Marijuana legalization is slowly making its way through various states in the country, with Ohio possibly becoming the next legalized state. Every state’s legalization is unique, and the freedoms that come along with legalization vary. For example, Portland has public places where people can gather and smoke cannabis they brought with them; whereas, in Alaska, public consumption of marijuana may result in a $100 fine. Seattle has some excellent retailers and an inspiring industry. Though, there are three particulars in Seattle’s industry that I would love to see actioned.
We Really Need Public Spaces to Come Together and Smoke
High Above Seattle wrote an article about this before, but it is an important issue which deserves further recognition. Portland just opened its own public establishment where people can come to smoke together. Patrons bring their own cannabis to use and paraphernalia is provided by the establishment. This solves the issue of purchasing marijuana and having nowhere to consume it if you are a tourist, or if you live somewhere where you are not allowed to smoke indoors.
Tourists are very limited in where they can enjoy cannabis in Seattle. Really, everyone is limited. It would be wonderful to have a couple of businesses where people can meet up, much like they do at a bar, to enjoy cannabis together. This would not only help the industry, it would help individuals become acquainted with others who share interests and learn more about cannabis together.
The Freedom to Grow Cannabis at Home
In many respects, Washington is not as liberal as other legal states in regards to its cannabis laws. In Colorado, a household is allowed to grow up to six plants, with three flowering at a time. Home-growing in Seattle is illegal, due in part to the tight hold that the government wishes to have on the industry along with the fact that this could potentially facilitate easier black-market dealings.
Oregonians are also allowed to grow their own plants, four plants per residence to be precise. Washington also does not allow legal, large-scale growers to sell their own cannabis and are instead required to go through retailers; other legal states allow growers to sell, which helps growers profit even more.
Growing cannabis in your own home would be an excellent freedom in Washington.
No More Cannabis-Specific Drug Testing for Employment
When I first moved to Washington I was enamored by the industry and excited for employees who worked for employers who would have drug tested before cannabis was made legal, believing now those employees could smoke and no longer worry about keeping their job. When I relayed this excitement to friends here, they were quick to point out that employers are still allowed to drug test for cannabis use and not hire, or fire, an employee for failing.
I know there aren’t too many employers who still test for cannabis use though some that do employ tons of people. I understand that much of the testing has to do with federal involvement, though it would be wonderful if those who live in a legal state did not have to worry about being punished for consuming cannabis. This is definitely a complex issue that deserves more attention at a later time.
Basically, gaining more freedoms to consume cannabis and grow cannabis would make Washington a legality front-runner. Of course, living in a legal state is amazing in its own right. Though, if improvements can be made, why not address them and create further positive change?
What freedoms would you like to see in the Seattle cannabis industry? Let us know in the comments; we would love to hear what you have to say!