In the mind's eye of America's more progressive set, Amsterdam is Valhalla. A place that, unlike the States, understands how you do and don't deal with marijuana. So having never gone Dutch, it's refreshing to read Wells Tower's piece in this month's GQ. Tower spent a week in the world's cannabis capital slinging hash to American tourists, moody Dutch locals and one guy who looks like John Denver. His take-away: legalized pot would mean more jobs, but not the kind of jobs most of us would want.
It comes as a sort of reverse revelation that the most troubling thing about the job of a professional dope dealer is how closely it resembles every other shitty service-sector job that millions of people spend their days doing and hating. In the past week, I've witnessed no fights, seen no weapons flashed, no examples of hopeless marijuana addiction, nothing more upsetting than some forced exposure to Steely Dan and a college kid who slipped off his stool to be caught in the arms of a friendly professional. Any bartender in America probably deals with more trying situations in thirty minutes than I've confronted in almost forty hours behind the hash counter. To the American reactionaries still frantically piling policy sandbags against the fissured dike of American cannabis laws, I would like to say this: I have now lived a week in our future world of (approximately) legalized dope, and it is every bit as perilous as the world of legalized pencils.The whole article is well worth your time. Read it here.