So, now that Initiative 502, the recreational pot law, has passed in Washington, what’s the deal for folks in Portland? Can we just cruise up there and buy legal weed whenever we want?
—Too Stoned to Sign My Name
Don’t fire up the Trans Am just yet, Stoned. There’s many a slip twixt the bong and the lip (the roach and the clip?), and quite a few details to be hammered out before you can nip up to Vancouver for a dub of Fatty McBlunt’s™ Finest-Kind Primo Shizzle®.
For starters, while small-scale possession of weed will become legal in the (ahem) Evergreen State on Dec. 6, there won’t be any place to buy it. The law directs the Washington State Liquor Control Board (they needed something to do anyway, since voters took away their liquor monopoly in the 2011 election) to devise a plan for legal weed stores, but that process will take at least a year.
Meanwhile, no one’s sure how the feds are going to take all this. It’s possible Obama could put the kibosh on legal pot—even though doing so would go down in history as the worst case of youth-vote backstabbing since Tipper Gore tried to outlaw rock ’n’ roll.
Finally, “legal in Washington” is not the same as “legal in Oregon.” What if Portland cops stake out the Interstate Bridge and bust your ass?
Oh, wait—never mind: “The bureau has no plans to do checkpoints or interdictions for personal-use marijuana coming from Washington,” says Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson. “Our biggest concern would be people driving impaired after going to Washington to smoke.”
It’s sort of cute the way The Man thinks smoking pot is something one leaves the house to do. But in any case, the answer to your question is, mainly: Yes. We. Can.