How did Oregon fare in its first week of recreational pot sales? These photos tell the story.

The state of Oregon just had its first week of legal recreational cannabis sales.

And from the looks of it, people are in fantastic spirits.



Photojournalist Josh Edelson was on the scene during the historic week. Here's what I learned from some what he captured.

The dispensaries are like real stores.

Here's one called Farma. It's right next to a restaurant. Like a real store!

All photos by Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images.

As long as you have an ID showing you're 21 or older, you can just walk right in off the street.

No special documentation needed.

Some dispensaries might even feel like you're in a cutesy-rustic spice or tea shop.

Look at Oregon's Finest, with its wood and jars and the absence of security glass and armed guards.

Buying weed in the Beaver State is turning into a proper customer experience.

You can casually stroll through shops, browsing a variety of products.

You can visually inspect different types of cannabis. I mean, you can really get in there.

You can even smell-test different strains to sniff out something that suits your fancy.

And like a good customer experience, Oregon's dispensaries offer something for everyone.

From your standard bud...

...to edibles for the smoke averse (although these are only available if you have a valid Oregon Medical Marijuana Program ID card).

And once you've settled on a product, you can rest assured that you're getting your money's worth. They'll weigh it, package it, and send you on your way in no time.

With $11 million in revenue in the first week alone, it's hard to argue Oregonian voters made a bad economic decision.

According to KGW Portland, "That figure could mean the state's estimate is shockingly low for how much money it'll make when pot taxes kick in this January."

Part of the reason is because cannabis has a diverse customer base. It's not just your usual suspects.

It's not just men.

It's not just women.

It's not even just young people.

Cannabis users span generations.

"Obviously, we're seeing a young crowd," one worker at a dispensary called Freshbuds told KGW. "But we're also seeing people in their 50s and 60s that would never have bought the product if it wasn't legal."

All Oregon residents, whether they toke or not, stand to benefit from the harvest.

When voters approved the ballot measure legalizing recreational cannabis, the state estimated it would bring in $9 million in taxes and fees. But the Oregon Retail Cannabis Association thinks the industry could generate three to four times as much.

And tax revenues from cannabis sales are earmarked for schools (40%), mental health services (20%), law enforcement (35%), and the state health authority (5%).

Legalizing cannabis is more than just a tax win.

It is, to be sure, a tax win. According to Huffington Post, Colorado and Washington, the "pioneer pot states," made at least $200 million in their first year. But if that doesn't sway you in the way of the weed, think about it like this:

It's also a matter of freedom. The freedom of access to a medicine with tons of health applications and from the fear that your life will implode because you wanted or needed it.

If there are two things this country's all about, they're freedom and money. So here's hoping more states follow. Because they only have something to gain from it.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

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"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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