Nope, I didn’t spell it wrong. We just spent a couple days in Portland and got to observe what legalized marijuana does to a city. You can walk into a dispensary and buy edibles, vape pens, joints, what have you, just like you’re going into a liquor store and picking up a six-pack. You tell the budtender what kind of high you’re looking for and she makes recommendations. Like, it’s totally normal. There’s no looking over your shoulder or meeting a shady dude in a dark alley  or quickly putting out joints and holding your breath when you see a cop – not that I’ve ever done any of that, of course. As a visitor, all this makes you giddy, like the first time I walked into a casino and pulled a slot machine lever. But after about ten minutes of wrapping my brain around it, it ceased to be a thing and just became the new normal.

The day of our performance happened to be an unusually beautiful day, and we had a nice view of a park across the street from our green room windows. It was filled with Portlandians lying in the sun, having their dinner, taking a stroll after work, and, as Nick discovered, smoking pot. He decided to enjoy the weather after dinner; he wandered out and sat in the park to talk on the phone, and when he came back, he said he thought he might be high from all the second-hand smoke. So there’s that.

When we got to Seattle and found out it’s basically the same deal there, it was just shrugs all around. But now that I’m writing this from Durham, NC, far away from the potopia that is the Pacific Northwest, it all feels like a distant dream…

Posted in