Waitt on Wednesday The Pub
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ANGOLA and THE GROVE

We held the 2018 Gentlemen’s Club EXPO a few weeks ago at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and while the Hard Rock was the most visited place by EXPO attendees, the second most visited place was just a few blocks away.

That place was called The Grove.

A legal marijuana dispensary.

I found time to stop in myself during the convention and the young man who waited on me saw the EXPO lanyard and laminated badge around my neck and said, “We sure have had a lot of your people in here this week.”

Of course you have.

I don’t even like pot, either smoking it or ingesting it. I didn’t back when I was younger, and I still don’t.

But… how can anyone resist going into a legal dispensary and buying something that for decades was illegal? I went to The Grove and bought some goodies, simply because I could. They’ll sit in the top drawer of my dresser for the next few years.

Recreational use of pot is now legal in nine states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington). It’s even legal in the District of Columbia; you know where the White House and the Senate and the Congress are. It has even been decriminalized in another 13 states.

What shocks me the most isn’t that in certain states you can now walk into a store and buy pot legally. No, what shocks me is that while you and I are doing that, there are still tens of thousands of men and women in state and federal prisons for buying and selling pot.

For buying and selling a plant that grows wild.

Imagine you are sitting in Pelican Bay State Prison, the 275-acre super max prison in Del Norte County, California on pot distribution charges. You’ve been locked up for 10 years with another 10 years still to go, doing hard time in a prison filled with murderers, rapists and sociopaths.

Just a few miles away from your prison cell people are buying pot legally at a store, the dispensary owner is making a profit on the pot they are buying and the state is collecting taxes on the pot being sold to them.

You’d probably be a little pissed. And rightfully so.

Andrew, a happy go lucky friend of mine from high school, was arrested at the age of 18 in Louisiana for selling a pound of dirt weed pot.

He ended up in Angola State Penitentiary. He was a small guy and when they went to rape him he fought back. They broke both his arms, compound fractures where the bones ripped through the skin. He was never the same after he got out of Angola, the thick white scars criss-crossing his arms a constant reminder of the hell he had lived through for selling a pound of weed.

When you go to The Grove or any other legal marijuana dispensary, the person who waits on you is called the “bud-tender.”

Isn’t that cute?

I don’t think Andrew would think so.

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