Hear that massive sucking sound? That’s the sound of all Washington’s promised “cannabis tourism” dollars going south to Oregon.
You know the windfall that was promised to Washington state voters if they approved Initiative 502, the anemic, problem-plagued marijuana “legalization” initiative that has become a nationwide laughingstock? Well, I-502 has become, in effect, a bad example of how NOT to do legalization, even as Colorado and Oregon laugh all the way to the bank.
Welcome to Washington state’s dumb-ass brand of “legalization”… Where in reality we are slipping BACKWARDS from the progress we achieved with medical marijuana, to restrictive new “recreational” rules that forbid on-site consumption. When greedy 502 merchants got these rules passed to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries, they cut off their noses to spite their faces… and most are too clueless to recognize this, even now.
I-502, along with its companion piece of legislation, SB 5052, collapses the medical marijuana market as we’ve known it in Washington since the MMJ law was approved by voters back in 1998. It funnels all public marijuana related activities through the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB).
And, as reported by Jake Ellison at the Seattle PI, that LCB has now claimed its first victim, the High Times Cannabis Cup in Seattle.
Not that the absence of arrogant, self-aggrandizing High Times staffers, or their pretentious party, in the Emerald City is any great loss, mind you. We normally do just fine in Seattle without clueless, braying jackasses like Rectal Russ Belville (a vocal supporter of I-502, it must be noted) in town.What’s a much bigger bummer is the fact that the Cup’s cancellation is emblematic of the restrictive nature of I-502 and 5052 and the fact that those “cannabis tourism” dollars may never materialize under these benighted rules.
Although High Times has already put on three Cannabis Cup events, twice in Fremont and last year in Everett, the magazine ran into insurmountable obstacles after the implementation of, er, “legalization,” according to Editor-In-Chief Dan Skye.
“So we have basically given up, and it’s a real shame because Portland is jumping on this and we’re going to have a huge Cup in early August there,” Skye said, letting us know that our neighbors in Oregon are more than happy to take all that cash Washington state just effectively turned down.
I-502’s restrictive rules don’t allow for selling marijuana outside of licensed, brick-and-mortar stores — and no sampling is allowed on the store’s property. Giving marijuana to anyone, anywhere, is prohibited — the infamous “pass a joint and break the law” part of I-502’s incredibly poorly written language.
In past years, growers and dispensaries openly sampled their goods at the Cup and numerous other events, covered by the medical marijuana law. That protection is going away, ironically due to — you guessed it — “legalization.”
“We’re trying to legitimize this industry with a trade show that is open to all people, so they can sample the best merchandise of the Washington area,” Skye said. “So, the people who are going to lose out are the Washington businesses. They did very well there last year, and we’re disappointed.
“We have bent over backwards to work with the LCB, and it just has not worked out,” Skye said.
“It’s a shame because we had a great turn out last year and … as far as I can see the politicians and bureaucrats are completely screwing up your marijuana program there,” Skye said. “Taxes are out of control … and the black market is back.”