Our View: A green-letter day
Tomorrow is the big day: Recreational marijuana will be legal to sell for the first time in Oregon.
For those apprehensive about this, there probably will be little noticeable difference between Wednesday and Thursday, except for the lines of people waiting for their first opportunity to purchase marijuana openly without a medical card. Recreational weed has been legal for adults 21 and over to possess and to use since July 1 — and there has been little visible change. For that matter, marijuana use has been ubiquitous in Oregon and especially in Ashland for a long time. Oregon was the first state to decriminalize possession of small amounts in 1973, and voters legalized medical marijuana in 1998.
The local tourism industry waiting to see whether legalization will bring a surge in visitors, but there is every reason to believe it will have some effect — Colorado saw a 10 percent bump in the first year.
For those ready to celebrate the toppling of the last prohibition, remember there are rules. Smoking in public is against the law — just as carrying an open beer down the street is. Providing marijuana to minors is against the law — just as furnishing alcohol to anyone underage is. Driving under the influence of any intoxicant, including marijuana, is definitely against the law, and police will be on the lookout for impaired drivers.
The best advice may be a twist on the familiar ad tagline: Remember to smoke responsibly, and designate a driver.