Of plastic and pot


welcome_wakefieldThe town recently held an event called “Wakefield 101,” an orientation session for new residents to give them a chance to talk to representatives of town departments, community organizations and local businesses.

The idea was to help new residents get the lay of the land and to give them a heads up on how we do things here in Wakefield. The first such session was by all accounts an unqualified success.

So successful, in fact, that the state might want to consider stealing the idea, and not just offer it to new residents of the Commonwealth. Things are changing so fast that even lifelong Massachusetts residents may soon need an orientation to figure out what’s going on in the new Bay State.

They could call it “Bay State 101,” but perhaps you can come up with a more descriptive title. (Is “Brave New World” taken?)

farmland_bagJust for starters, we likely will soon be living in a state where plastic bags are outlawed but marijuana is perfectly legal.

The Massachusetts Senate recently passed a provision that would ban plastic shopping bags at stores statewide. Meanwhile, voters are expected to approve legalizing marijuana for recreational use when it appears on the November 8 election ballot.

So it’s very likely that later this year getting stoned out of your mind will be legally sanctioned but getting a plastic bag for your store purchase will be a crime.

There are people alive today who can still remember a time when drugs were bad, and useful products of human (dare I say American?) ingenuity were good.

As a result, Massachusetts residents may need re-orientation sessions to help them remember that when they walk into a convenience store wasted on legal weed they cannot expect to get a plastic bag for their Doritos.

smoking_jointI haven’t smoked pot in a long time, so that could explain why the aforementioned scenario seems backwards to me. I’m confident that my Bay State 101 re-educators will clarify the issue. Perhaps passing around samples at the re-orientation sessions would help.

Like Wakefield 101, Bay State 101 will feature representatives of businesses. Meet your friendly local marijuana dispensary operator, who will remind you that marijuana is a natural, harmless plant that springs forth from the earth, dude.

Try to refrain from mentioning that plastic bags are made from petroleum, which also comes from the earth and has lifted millions out of poverty and hunger by making it easy to grow more food and transport it great distances. (And short distances too, like from the store to your house – in a handy plastic bag!)

Remember: You’re not there to argue. You’re there to learn.

Besides, that attitude will only get you labeled as a narrow-minded Neanderthal who probably still thinks there are only two genders.

Trust me, you don’t want to go there.

3 Responses to “Of plastic and pot”

  1. 1 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Ireland, and other countries in Europe started selling plastic bags for 20c apiece in the mid-2000s and encouraged people to use reusable bags instead. People rapidly stopped using plastic bags and waste declined dramatically. States that have legalized pot in America have made a substantial amount of money through taxes and the number of people arrested for carrying the drug has dropped, saving the state money. If you think polluting the environment with non-bidegradable plastic is somehow one of your rights, and arresting people for small amounts of drugs (while alcohol and cigarettes, which kill far more people, are perfectly legal) is helping rather than harming people, then I don’t know what to tell you.

  2. 2 Wakefield

    Bullshit. Plastic bags are one of those little commodities that are destroying our planet. Don’t like pot? Leave it alone. Plastics are evil, and you can ALWAYS simply use a paper bag.

  3. 3 Amanda

    This is outrageously trivial during a painful time for so many of us.

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