Whiplash is a “soft tissue injury” caused when your spine is suddenly, and without warning, slammed into the shape of a Wetzel’s Pretzel. Usually when a car behind you decides to mate with your car. Symptoms include throbbing pain, dizziness, and a sudden urge to call 1-800 Ambulance Chasing Lawyer.com. I recently suffered a whiplash, but I wasn’t rear-ended. It was because I live in Oregon. Voters here recently decided to get their Bob Marley on.
Oregon went from a “Stop or we’ll shoot you” state to a “Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em” state, in the blink of an eye. What was a felony is now a green thumb. The photo above is the pot shop called Flowr Lyfe that opened around the corner from my office. The same cops who would have Tasered, hogtied and thrown your behind into the hoosegow last year for growing marijuana, now protect both your ingress AND EGRESS as you travel openly to purchase your ganja.
A freeway billboard outside of town right now, in big, bold letters, asks: “Got Weed?”
True story. When I was in high school and lacked anything remotely suggesting marketable skills, I found a job washing dormitory windows at Oregon State University. It was miserable, mind-numbing work. The good news was that back then, states weren’t required to obey the federal minimum wage law. So, not only was I slaving away day after day at this miserable task, I was enjoying the self-esteem building experience of earning a “sub-minimum” wage, as I recall, about $2.20 an hour.
In any event, one day when I was enduring another torturous shift in the gulag, I found a small plant growing wild on a rooftop outside one of the windows. I smuggled it home. My mother, who grew and regularly maintained just over one million potted plants, began watering it. Yeah, my saintly mother, as law-abiding a person as you could ever find, was aiding and abetting a felony. Frankly, I forget what happened to the plant. I had no interest in its special powers, and neither did anyone else in my family. I still don’t.
Perhaps my mother’s criminal past is why, when it came time to vote on whether to legalize marijuana, my 84-year-old mother unabashedly marked her ballot “Yes.” So, I guess, when you get right down to it, it is my sweet mother who is actually the culprit responsible for my whiplash.