Living in Portland provides you with a wealth of advantages. You’re surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the Pacific Northwest, but you don’t have to deal with all the snow that cities further inland must contend with each winter. You’re in a city with tons of culture, too, from the concerts at Pioneer Courthouse Square to the annual literary festival known as Wordstock. Oregon has no sales tax, which saves you money. Heck, you don’t even have to worry about pumping your own gas.
Then there’s the pot thing. After years of allowing medicinal marijuana, Oregon authorized the legal sale of recreational marijuana in 2015. That created an opening for even more pot dispensaries to open in Portland and other cities around the state. So if you’re looking to get high in the Beaver State, you don’t have any excuse not to buy your weed from an authorized marijuana retailer.
It may be more expensive, but the weed you get from a licensed pot shop like Bridge City Collective is also a lot more trustworthy than the stuff you get from your friend down the street. Your friend can’t account for where the pot came from; legal marijuana retailers know everything there is to know about the source of the drugs they get. Some shops even have in-house farms, which takes “buying local” to a completely different level.
There are still rules regarding when and how you can consume pot, of course. You’re free to light up at home, then go to Powell’s City of Books and giggle at all the diet books (because diet books are pretty funny). Or you can buy a dozen donuts from Voodoo Doughnuts to share with your friends while you get stoned together at someone’s house. You can’t, however, light up a joint while you’re walking down a public street. That could still get you in legal trouble.
Don’t expect your workplace to be super chill about marijuana either. While it’s legal in the state, there’s absolutely nothing preventing your workplace from sacking you if you fail a drug test. And yes, plenty of companies in Oregon still test for drugs. It’s more understandable if you’re working with some sort of heavy machinery, but jobs that don’t require you to do anything more physically strenuous than putting paper in the copy machine continue to drug test as well. So be smart. Don’t clock out of work and head to the pot shop in your work uniform. That may seem paranoid, but if you’re wearing a company uniform or even a company name tag, there’s an argument to be made that you’re representing the company. And there are many businesses that still don’t want to be associated with weed. If you don’t like it, try to get marijuana laws changed at the federal level. It’s still illegal to the feds. For now, they’re letting the states go ahead and sell it, but that could change in the not-too-distant future.
The legalization of recreational marijuana made a lot of Oregon stoners very happy. Portland is known for being open-minded about a lot of things, which is great. But there are still some things that just aren’t worth the risk. In other words, don’t push your luck.