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The Evergreen

Seattle Times coverage of pot policy, culture and lifestyle.

July 7, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Grandmother plans overnight wait to be Seattle’s first legal pot buyer

By Colleen Wright

Seattle Times staff reporter

Deborah Greene, 65, is the first in line to buy legal marijuana at Cannabis City, which opens at "high noon" on Tuesday. Greene arrived at 2:58 p.m. on Monday. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times)

Deborah Greene, 65, is the first in line to buy legal marijuana at Cannabis City, which opens at “high noon” on Tuesday. Greene arrived at 2:58 p.m. on Monday. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times)

Deborah Greene packed up a trenta black iced tea lemonade from Starbucks, roast beef sandwich and chips for dinner on Monday. She propped up her folding chair and left her sleeping bag in the car.

In 21 hours, the 65-year-old grandmother expects to be the first customer to purchase two baggies of legal marijuana from Cannabis City, Seattle’s first recreational marijuana store.

One is for her use, and the other to be signed by Cannabis City’s owner, James Lathrop.

“And that will be saved forever,” Greene said of the signed baggy. “You don’t use history.”

Greene, who is retired from the insurance industry, decided on a whim to wait in line to witness history. She helped make history, too, by signing petitions and voting for Initiative 502.

“It was the first thing I wanted to do when I retired,” Greene said. “I wanted to smoke a joint and not worry about drug testing.”

She predicted her stash will last beyond six months. But she was soon joined in line by weed connoisseur George Vargas, 64. The two had a few things in common: Both are retirees and grandparents.

He, too, packed water, V8, Cabernet wine, Natural Light beer, a blanket and a pillow for the long wait. He would rely on a food truck for nourishment.

Vargas, a retired postal worker from Dallas, arrived in Seattle about a month ago after spending a few months in Denver.

“Everything else is falling in place,” he said. “The weather, the weed, the food and the women.”

Vargas, who hoped to buy a sativa strain of marijuana from Cannabis City, said he would compare Seattle’s marijuana to Denver’s.

Without a cooler or a foldable chair, Rafael Dias leaned against the wall next to Vargas.

With his mobile home down the street, Dias, 54, hoped Vargas would hold his spot as the store’s third customer.

Dias is a regular smoker of marijuana because it helps his appetite, he said.

All three soon-to-be customers were shocked that they were the first ones in line, let alone an older crowd.

“Most of them are working folks,” Greene said. “The retired folks are here.”

Comments | More in News | Topics: marijuana

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