CRAFT by Under My Host® Issue No. 14 Sci-Fi & Fantasy - Page 65

THE PAST 1987 was in full swing, and it was a typical summer afternoon in downtown Olympia, Washington. My best friend Dan met me in front of the Smithfield Cafe. The cafe was ground zero for Olympia artists and musicians at the time. We hung out in front for a while smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, trying to be cool. Becoming bored of people watching we decided to smoke a joint on the docks a few blocks away. I had scored a bag of high- ly questionable dirt weed, enough to keep us stoned throughout the rest of the day. Leaving the scene at the Smithfield Café, we crossed 4th Avenue to Percival Landing. Having found a round informational kiosk, we walked to the side that faced Budd Inlet, away from the view of anyone on the street. Feeling relatively safe I pulled out a joint. We began to smoke chattering away relaxing into the mild sense of well-being that the weed provided us. From a distance, we heard someone yell. Peek- ing around the kiosk, I saw two police officers walking towards us. One was yelling at us to freeze. I didn’t. I tossed most of the weed into the bay and started eating the rest. Once the drugs had been swallowed, we started to walk away. The officers did not appreciate this. They followed, and we were detained. While one attempted to question us, the other took the time to fish out the bag of weed out of the water. Dan and I were eventually taken to Juvenile Hall. I was arrested at 17 years old for smoking a joint. tasted of the tax revenue legal cannabis gen- erates. Washington state has generated over 1 billion in tax revenue. Cannabis retailers alone are taxed at 55%. The genie is not going back into the bottle. Since its legalization, we’ve seen a tremen- dous boom in growers, makers, and brands hit the retail shelves. Some are better executed than others. At its core, this is due to its illegal- ity for so many years. Cannabis consumption was relegated to the shadows. If you smoked cannabis, you were a stoner, a hippie, lazy. It was a gateway drug that would lead you down a dark path into an orgy of drugs and sex. As more and more states legalize cannabis, we finally see it become a mature category. The stigma is dying off as the tide turns in favor of rational thinking. Cannabis consumption is no longer some- thing to be hidden in your mom’s basement. Gone are the days of stuffing dryer sheets in a toilet paper tube to mask the smell. From pro- duction to processing to retailers, it is legal. A new crop of dedicated visionaries is embrac- ing this new industry. THE GROWER The facility looks like any other large ware- house. It’s an enormous white building sur- rounded by a security fence located in Ta- coma’s Nalley Valley. Formally the home of Nalley Foods, Annata occupies approximately 25,000 square feet of the now converted ware- house. Where previously there were huge kettles pumping out millions of potato chips, THE PRESENT Smash cut to 2017; cannabis is legal in 29 states and Washington, D.C. The last hysteri- cal vestiges of the war against legalization are in death throes as the old guard slowly falls away into the cold arms of impotence. Citi- zens have begun to see the absurdity of the drug war, its cost, and the harm it has done. Above all, lawmakers and states have gotten a © Hundred-to-One LLC 2017. All rights reserved.