With the legalization of marijuana use in Washington state, it was only a matter of time before intrepid Washingtonians began to think of their weed in terms of their other favorite drug habit: coffee.
To that end, Former Microsoft executive Jamen Shively announced yesterday his intention to start the first national brand of marijuana, envisioning what the media is referring to as the "Starbucks of Pot."
But before you go out and order a Venti-sized dank nug, Shively will have to navigate the more-erratic-then-ever Justice Department, which doesn't exactly take too kindly to anyone who would like to start a multi-state marijuana enterprise. Even though Shively is actively engaging in a conspiracy to distribute an illegal substance (super illegal) he feels that he (and his investors) aren't in danger of prosecution:
"Neither Diego Pellicer [the business] nor our investors are exposed to any significant risk, in terms of criminal risk," Shively said. "In terms of criminal risk, that is vastly mitigated. ... We're making strategic investments, but we're making them in such a way that they are not in violation of either federal or state law."
Shively plans to invest over $100 million into this venture in the next three years, while creating more than 1,000 jobs in Seattle. In his press conference, Shively even trotted out former Mexican President Vincente Fox, who urged the United States to end its war on drugs and legalize marijuana nationwide.
And customers of the prospective business need not worry about getting hounded by Washington drug-sniffing dogs — they're being retrained to ignore pot.
Still, if there is to be a "Starbucks of Weed," one can only wonder what effect this will have on the freelancers of the world, eating pot brownies and using the complimentary Wi-Fi for hours on end. Ideas that once seemed great will slowly fizzle in the warm glow of an episode of "Adventure Time," and maybe, maybe, the world might just be a better place because of it.