It has been 3 days since the results of the election and I am STILL speechless about cannabis being the clear winner this year. Recreational cannabis use is now legal in 1/5th of the country (including Massachusetts!). What also blows my mind is that residents living in the west coast are able to consume cannabis legally now that California got the green light. With these victories from different states, I can speak for myself when I say that it’s a good year to be a cannabis consumer in 2016.
Americans have fought a long and hard battle against cannabis prohibition for the last few decades. Social media helped gather the cannabis community online to unite themselves over their lifelong passion. But even before social media was created, cannabis brought people together in California during the 1960s. Remember in my last post where I dropped a clue about what the next story would be?
Well folks, I think it’s time I discussed the tale about the role of cannabis during California’s counterculture. It was 1967 in San Francisco during the ‘Summer of Love’. Young men and women adopted the hippie fashion/behaviors that made waves all across the country. Hundreds of thousands of Americans flocked to San Francisco (specifically, Haight-Ashbury neighborhood) for the celebration. Even though hippies gathered in other areas of United States, San Francisco was the most publicized location for hippie fashions.
What was also popular around the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood? Drugs. Ah yes, Haight-Ashbury became THE place to explore using any type of psychedelic drug that was introduced at the time. Many mind-altering drugs started becoming popular around Haight-Ashbury such as LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide), Psilocybin mushrooms, PCP (phencyclidine), and other psychedelics. Timothy Leary may have spurred popularity of Psilocybin mushrooms and LSD, but cannabis became the popular choice to pass around among people.
Cannabis was becoming more appealing at the time because it created a euphoric high among users. Joints and plants were handed out all around the area for people to smoke. The hippies, who were also sometimes called flower children, smoked flowers to celebrate one of the most memorable summer of 1967. Flowers were handed out to everyone celebrating the special time (that included cannabis flowers as well!).
In the end, cannabis was the quintessential symbol of the counter-culture movement in California on 1967. Americans from all walks of life migrated to San Francisco to celebrate a new wave of trends. People like Timothy Leary introduced incredible psychedelics like psilocybin mushrooms and LSD that would drastically alter people’s perceptions of the reality they are living in. Almost 50 years later, psychedelics remain to be widespread across America. Cannabis just scored victories in states like California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada.
I’ll say this again: I am STILL shocked that cannabis has become legal in 1/5th of America. Polls have been stating that a majority of Americans favor legalized cannabis use. California has had a long history with cannabis, so the state should have no problem re-constructing the cannabis industry for the next few years. People will have to wait until 2018 until dispensaries hit the streets, but proposition 64 has already taken effect for the state. Many Celebrities are already celebrating California’s victory of the cannabis industry (I’m looking at you, Snoop Lion!).
Rather than asking, “wait, is pot legal in California?”, Californians will now be asking, “dude, are pot shops open in California?”. To the Californian’s request: SOON. Soon retail shops will be openly selling cannabis for adults 21 and over. But until then, people can still visit the historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and spark up a doobie to celebrate one of the most memorable summers of all time.