Without further ado, your Idiotville feel-good story of the week:
This week’s feel-good story is a feel-real-good story. Rise Erie, Erie’s only licensed medical marijuana dispensary (not to be confused with Erie Rise charter school) is now selling marijuana grown right here in Erie, PA by grower Calypso Enterprises on 910 Downing Avenue.
The Erie weed began selling on Wednesday morning at Rise Erie’s 2108 West 8th Street location, and by the looks of it, some customers could hardly wait.
Two of Erie’s medical marijuana customers – or Cheech and Chong.
Instead of writing an entire article of bad puns and dad jokes about getting high, allow me to be serious for a moment: I didn’t used to be in favor of legalizing marijuana. I saw kids I knew and liked in high school that smoked way too much weed. One kid smoked too much before a football game because he thought it helped him focus and it, well, it did not help him focus.
The older I get, though, the more time I’ve had to realize something: I can’t find any evidence of marijuana ruining society. Facebook lets me snoop on those former classmates of mine that seemed too focused on weed to make much of themselves – and you know what? Things mostly turned out just fine. They’re normal adults with normal families and normal jobs.
Meanwhile, the medical benefits of the stuff can’t be ignored. According to WebMD, marijuana helps reduce inflammation, control pain, reduce nausea and vomiting, and helps reduce muscle spasms for people with MS.
Then there’s the money, which Erieites might be especially interested in now that we’re growing and selling it locally. Turns out, Colorado’s tax revenue from marijuana just passed $1 billion in five years. That’s the kind of money that balances a state’s budget without cutting paving or education.
So, when the naysayers inevitably predict doom and gloom now that our city is legally growing weed – tell them to take a deep breath. Then hold that deep breath for a few seconds, to let it really soak in. Then exhale. Because while legal weed is new around here and scary to some, Erie’s old manufacturing base went up in smoke (sorry – couldn’t help myself) years ago and something or somethings need to replace it. Maybe legal weed can be a piece of our puzzle. Our willingness to try is something good.