First of all, no judgment. I’m hungover too. Though in fairness, I may have ended up sleeping this one off had some errant projectile not smashed into my hotel room window at 5 AM. They warned us about the weather. A nor’easter or something like that. The weather should be a real wildcard today. According to NPR, regional rail train schedules are already delayed. I’m pretty sure Amtrak uses the same railroad tracks. I mean, wouldn’t it be weird if we all got snowed in? Or nor’easter’d in as it were?
Although that news probably won’t help your hangover.
Marijuana might help with your hangover though. It’s legal here. Which suggests why so many of my fellow New Jerseyans were actually smoking cannabis on this trip. And vaping. Lots and lots of vaping.
I’ll just say this much: you know cultural norms are changing quickly when you’re at a pot party in the chicest hotel suite you’ve ever seen in your life! There were legislators present. There were high-power lobbyists. Many more from the business elite. All doing what many of us have been doing for a long time. Only now, we’re doing it less furtively.
That’s how quickly views on adult recreational cannabis consumption have evolved.
But let’s be honest: the party was mostly off the record. I can’t actually tell you what I saw. And I certainly can’t tell you who had the best weed. So while this debate is evolving quickly, it ain’t over by any means.
Smoking marijuana can cost you your freedom. It can cost you your job. And if, for example, you’re in the middle of divorce proceedings, doing something like smoking cannabis (even where it’s legal) can still cost you custody of your children. And that’s crazy.
As a veteran of the marriage equality battle, I recall very clearly how “coming out” stories really moved the debate and accelerated liberty. Coming out helped change the laws. And it definitely changed hearts.
Unfortunately, for reasons previously described, being open about cannabis isn’t an option for everyone. That’s why if you’re audacious and lucky enough to be open, now is definitely the time to come out of that pot closet.
Last year’s #ChamberTrain was the first edition that included legal marijuana. But unlike last night there was no fabulous suite filled with interesting, successful, high-performing people who also happen to smoke pot and enjoyed not having to smoke alone. That’s a pretty big step forward in just one year.
Who knows, at this rate, there may be rolling papers in next year’s swag bag!
Jay Lassiter is a long time New Jersey political gadfly. He’s on twitter @Jay_Lass