The great pot experiment (The Economist)
By THE ECONOMIST | July 12, 2014
SINCE late 2012, two states have voted to legalise marijuana for recreational use; licensed shops in Colorado and Washington now sell it to anyone who wants it. Six states have legalised the drug for medicinal use, bringing the total to 23. Most Americans now say they favour legalisation (see chart 1). The House of Representatives has voted to defund federal raids of medical-marijuana facilities in states that allow them. Serious newspapers (though not, alas, this one) have appointed pot critics. And an Oklahoma state senator has campaigned to legalise the drug because in Genesis 1:29, “God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every herb-bearing seed…upon the face of all the earth’.”
When Colorado became the first state to license pot shops on January 1st, tokers merrily queued in the cold for a puff and a place in history. But the mood in Washington state, which opened its shops on July 8th, is more downbeat. Severe shortages meant that barely half a dozen shops opened on day one; including just one in Seattle, the largest city. Several warned that they probably had only enough weed to last a few days.