Slowly but surely, the winds of change are upon us. This has been a long time coming and many look forward to decriminalization and reform.
Twenty-five years ago, I saw the biggest bong in my life in a city park in Amsterdam. A small circle of friends were enjoying a break in the clouds surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the city's bistros and restaurants.
The coffee shops in Amsterdam did not result in a simple blueprint for the legalization of cannabis in the United States. However, coffee shops did illustrate that dispensing under certain conditions could result in less crime and safer environments, although large-scale dealing was actively prosecuted. Their blueprint was different from the legalization approach taken in the United States which began with opening medical marijuana dispensaries in a country where young people could buy drugs like alcohol and caffeine legally and broadly. The proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries confirm that a democratic society is able to take on prohibition and enjoy a positive a outcome as a result.