Gone to Pot

It is seven o’clock on a peaceful late-summer evening here in suburban Seattle, and I’m sitting in my back garden smoking marijuana.

Passively smoking, I should add, lest I shock any reader by this sorry lapse, but smoking nonetheless.  This time of year, my property is especially fragrant with the acrid smell of pot, and a thick haze of the stuff lingers long in the air these balmy Northwest nights.  It has become one of the distinctive characteristics of our street, and indeed of much of Seattle, that environmentally obsessed city where all is decorous, the sidewalks are immaculately swept, the parks rigorously trimmed, proverbial for its snow-capped mountains and sparkling lakes, and now, too, for its odoriferous and pungent residential neighborhoods, where musky clouds roll through the homes of rich and poor alike, and an ordinary householder can become quietly stoned, regardless of his or her economic status or social prominence.  That’s the great thing about this new epidemic we’ve unleashed on ourselves here.  Just as its host society was originally meant to be, it’s completely egalitarian.  All drugs are morally neutral.  They will destroy your life, and the lives of your neighbors, quite irrespective of your race, creed, or religion.

How did we get here?  By popular demand.  In November 2012, the voters of Washington passed into law Initiative 502 by the impressive margin...

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