The 1960s may have had its Summer of Love, but in certain neighborhoods in and around Los Angeles, this has been the Summer of Pot. Based on my observations and conversations with friends, the herb has been a-permeatin’.
I can’t recall all the times that I have smelled or seen open weed smoking lately. Venice Beach (where I took the photo) is probably Ground Zero — no surprise there. Last time I was on Venice Beach, I was in a shop that had a corner window facing South, and, through the window, the smell of chronic was mighty powerful. I also notice plenty of 420 in Santa Monica, such as at a recent concert on the Pier. A friend also tells me that the bud is sprouting a-mighty in West Hollywood.
The little I think I know of the situation is that (a) medical marijuana is legal in California in certain situations through dispensaries; (b) the dispensary system is really easy to take advantage of, i.e., you go to a doc who is licensed to prescribe Aunt Mary, name just about any symptom having to do with pain or stress, and they give you a card; (c) dispensaries are all over the place, especially in neighborhoods such as Venice; (d) possessing ganja, even for medical purposes, is still illegal under federal law; (e) the Bush administration enforced the federal law and raided clinics in California; and (f) the Obama administration isn’t doing (e).
I’m sure I have some of that wrong or, at best, oversimplified. I watched a few minutes of Marijuana Inc., which supposedly explains much of this, but then got pleasantly distracted by a better offer. I also don’t know where the skunk is grown, whether that’s legal, who is selling what to whom, and whether any tax revenues are going to the California Treasury. I certainly hope so. That’s much better for our budget than the cost of incarcerating people for simple possession of the kif.
So who here can explain the situation? I have friends who are jumping for joy at the prospect of a new era of recreational, er, I mean medical, freedom.