Yo, listen up! Marijuana is blowing up right now. We got 23 states where you can toke up for fun, and a whopping 40 states where it’s legal for medical use. And guess what? A straight-up 90% of Americans think it should be legal in some way. Even Fox News is talking about it during their business segments. It’s straight-up mainstream now, my dudes.
But here’s the deal, with all this legalization comes a whole bunch of rules and guidelines. Just like how we had to deal with smoking and alcohol before, now it’s cannabis’s turn. So the big question is, should marijuana be treated like alcohol when it comes to public use? Would that make things easier for everyone?
Let’s take a trip back in time for a sec. Back in the day, you could smoke cigarettes anywhere you wanted. I’m talking planes, hospitals, restaurants, schools, even churches! Can you believe that? It sounds crazy now, but that was the reality. The pressure to ban smoking on planes came from the public and organizations like the Association of Flight Attendants. United Airlines was the first to create a nonsmoking section in 1971. But get this, even if you were sitting one row behind the smokers, it was still considered alright. It wasn’t until 1993 that you couldn’t smoke in a hospital. These days, we take smoke-free air for granted.
Now let’s talk about alcohol. Unlike cigarettes, booze has been playing it smart. It doesn’t stink as much and it knows how to keep things on the down-low. Back in the day, the U.S. tried this crazy experiment called Prohibition where they outlawed all alcohol. Let me tell ya, it didn’t work out so well. People just learned how to break the law and not feel bad about it.
But here’s where things get interesting. Between 1975 and 1990, cities and states started cracking down on open container laws. That’s because public drunkenness and homelessness were on the rise, and people didn’t want to deal with that mess in public spaces, especially ones that were meant for families. Now, there are some exceptions to these laws, like New Orleans and the Las Vegas Strip. And during COVID, they made some exceptions too ’cause indoor spaces were limited. But here’s the thing, alcohol isn’t banned like cigarettes. You just can’t have it in an open container ’cause it’s easier to drink booze without attracting attention.
Now let’s bring it back to cannabis. Recently, the City Council in Duluth, Minnesota had over an hour of public testimony about whether they should ban smoking weed in public parks. And other cities in the state are thinking about doing the same thing. Right now, you can walk around major cities and catch a whiff of that good stuff. But some people aren’t too happy about that for various reasons.
Here’s the deal, open container laws aren’t about banning drinking or smoking weed. They’re about setting guidelines for a larger population. As our ways of consuming marijuana change, it makes sense to adapt and have some laws in place that the public can accept. We need legal pathways for consumers to enjoy their herb without causing a ruckus.
So what’s the answer? Should marijuana be treated like alcohol when it comes to public use? Well, my opinion is that we gotta find a balance. We can learn from the mistakes of the past and create rules that make sense for everyone. Let people enjoy their weed responsibly, but also respect those who don’t wanna be around it.
In the end, it’s all about finding that sweet spot where we can all coexist peacefully. So let’s keep the conversation going and figure out how to make this green revolution work for everyone. Stay lifted, my friends.