John Palmer: Thank you for cannabis | TheUnion.com

John Palmer: Thank you for cannabis

Thank you for cannabis

In 1965, I was drafted into the Army to act as cannon fodder for the rich guys who were waging a war at the time.

In 1967, they unceremoniously spit me back into civilian life.

Things were very different when I got home; attitudes had changed. I visited an old friend; one thing led to another and he introduced me to marijuana. That started a love affair with ganja that continues to this day.

I remember in the late ’60s sitting in a smoke-filled room saying, “Man, they gotta legalize this stuff soon. Everybody smokes it. It doesn’t do any harm.” Then someone else would chime in: “It should never have been illegal in the first place!”

Then, in the late ’70s: “I can’t believe they haven’t legalized this stuff yet. Even more people are smoking it now.”

Someone else: “We’ve got to wait till all those old guys in Congress either die off or get voted out.”

Then in the late ’80s: “Unbelievable; this stuff is still illegal.”

Someone else: “That’s because when one of those old guys dies or gets voted out, they just vote in a new old guy.”

Then in the late ’90s, “I can’t believe it! They just legalized medical cannabis.”

Someone else: “Yeah, but now they need to take the next step and make recreational legal.”

And finally in 2016, “They did it! They legalized recreational pot! Finally!”

So, it took 50 years but my dream finally came true. In those 50 years, I probably smoked a hundred pounds of illegal weed. But at the same time, I went back to college and got a degree, I raised a wonderful daughter, I helped start and run a successful business.

It took a year for lawmakers to iron out policies and procedures and a few more months for a local business to get licensed.

But yesterday, at age 74, I walked into Elevation 2477, the local cannabis store, and bought some legal weed for the first time in 51 and a half years.

It felt good. I want to thank all of you who made this happen.

John Palmer

Nevada City


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