Last week one of our friends from Slovenia, where pot is still totally illegal, went to Oregon for a business trip. If you don’t know, Oregon legalized recreational use of marijuana just a few months ago and he was super excited about it. So excited, in fact, that even his friends were tired of him explaining how he’s going to para para paradise and were glad when he finally left. You know, he can’t really sing. He packed his stuff, threw his Byba bong into one of his pack’s side pocket and was ready to go. It was the first time since he was 15 that security didn’t look at him in a funny way, because there was no big bong or a shitload of smoking papers in his luggage.
It’s going to be a stoner’s paradise in Oregon, he thought. Surely everyone is gonna be high all day long, selling weed on every corner. Not surprisingly, the reality is a bit different.
Legalization does not mean everyone will start to smoke, nor that they smoke, sell and grow cannabis on every piece of land they have. We’ve heard a lot of news about legalization in the USA in the past few months. But what does it actually mean? It’s good to inform yourself about it, before you start packing your bags.
The last states in the USA that legalized marijuana were Texas, Georgia, Oregon and Alaska. However, this does not mean that you can smoke and buy weed everywhere and at any time. Far from it.
Texas legalized the use of medical marijuana – but only in small amounts of cannabis for epilepsy patients. Smoking weed is still illegal and punishable by law in Texas, so if you already booked your tickets… well, tough luck. Georgia passed a similar, but a bit looser law that allows medical patients to carry up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil. Again, smoking is strictly prohibited and if you’re not a patient you might as well stay at home.
On the other hand, Oregon and Alaska legalized marijuana for recreational use. That’s where everybody smokes, right? Yeah… no. There were no “street parties” or public displays of smoking in Alaska when the bill was passed, because smoking is still banned in public and the boundaries haven’t been really defined. And Oregon? Recreational use legalized? Check. Growing marijuana legalized? Check. Smoking in public places? Nope. You cannot smoke marijuana in “a place to which the general public has access” and the legalization there was a lot “quieter” than the one in Colorado, where pot business is booming.
In the meantime, our friend returned from his trip in the States. Even though he hasn’t smoked a single joint walking freely down the streets of Oregon, he was happy to meet some lovely people who invited him to join(t) them on their porch. Thankfully, people in Oregon are very friendly and they don’t want to smoke alone, so everything worked out just fine. If you are planning a trip to a country or state that recently legalized use of marijuana, do some research beforehand if you don’t want to be disappointed. It would be a shame taking your Byba bong on a trip and then not be able to use it legally. Last but not least, here is a fantastic video from SNL to inspire your search for a little piece of paradise of your own.