As of October 1st, life will never be the same again for so many citizens of Oregon. Why? Well, quite simply because the state of Oregon added its name to the ever-growing list of U.S. states who have finally seen sense and decriminalized recreational marijuana use. Not that it didn’t take a hell of a lot of time, lobbying and overcoming infuriating setbacks to reach such a point, but in any case the outcome is very much worth it.
Unsurprisingly, the commencement of legal recreational marijuana use and sales across Oregon has fairly equally divided the public. But rather than simply splitting the local community in half, this particular change in the law has created three decidedly different groups. In one corner you have those that have been pushing for marijuana legalization for years, in the second corner you have those who really don’t give a damn either way and in third stand those who are well and truly freaking out about the whole thing.
The next few months in particular are likely to be extremely interesting both for the people of Oregon and outside onlookers. In the days and weeks running up to the big legalization, a fairly sizable army of families and local communities have been speaking out with regard to their concerns in relation to marijuana use in and around their neighborhoods. Those with young children have been especially vocal on the subject, expressing deep concerns as to the way in which their kids may be in some way influenced by the new relaxed attitude towards marijuana.
Of course all of the above represents nothing new in a sense as it’s exactly the same scenario we saw play out prior to the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, Washington and so on. But what makes things particularly interesting in the case of Oregon, the state’s court of appeal reached a ruling back in August which officially declared that marijuana smoke does not constitute an offensive odor and therefore when and where the unmistakable aroma of pot drifts into a neighbor’s house, this doesn’t in any way represent a public nuisance or grounds for police intervention…much to the dismay of many.
What you’re actually left with when adding all of the above together is a situation wherein the people of Oregon are essentially being left with no choice other than to take control of things at street-level and work to create a mutually agreeable environment. The simple fact of the matter is that without any specific law on their side, those who take unkindly to neighbors who choose to smoke marijuana will get nowhere by condemning and criticizing. Likewise, those who choose to make the most of the new relaxation of cannabis legislation need to play their own part by being extremely careful not to simply rub it in the face of their critical counterparts, but to instead enjoy their newfound pot freedom responsibly and thoughtfully.
In essence, it’s a testament to common sense and the enforcement of logic over and above complicated legislation and propaganda. Instead of blanketing the public with a thousand and one convoluted rules and guidelines with regard to how, when and where pot should be consumed, they’ve basically laid out a few ground rules and left the rest up to the public. Suffice to say, technically speaking it could go one way or the other – it all depends on exactly how committed the public is in general to practicing a ‘live and let live’ way of life.
Suffice to say, it’s going to be more than a little interesting to see how the most hard-line critics of pot legalization react and respond to their neighbors toking away pretty much right on their doorsteps – something in a legal sense at least they’ll be perfectly entitled to do.