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The Culture of a Legal Cannabis City: What’s It Like?

August 25, 2017
The Culture of a Legal Cannabis City: What's It Like?(amedved/iStock)
Can we talk about what it’s like to live in a legal city, and what the cannabis culture is like there? Because it’s sooooo much different from the life we live in the Midwest/South/Anywhere Else That the Lord’s Plant Will Get You Locked Away for 100 Years. I recently visited Seattle, and I’m still in complete shock about the way they get down out there.

Summer in Seattle: Is It Worth the High?

Why is cannabis not legal everywhere? I mean, seriously, what are we doing here? What are we trying to prove? Why am I still purchasing the classic way when I could be walking into Have a Heart with a wheelbarrow like “Load it up, I’ll take it from there”?

Let me tell you what I saw when I was in Seattle (which I’m hoping is the case in all legal cities):

Infinite Walk ‘n Tokes

You can seriously just walk around outside, blowing smoke to the heavens without a care in the world. No one’s going to hit you with the This Fuckin’ Guy side-eye, nor will the cops run up and slam your head into the pavement while yelling “STOP RESISTING!” It’s incredible. I know public consumption is illegal so I won’t endorse it, but I’m just saying…If you’re in Seattle, Denver, Portland, etc., a walk ‘n toke probably won’t be a huge problem for you. Legal cities are the utopias they chased in the movie Antz.


Public Cannabis Consumption Laws: A State-By-State Guide

Restaurant Roll-Ups

I was at a Mexican restaurant sipping top-notch margaritas for bottom-notch prices, and I watched a man pull out a jar of cannabis and a sack of tobacco, then twist up a spliff right next to a plate of pork carnitas tacos. And no one said a thing. It was almost as if this type of power move was expected. Shit had me so frazzled in disbelief that I accidentally knocked over one of the margaritas on the table. I hadn’t committed a party foul like that since 2010.


Consider the Spliff

Dispensary Life

You know how you know something’s one way, but you still need to see it to believe it for yourself? That’s how the dispensary experiences goes. You know you can walk in and scoop a pre-rolled joint like a pack of M&Ms from 7-Eleven, but it’s different once you actually do it.

But even more than that, the selection of goodies at your disposal is what really blows your mind. I walked into Have a Heart in Belltown, saw six glass cases full of flower, concentrates, edibles, etc., and my whole body almost melted into a puddle of disbelief.

I came back home, just laying in bed and staring at the ceiling, like “Wow…I really can’t go scoop a two-pack of pre-rolled Artizen Blue Dream joints for $10 right now.” Instead, I just have to take what’s given to me with a smile. It doesn’t have to be like this, America. It doesn’t have to be like this.


What to Expect on Your First Visit to a Dispensary or Retail Cannabis Shop

The Friendliest of Straingers

There were multiple times during my trip where I’d just be chillin’ and someone would pop up and ask, “Hey, you want to smoke?” I call them “straingers,” because they’re random people who still let you smoke with them for no particular reason. In places where cannabis is not legal, people aren’t going to approach you like that. But out in a legal city, it’s wild.

Everyone out there has their own special device, whether it be a pre-roll, a vape pen, or some sort of other contraption that’s completely legal, and if you’re close enough to them when they start smoking, you’ll definitely be offered a few hits. There was even a point where I found myself in one of the greatest smoke circles that had ever existed, just because I was standing there. I’m talking 30-40 people under a single tent, with like 50+ joints going around. If power-smoking ever becomes an Olympic sport, just send everyone that was under that tent over, and we’ll bring back gold for the home team.


Outcast to Entrepreneur: Olympic Champion Ross Rebagliati’s Cannabis Redemption

Zero Judgment

This is most important: no one’s trippin on if you smoke or not. You’re not going light up a joint and have someone run up and say you’re ruining your life, or that a single hit off the joint is going to lead to a heroin addiction.

Everyone in illegal cities knows that feeling of not even wanting to tell people you smoke. You don’t want to get trapped in an ignorant conversation with an unjustifiably judgmental person who thinks just because you like to get stoned and watch movies, that means your life is in complete disarray. People in illegal cities really act like you can’t smoke and still handle your responsibilities as an adult. I’m smoking a blunt right now while paying my electric bill weeks before it’s even due.


Cannabis Isn’t Making You Lazy, Your Bad Habits Are

But that’s not the case in legal cities. Instead, you can really just be 100% yourself 100% of the time, and not a single person is going to stress you about it. Even if they don’t smoke, they’re going to let you live your life.

Moral of the story: I’m definitely moving soon.

Dante Jordan's Bio Image

Dante Jordan

Dante Jordan is a Content Associate for Leafly, where he specializes in creating topics pertaining to cannabis products, strains, and dispensaries. He also manages the Leafly strain database.

View Dante Jordan's articles

  • hanspy

    Is there a need for 64 old males? Live in The Netherlands now and like to live in Heaven.

  • Zombie Q

    mostly no one cares because there’s other more serious problems like opioid addiction and homelessness.

    • Calicorock

      Mr/Ms/Mrs S B- Might I recommend the Artizen Blue Dream to vanquish your =Negative Buzz-Kill?

      • Zombie Q

        lol. sure.

  • Each of your points is so incredibly valid: I moved from South Florida (land of the Farking Gestapo) to California in 2000. Medical had been legal here since 1996. I would see folks twisting one up at the French Hotel, bought ounces on my way home from work with my Credit Card, had quality I had only dreamed of in the wilds of the east – “Too Strong for Mom” became an everyday reality. Now in a few months we go totally recreational and I hope the prices FALL to a few bucks a gram for the good stuff.