Recreational pot shops in Washington state can begin serving customers this week. That includes two shops across the river in Vancouver: Main Street Marijuana opens today and New Vansterdam is scheduled to on Friday. Read WW's interview with New Vansterdam proprietor Brian Budz (his real name) here.
Before heading out the door, credit card and pipe in hand, take a few minutes to check out what's in the news:
The Seattle PI profiles the 25 retail shops ready to do business this week and tells shoppers what they should know about crossing the border (don't do it).
The Wall Street Journal took a look forward at recreational legalization efforts expected in other states this November, including Oregon.
The Oregonian editorial board has weighed in on how Oregon voters should respond:
In effect, Washington voters have changed the question Oregonians will answer in November, when they cast their ballots for or against legalization. To a significant degree, the question of availability has been settled. Credit – or blame – rests with both Oregonians, who approved a wide-open medical marijuana system, and Washingtonians, who will now be peddling pot legally to thousands of Oregonians.
November's vote will really be about two issues: convenience and taxation. Now, those who oppose pot legalization aren't going to vote for it simply to save tokers time and money. But many may given the knowledge that Oregonians, beginning Tuesday, will contribute revenue to Washington that they would, given the chance, contribute to Oregon. The Oregon legalization initiative would devote tax revenue to, among other things, education and law enforcement.
The legalization campaign is young, and reasons may arise to oppose the measure despite the fact that many Oregonians will soon live a short drive from retail marijuana shops anyway. At this point, however, the argument in favor of legalization certainly appears stronger than the argument against it. Marijuana opponents who resent being maneuvered into an uncomfortable position by Washington voters should think of November's vote as an opportunity to fight back, depriving the Evergreen State of pot taxes, just as Oregon's liquor stores have captured a piece of Washington's liquor business.