Move to Colorado and Washington Just to Smoke Weed?
Voters OK'd stoners, but there are other issues you may want to consider.
Voters didn't just reelect a president Election Night, in two states they also elected to decriminalize the sticky icky. Marijuana enthusiasts and closet weedheads rejoiced when voters in the states of Colorado and Washington decided that it was time to make it completely legal to smoke recreationally. Drawing some people to hop on Twitter and suggest moving westward just to smoke in peace.
Unlike states before them that passed laws allowing people to smoke the medical stuff in treatments for cataracts, glaucoma and (let's be real) some faked illnesses as well, Colorado and Washington will allow smokers to smoke freely and possess up to an ounce of marijuana, but with a couple of stipulations.
In Colorado, smokers will not be able to just buy weed from the local street pharmaceutical sales representative. The trees will have to be bought from state-approved vendors with licenses, operating much like liquor stores. Just like those allowed to purchase alcohol, buyers of weed will have to be at least 21 years of age.
In Washington, the product will be heavily taxed; a 25 percent tax rate imposed on the product three times: When the grower sells it to the processor, when the processor sells it to the retailer, and when the retailer sells it to the customer, according to CNN.
One more healthy bit of information: On a federal level, weed is still considered illegal.
"The Drug Enforcement Administration's enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged," a DEA statement reads. "In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I control[ed] substance. The Department of Justice is reviewing the ballot initiatives and we have no additional comment at this time."
All of that said, is it really worth it to pick up everything and move to Colorado or Washington? Just in case you were considering making the move, we made a slideshow of some things you may want to consider.
1.) Boulder Is Not Cheap
Boulder, Colo., has been a favorite visit for stoners and hippies since the 1960s. But it's not cheap to stay. The cost of living there is above the national average and the average pay is $54,325, according to CityRating.com
2.) Denver's Crime Rate Is Not Flattering
In 1992, DJ Quik told you that Denver wants to be "Just Like Compton" and 20 years later it may still be true. According to NeighborhoodScout.com, the "Mile High City" has an equally high crime rate. According to FBI crime data, the city's "violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation, across communities of all sizes (both large and small). Violent offenses tracked included forcible rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon. "
3.) Denver Is Boring
If you're moving here to smoke, you will have plenty to think about, because there isn't much to do. Unless you're into hiking and wandering around in the woods. Two activities we don't suggest doing when high.
4.) Suicidal Seattle?
Dreary weather and Kurt Cobain have given Seattle a dubious reputation of being a place where suicide is prevalent. Local papers are saying otherwise, but why move there and risk finding out, the hard way?
5.) Are They Hiring In Washington?
Washington's unemployment rate is above the national average. In 2011, 25 of its 39 counties reported unemployment rates above the national average. Considering that employers will still be administering drug tests and firing people for getting positive results, you may want to be self-employed before moving here.