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Weed on the Street

EW puts Eugene on the spot about pot

With the potential high for another ballot measure this November to legalize recreational cannabis use, EW thought it time to take to the streets to ask the people what they think. What did we learn? In our tiny, unscientific random sampling downtown of Eugeneans actually willing to talk about pot on record, the overwhelming response was in favor of legalization. However, that was pretty much the only thing people agreed on. The devil is in the details and those details still need some major hashing out, but there’s no better time to start hashing than the present.

 

ANTHONY

Would you vote yes or no to legalize marijuana for recreational use?

Yes, because recreational use really nobody is thinking about doing any harm to anybody. If you look at it, marijuana is actually not just about marijuana but medicinal purposes. There are some mental health disorders that marijuana can actually help better than psychiatric drugs because some of the psychiatric drugs — if you take them off of it — they’ll start having delusions, mental confusion and depression and suicidal thoughts. There are less side effects to marijuana than any prescription drug that’s made by the pharmaceutical companies.

 

How do you feel about dispensaries going in around town?

I think it’s OK as long as they do it with discretion, not to really target kids. To make sure the front windows are like mirror tint so people can’t see in to see product. 

 

How old do you think people should be to be able to smoke? 

I think they should be 21. The reason why is because if you allow a juvenile — 18, 19 — to overindulge, it can cloud your judgment, it can cloud your decisions and your thought process. So at least allow them to have a few years out of teenagehood to realize what reality and law is and respect boundaries.

 

Do you think people should be allowed to smoke in public, like in Seattle?

Yeah, because if you think about the secondhand smoke of cigarettes has been known to cause so many different things like bronchitis, inflammation of the lungs, cancers, different things like that — most people really never had any effects of marijuana symptoms. 

 

Have you partaken or do you partake?

Absolutely. The reason why I partake is because it helps me balance my mind and it also helps me to breed creativity with the words and it helps me get through different writer’s blocks — being able to get my mind lifted to another level and being able to allow my writing to become free.

 

Do you remember the first time you smoked out?

I was probably 16. The first time I smoked, it was so much of a high that I didn’t really like it … We really couldn’t do nothing for like about 30 minutes; we sat on the couch and just looked at each other.

 

 

FRANCINE

Would you vote yes or no to legalize recreational use of marijuana?

Yes, because it has a lot of medicinal purposes. Drinking is dangerous and that’s legal. There’s no deaths from medical marijuana — it’s safe, has a lot of benefits and it would help with the taxes, the economy in Oregon. It’s been doing really well Colorado and Washington.

 

How do you feel about dispensaries going in around town?

Great. It will help with business and the economy here, getting more jobs.

 

Do you think that people should be able to smoke in public?

Yeah. People smoke cigarettes and you get secondhand smoke and that can kill you and there’s no harmful thing from smoking marijuana so it’s silly that you can’t smoke in public.

 

Do you think there should be a minimum age to smoke pot?

18. I feel like alcohol should be 18 too. You’re an adult; you should be able to make your decisions if you’re smoking. 

 

Have you partaken?

I smoked because I had cancer. I struggled with cancer when I was 18 and it helped me.

 

 

 

PHILLIP

Would you vote yes or no to legalize recreational use?

I’m going to have say yes and no. Let’s go yes 60 percent and no 40 percent because there’s lots of control still. The control has been taken away from the farmer. What’s going to happen when it becomes legal? 

 

How old should someone be to legally smoke?

I feel that if they need the medicine there should be no age limit. A five-year-old child should be able to get cannabis if he has tuberculosis … And that’s the other thing too. Why can’t it just be recreational? Maybe someone doesn’t have cancer or they don’t have broken bones and things, and they want to just alleviate the stress and the pressures of the day by unwinding with a joint or smoking a bowl — what’s wrong with that?

 

Should people be able to smoke in public?

As long as it’s discreet and not like, look at me, soap boxing — as long as they’re not being too obvious and getting in other peoples’ faces about it, I think it should be OK.

 

Do you remember your first experience with marijuana?

Yeah, we weren’t even sure it was real. Back in like 1968 or something, it had seeds in it and it looked like little clumps of dirt. We actually tried to grow some of the seeds.

 

How old were you?

About 10.

 

What was the experience like?

It was great, except that I had to go home. [laughs]

 

 

CORY

Would you vote yes or no to legalize recreation pot?

