Rick Steves, renowned travel writer and unabashed cannabis advocate, does not think greedy corporations should be allowed to take over the flourishing pot industry or steer it in the direction of tobacco or alcohol.
How to avoid that? According to Steves, grow your own weed.
In a recent interview with KUOW public radio, he discussed a new proposal in his home state of Washington that would allow people to grow six pot plants of their own.
“If there’s money to be made, it’s going to attract big corporate interests, and they’re going to have the clout,” he said. “I like the idea of having home grow because it gives people an option to having to buy something from a giant organization. They can just have a few plants on the window sill, and it’s not a big deal.”
Steves said that because Washington was the one of the first states to legalize pot in 2012, the initial laws had to be conservative—strict in terms of home cultivation, take into account DUI concerns, etc.—all in an effort not to freak people out.
“A lot of people were nervous that there was a whole reservoir of decent people that were just going to ruin their lives smoking pot and our whole community would become one big giant out-of-control hempfest,” he said.
Washington is the only state that has legalized recreational marijuana sale and use, but not personal home growing.
If caught growing without a license, one can face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine—doubled if you grow within 1,000 feet of a school, park or drug-free housing project.
But the host of Travels With Rick Steves says that doesn’t make any sense at all.
“It’s just time to stop locking people up for smoking pot and for using it responsibly as adults,” Steves said.