by Brian Clarey
Marijuana is not currently legal in the state of North Carolina, but 23 of our 50 as well as our nation’s capital have, pardon the expression, green-lighted the use of cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes.
Smart money says it’s only a matter of time before North Carolina follows suit, maybe after Virginia or South Carolina toke up.
And we should, for all the usual reasons: It’s a senseless prohibition that jams up our cops, courts and prisons; the active ingredients can improve people’s lives; and it’s popular enough to generate mad tax revenue — Colorado pulled in more than $2.3 million in tax revenues from pot sales… in January. That’s more than a half-million a week.
But we should also do it because it would be a game-changer for the Triad, which would naturally become the marijuana capital of the state.
We know a lot about combustibles here in the Triad. Winston-Salem was built on tobacco; executives who know how to navigate FDA regulations are as common as copperheads; and the tobacco farmers who dot the surrounding landscape could easily be convinced to incorporate a crop that needs no processing, pulls in exponentially more money by weight and, unlike tobacco, has a growing pool of domestic users rather than a shrinking one. They might have to put up fences, is all.
Greensboro has a marijuana marketing campaign embedded into its name. Think of the T-shirts!
But the real winner here is High Point, which not only has a name that would seamlessly integrate it into marijuana culture but also has already gained a solid reputation among fans of drugs.
High Point is the heroin capital of North Carolina right now, with more than 100 overdoses and 14 deaths last year. Triad City Beat reported in January that law enforcement officials estimated that 100 grams a day are being smuggled into the city, and that people come from miles around to illegally obtain it.
In this case, becoming a city known for having fantastic marijuana would be something of an upgrade.