Friday, January 3, 2014

Up In Smoke

Can I make a request of social researchers in America?  Would it be possible to dedicate all of your resources and time over the next few weeks to looking into the makeup of the people who are lining up to buy "legal" marijuana in Colorado?

New Year's Day brought reports of long lines of people waiting to get into the two-dozen or so pot shops that had been licensed by the state.  The first thing I found interesting is that in ABC's story, both of the people they interviewed while waiting to make their purchase weren't even from Colorado!  These two dopers drove all the way from Ohio and Michigan respectively to buy their pot.  They must have planned to do some serious smoking in the time before they had to head home--as the Federal Government is banning the transportation of the marijuana sold in Colorado from leaving the state.  (We can't keep hundreds of thousands of people from sneaking into the country illegally every year--but the Feds expect to keep potheads from transporting their weed out of Colorado?)

I would really like to know more about the legal marijuana buyer.  How much money do they make?  Is legalized pot going to be like the lottery--a "stupid tax" on the poor and middle class--that few, if any, high earners will pay?  And what is their employment status?  How many corporate executives are taking days off of work to stand in line to buy weed?  How many of those pot buyers are among the millions of "long term unemployed" who "just can't seem to hold a job for some reason"?

How many of the marijuana smokers will be taking their baggies home to an environment with kids present?  How many will be toking in front of their kids? (Pipe down you two, Mommy's trying to get high over here!)  Will they encourage their children to be potheads too?  What percentage of dope buyers are in deferment of their student loans, or are behind in their rent or mortgage, or are among the 50% of Affordable Care Act enrollees who still haven't paid their first month's premium for their new health insurance policies--yet can afford what many are calling "overpriced" weed?  And are these the very same people who were using the drug illicitly and getting busted for years--showing up for their court appearances in their Metallica t-shirts and worn out jeans?

I think a "snapshot" of the average legalized marijuana user would be very interesting.  I'm guessing they will be very different from those who spend their "recreational" time and money on golf, fishing or cross-country skiing.

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