WavesCall it proof of (insert word here): stupidity, arrogance, dysfunction, denial, oppression.

The decisions and actions Klamath County and the City of Klamath Falls have made about marijuana are all of the above. Keep this in mind when voting in the upcoming primary. The incumbents seeking re-election were involved in what can only be described as inhumanity, as expressed by the following submission from a person who chooses anonymity for obvious reasons (edits have been made to condense and correct some grammar issues):

By John Q. Insomniac.

I’ve had chronic insomnia for most of my life and have tried everything to deal with it. Prescribed options left me with medication hangovers so severe, I couldn’t wake up fully or think clearly during the day, which defeated the purpose of using the prescription drugs.

Try to imagine or remember what it is like to have no sleep for two days or more in a row. That’s how I felt most the time. It creates a situation of desperation and despair. After trying everything else, I turned to marijuana and it worked unbelievably well. I became  temporarily happy and then fell into a deep sleep after an hour. I don’t consider it a daytime drug and don’t know how anyone consumes it and gets anything done: it makes you want to putter around for a short period, binge snack, but not really do anything, except sleep. That’s fine with me, I need it to sleep! Unfortunately, in order to use this substance, I have to do so illegally. (I never explored the medical prescription route because I don’t like being tracked in databases). What a relief it was that Oregon finally legalized it, although it still feels unsafe because of federal policies. Life is half-better, on to the next challenge.

I still can’t get this state-legalized substance openly in Klamath, and even if I could, it wouldn’t likely be in one of the forms safest for my lungs. It has always seemed cruel that our society is determined to prevent people from self-medicating. Our system is hell-bent on controlling the decisions people make, even when they are personal choices that don’t harm anyone else.

Klamath banned dispensaries at both City and County levels. Bye-bye tax option. Those of us who want this substance will get it elsewhere and bring it back. The only thing you’ve accomplished is to divert revenue away from Klamath County. So very, very stupid.

A different world

Two months after state legalization, I visited Ashland, where there are several dispensaries which are required to pay the City 10% sales tax on cannibus (amazingly, not the full 15% they are allowed to collect). These places are very low key, but it still feels like sneaking out the back door of a strip club where you hope nobody notices you. Inside these clean, organized shops, everyone working there is so very happy to help you make a selection. There’s no pressure, just smiles. What a refreshing retail experience. You walk out with your goods in prescription bottles in a blank paper sack. Overall, it felt strange that this was suddenly acceptable, but very good to have a place to go without being scrutinized. Ironically, (and I don’t even understand this) it took some of the excitement out of using weed–to be able to walk into a store and get it like that.

The problem in Oregon is while they legalized marijuana, they dictated the form. In Oregon, you can’t buy oils or food infusions over the counter, which are the best ways to ingest to spare yourself lung trauma.

A few months later, I was in Vancouver, Washington. That state fully embraced marijuana and was open to all forms being made available through their dispensaries.

Downtown Vancouver nearly turned into a ghost town a few decades ago, unable to adapt to changes brought about by businesses moving away or huge retail center in shopping malls (seem familiar Klamath Falls?). But now, Vancouver is a bustling bohemian boomtown with new parks and mixed use developments that remind me of the better parts of better cities. Smack in the middle was this large dispensary. They had a prominent sign, but per regulations, the windows were frosted so you couldn’t see in. There was a long line at the door where Ids were being checked.

The interior was about 2,000 square feet, set up like a massive jewelry store with display cases in a large square in the center so people could see all the products. The place was buzzing with energy and the excitement was contagious. You take a number and check boxes on a menu. A crew in the back packages up your order and you are called to pay and pick up the generic-looking sack. They had everything there, happy again, no problems whatsoever. Very efficient. This time, I purchased some cookies and an e-cig pen with a couple of capsules of oil. The exit was so casual and so many people were milling about on the street, it felt like full acceptance. Nobody was staring at you, wondering what you were doing in there, nor did they care.

In spite of a few shops holding space, Vancouver used to feel boring, rundown and oppressive, just like downtown Klamath Falls. There was a period of regulatory reduction and creative rezoning that brought in new investments. The town that nearly died from boredom induced from ultra-conservative mindsets gave way to eclectic openness. Now it prospers. After visiting the dispensary, I felt like I was in America as it was supposed to be: free and happy. I wanted to hang out more, so I shopped a little, had a latte at a coffee shop and noticed everyone around me smiling contently.

Why can’t Klamath be like that? – JQ.

Editorial Notes:

Thanks JQ. Why indeed, can’t Klamath be like that? Such is the quandary and question that spawned this website.

Klamath ranks among the worst in terms of rational approaches to living and coexisting and the consistency of our government’s actions against marijuana options are clear examples of backwards thinking. If all states legalized, cannibus is estimated to be a $30 billion a year industry. Revenue=budget increases, hopefully to do nice things in communities with.

Although Klamath allowed medical marijuana dispensaries, they didn’t make it easy for them. They made regulatory traps that served to prevent such businesses from opening; to make it seem like it wasn’t government’s fault there weren’t better options. A couple years ago, a dispensary attempted to operate on Main Street, near the defunct egyptian building. They were offering a program to get people off meth by helping them gain access to marijuana. It actually worked for most people in the program. Ultimately, they had to close because the City of Klamath Falls continuously harassed them until they felt so unwanted and scrutinized that it wasn’t worth the effort. Klamath Falls later specifically banned dispensaries from the downtown core, but this was also in league with the Downtown Business Association that lives in a strange, myopic bubble of dysfunction that causes it to shoot itself in the commercial foot at every turn.

This is exactly the issue the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism should be educating businesses on. Open access to cannibus would draw more tourists. A ripple effect associated with the new trade would enhance the revenue of every business in Klamath. Seriously, there’s no better way to support bakers, pizza makers, coffee shops, markets, and other food vendors than to have a dispensary nearby. That crowd has money to buy weed, and they also have money to buy lots of tasty food to go with their prize.

Weed has always been here, it is here, and will continue to be here. It was here when it was illegal, and now people can grow their own. Let the shit come out of the closet, it would be happy to pay fees that can be used for other good things. Klamath has some serious milestones ahead, resting on outcomes of elections that are around the corner. Economically and socially, we’re still in the same place with the same assclowns lording over dark ages. Kick them out.

The battle is between the majority of the people who are so grossed out by Klamath politics they refuse to participate and the old farts (many, not all), the bible-thumpers and traditional ag morons who are well organized and consistent in voter turn out. If everyone who could vote did vote, it is likely we’d see some positive changes across the board.

Apathy empowers politics as much as activist involvement. Doing nothing rewards oppressive forces. Now is the time to change the guard that has kept everyone oppressed and consigned Klamath to the gutter for so long.