I’d vote yes. Primarily, decriminalization I think is necessary because the jails are full of people; there’s a lot of people there for smoking marijuana, which I think is not really that damaging. There’s a balance. It’s not as bad of a drug as some things that are already legal, so I perceive an irony in that that should be straightened out. We’re wasting a lot of money treating it as a criminal problem. We’re hurting peoples’ lives. 

 

How do you feel about dispensaries having a public face?

They should be overseen similar to liquor sales. They should be on par with that. You don’t want to be selling near schools and things — I believe that’s the same for liquor stores. 

 

How old should someone be to legally partake?

Again, I think it should be kinda on par with alcohol.

 

Should people be able to smoke in public?

Again, we’ve got laws against drinking in public — we should probably have parity there. 

 

 

SKYLAR

Do you think pot should be legalized for recreational use?

Yes, because it has less harmful effects than people make it out to be. I also think it would be great for the economy.

 

How do you feel about the dispensaries?

I think it will come down to being the same thing as a liquor store. You just have to be the right age to utilize it.

 

How old do you think people should be to smoke?

21. 

 

Should people be able to smoke in public?

No. That’s not good for kids.

 

 

JIM

Would you vote yes or no to legalize recreational marijuana?

I’d vote yes. Well I don’t believe it needs to be a crime to consume marijuana, whether it’s for medicinal use or recreational use. However, my advocacy is more towards the DEA to switch the scheduling for it and hopefully the governor of this state or another state or the attorney general will sue the United States government to make that happen.

 

How do you feel about the dispensaries going in? What kind of regulations should they have?

I’m in favor of it, sure. I think the normal dispensary regulations that apply also to pharmacies as far as how much to dispense or to whom to dispense, I think that should be very carefully regulated. 

 

How old do you think people should have to be to smoke?

That’s a difficult question for me based on personal experience; however, I would go with the age of 18. I think if you’re old enough to carry a gun you’re old enough to smoke a bong without going to jail.

 

Do you think you should be able to smoke in public?

Probably with the way the growing trend is against smoking in public, I’m with that trend, probably not so much.

 

Have you partaken? What was your first experience?

I was 13 years old and I was in Ocean Beach, Calif., and I saw this little device that my brother-in-law’s sister had. I had seen them smoke it. I thought it was a cigarette and it wasn’t. 

 

 

AUSTIN AND JARED

Should pot be legalized for recreational use?

A: Yeah, within the context of the system, absolutely. There needs to be a total overhaul of the system overall but that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

J: I think that people should be able to decide whatever they want to do. Why should they be held back by someone telling them not to do it because they say it’s bad for you?

 

How do you feel about the dispensaries going in?

A: It would probably help looking at it from a purely economic standpoint. 

 

Do you think people should be able to smoke pot in public?

J: Yeah, like smoking areas maybe. 

A: Or if people just be polite about it. 

 

Should there be a legal age limit like alcohol?

A: Maybe with the intents of obtaining it.

J: I think it’s more of a maturity thing rather than age.

 

Do you remember your first time partaking?

J: I was like 12 when I first tried it and I didn’t try it again until I was a freshman in high school.

A: First time was when I was 15 and I was on lunch break at school. I was with this girl I was smitten with … but I think I might have pulled a Bill Clinton in the sense that I didn’t really inhale.

 

 

SCOTT

Would you vote yes or no to legalize recreational marijuana?

I would vote yes just because I think people should have the right to smoke pot or smoke whatever they want, I guess. If nothing else it should be decriminalized … for the economy it would be really good. I think all in all it should be legal, period. I’m just not sure about all the attachments they put on their bills. Because I’ve heard some growers — they definitely don’t want it. They don’t want to lose control of what they’re growing.

 

I myself smoke pot and I smoke it regularly, but I do it just mainly because it’s what kept me off all the hard drugs, because I spent a good couple decades on heroine and cocaine and all that stuff. The only way I got off it was by smoking weed.

 

In your case, it’s almost the opposite of a gateway drug?

Yeah, it is. It’s actually the gateway back out of it too.

 

Should people be able to smoke in public?

I smoke cigarettes outside. Yeah, I don’t see why you couldn’t smoke outside. I try to be respectful. I don’t sit there in crowd of people and blow smoke all over them. 

 

How old do you think someone should be to legally smoke?

18. Yeah, maybe, just to make the right decisions. 

 

Why 18?

21 I think is a little too old because you can go join the military at 18 and go off to the war and fight.