IN MY personal experience, smoking pot in Boulder, Colorado, is more enjoyable than doing so in Amsterdam. It is an extraordinary pleasure to be able to write that sentence in a respectable mainstream publication without any suggestion of having done anything criminal, and for this I thank the Colorado referendum voters who legalised marijuana in their state as of this year.
To judge by the boomlet of reports from pundits, the novelty value of toking up legally (in Colorado at least) seems to have replaced the frisson once associated with doing so illegally. This is no doubt a temporary effect that will wear off as it becomes more familiar. In the Netherlands, where a policy of official tolerance towards smoking weed was established in the 1980s, puffing now feels about as subversive as shopping for lingerie.
In fact, smoking pot in the Netherlands feels so old-hat that despite living there for the past three...Continue reading