I'd be feeling a lot of the same good vibes that were creeping through window cracks on November 6th, 2012, when Washington became the only state where you could smoke legal recreational weed while looking out at the ocean. Instead, I’m in Boston. How did Boston spend election day 2012? Whooping it up for legalizing medical marijuana, like it was the 90s. People were calling it historic, in the same city that started the American Revolution.
I'm jealous, of course. Still, it gives me a certain comfort to watch Seattle legally bake into an historic haze—one that will waft up over the Cascades and, ideally, form into the shape of a middle finger aimed at Idaho. But then there's Spokane. Spokane, the city I grew up in, passed I-502 by almost 10,000 votes. Spokane, the city I and almost all of my friends abandoned for wealthier, costlier coastal Narnias, will have three legal marijuana stores. That's one for every member of the Liquor Control Board, and two more than Seattle has. One of them opens today, on a street called Country Homes Boulevard, in a strip mall that also has a branch of a driving school and a jazzercise center.
Knowing the area, I can imagine how that opening will go. There will be a line, baking in the Spokane sun. A burst of moms will issue out into the July roast, freshly jazzercised, and one of them will join the line without shame. She'll compliment the white twenty-something next to her on his dreadlocks. Weed sales will start, and one buyer will decide to walk across the hot expanse of Division Street and buy a new car at Wendle Ford just so he can hotbox it. Of course, this is Spokane, point of origin of [this], so something notorious and embarrassing will inevitably go down. Perhaps one of the first legal bags of weed will be used as some some sort of nunchuck. Could be that someone will get their hand stuck in a bong. Or maybe one pioneer will strap a bunch of pot to a dog and point at it and shout, "WEED DOG LOOK AT WEED DOG," until police are forced to arrest the dog for possessing more than one ounce. It's not for me to say.
But after those early theatrics, I guarantee the weed situation in Spokane will become the best it could be. It'll become normal. Yeah, there's a weed shop at the Y, in the strip mall where mom does her aerobics. So what?
Legal weed is possible everywhere. One Spokanite I know told me, simply, "after a while people will learn to live with it." I'm not even sure it will take a while. This is Boston, 1776. The revolution is now! I know I sound high, but I'm not. Legally, unlike you assholes, I can't be.