We were out for dinner with some other couples a few months ago, in a south suburban beanery. The youngest person in the group was in the fifties and the oldest in the mid- 60’, so we were all “Baby Boomers.” As per usual, the gals were all together on one end chatting about God knows what; and the guys on another end were drinking, cursing, and solving all the world’s problems. The only things missing was a couple of big stogies and muttonchops.
One guy, and I’m being intentionally vague, brought up the question, “Well, come January 1, are you going to partake?” The question was obviously directed as to whether any of us would participate in ingesting marijuana when it becomes legal in Illinois. As mentioned, we were all Baby Boomers, so the subject of whether to partake or not to partake wasn’t really as taboo as the generation before us, but certainly not as common as what I would believe the generations after us have become accustomed.
It was a good question, and everybody thought considerably before answering. Final answers ranged from “heck, yeah” to he “didn’t think so.” One guy coyly said he’d “take the 5th.” Quite frankly, I was surprised by the hesitation to answer, myself included. I’m not sure if the hesitation was due to not really having thought about it before, as it has always been illegal and therefore out of mind, or was it a matter they just didn’t want to reveal their inclinations at this time?
It also occurred to me later that having the wife within earshot might have had something to do with their answers. Some guys might have a thought about his future pot usage, but the wife might have another thought about his pot usage that doesn’t necessarily align with hers. He probably hadn’t checked this out with his better half.
If you think about it, it’s an interesting question for us Baby Boomers, many, if not most of who probably smoked pot in their teens but stopped when all the responsibilities of being an adult mounted. Liquor was legal and easily available without the taboo, so it became an easier relaxant. One could drink in a bar, but it was frowned upon greatly of smoking a joint. You’d likely get tossed out on your ear or the police would be called. There surely can’t be many Baby Boomers however who was never exposed to pot at some time, whether inhaled of not...ala Bill Clinton.
According ABC News, the new law, passed by the Illinois General Assembly – HB 1438, Illinois citizens over the age of 21 can purchase up to 30 grams (about an ounce) of pot for smoking in their home, effective January 1, 2020. Or there is the option of edibles, candies laced with pot, which will allow up to 500 mgs. Or one can buy 5 grams of cannabis concentrate product, whatever that is. Having no idea how much pot any of those amounts are, I am not sure what happens if one were to just to go to another store for more pot. Keep in mind though, you’re employer probably has a whole different view on this.
Illinois is the 11th state to legalize pot. Illinois will sell to out-of-state folks too, but they can only buy half as much – a provision that totally goes over my head. It seems to me this provision is comparable to cutting the proverbial baby in half. If Joe is from Indiana, and it is not legal in Indiana, why would Illinois sell Joe any? Or conversely, if the object is to raise tax revenue, why not sell Joe twice as much?
Speaking of taxes, the tax paid depends on the amount of THC, the stuff that gives you the buzz, in the product. The more THC in the product, the more tax you pay, ranging from 10 – 25%. This is the state tax – the municipality where you buy your pot can add on a tax too, up to 3.75%. My understanding the state is recommending against a municipality tax.
If the law does not specify the price of pot, won’t the black market ironically dictate price? How’s this going to work if the black market is not removed? And the bigger question is, who knows how to get rid of the black market? If everything is equal but one party is selling with tax and one without, where are most folks going to buy pot? After all, there must be Baby Boomers that might try pot in order to give their liver a long over-due break.
Asking these questions for friends.