The highs, they are a-changin’.
On Nov. 6, 2012, America’s relationship with marijuana entered a hazy new era. Two states, including Oregon’s northern neighbor, voted to legalize pot, signaling a tectonic shift in the national attitude toward the demon weed. Mary Jane, ganja, endo—whatever your preferred term happens to be, it’ll soon be no more controversial than beer, coffee or Taylor Swift. Reefer madness, it seems, is finally mellowing.
We’re not quite there yet, though. Portland, in particular, is in pot purgatory. Just across the Columbia, the people of Washington have legalized marijuana use and are preparing to roll out our nation’s first system of state-sanctioned dispensaries open to everyone. This time next year, we in Portland will be 3,538 feet from legal, easily accessible weed.
How will that affect us? It’s hard to say, exactly. But we know it will, and deeply.
Time makes every countercultural movement innocuous, and the culture of marijuana is not immune. Soon, The Chronic will seem quaint. Half Baked will be like the Little Rascals. Even the hellacious Mexican drug war will eventually get The Untouchables treatment. Generation Z will probably regard contemporary stoner culture the way we see speakeasies and bathtub gin. Everything you know about the culture surrounding weed is about to change.
Rather than fumble through alternate futures, we wanted to catalog the culture that’s about to burn up in the blaze of a million bong fires. We documented the first 76 days of legal weed in Vancouver, Wash. We hung out with Ganja Jon, a medical-marijuana activist (and award-winning hash-oil chef) helping smooth the path toward NORMLization. We constructed the ultimate stoner coffee table, and asked local leaders what it will take to get our own dispensaries. And we asked longtime WW contributor Rusty Feathercap to provide a snapshot of what it’s like to be high here now.
So, read, reminisce, dream. Then recycle this issue or stuff it deep in your closet, because it’s about to become obsolete.