The Greener Side

Notice the dinosaur on the roof with the big Green Cross.

Notice the dinosaur on the roof with the big Green Cross. You can just make out the line of people…I was trying not to invade their privacy.

Today I purchased an 1/8th of Sour Diesel and an 1/8th of Glass Slipper in a pot store in Pueblo, CO. Yes, I had to drive three and a half hours north up Interstate 25 from Santa Fe, NM, a journey that set me back a bit on my trip back east, but I would not have missed the experience for anything.

The idea of making a trip to Colorado had been rolling around in my head ever since I realized I was going to run out of pot. Before drilling down into the details of exactly how to purchase pot in Colorado, I had wrongly assumed that you just zipped across the border and picked up an eighth —much the same way you would pick up a six-pack at a convenience store, but I soon discovered that there were formidable distances between Denver, where most of the stores are, and the two outliers closest to New Mexico, where I was. My choices were Telluride roughly in the southwest corner, or Pueblo in the southeast corner.

Preliminary research confirmed for me that hassle-free pot buying by out of state people is legit and that all you need is cash and a valid ID. I had the ID, and soon enough, I had the cash. Using my Weed Map app, I called the store to confirm they were open today and that I wasn’t going to be thwarted by some unexpected regulation once I got there.

The dispensary is in the middle of nowhere. When I arrived, there was a line of people waiting to get in, and more people showing up behind us. The security guard was a friendly woman with a pistol, who made a point of bringing the “medical” people to the front of the line.

The medical people looked like they needed more than pot for what ailed them. There was a man in a wheel chair, another miserably thin person, and a few others in equally tough shape. My heart went out to them. I was told that the people with medical cards pay much less per gram, and that people from out of state pay more, but once inside, I saw no evidence of that on any of the price sheets.

In the recent past I was prescribed a medical card in my home state of Rhode Island. My card will expire in May and I am conflicted about what I will do when that happens. My orthopedist prescribed it for me during the darkest days before my back surgery after I confessed to  him that the chronic pain was turning me into an alcoholic. I was not fishing for a medical card when I cried like a baby in his office. When he suggested I get one, contingent on the results of my MRI, I nearly fell off my chair. Mine is a happy story. Surgery worked for me and I am more athletic than I was before the injury. I feel like claiming chronic pain that I no longer suffer from is asking for trouble, and I am grateful to now be among the ranks of the recreational smokers.

While we waited to be ushered into the building by the security guard, a festive atmosphere settled over us recreational types, fueled in large measure by me, and a couple from Alabama, who had visited the store the day before and were in need of a refill. Soon, two young military wives from the nearby base had joined us, followed by an older woman, and then a guy who looked like a local business owner. We immediately started talking about our favorite strains of weed the way wine enthusiasts talk about grapes.

There are roughly two major categories of weed, depending on how much they tend toward setiva or  indica. Generally speaking, one has properties that will keep you on the couch, and the other has properties that make you want to go climb a mountain. I can never remember which is which, only that I want to climb a mountain.

The store where I was, The Greener Side, posts the prices and properties of all their strains on a menu board, just like breweries do with beer. After producing my license and settling into the on-deck circle of the waiting room, I had time to study the offerings and pick out the strains I wanted to try. Soon enough, the cheery security guard ushered me into the inner sanctum where two young people presided over candy jars filled with pot. They quickly weighed out my order, and for $128 I had my quarter ounce.

The price I paid is high compared to what I would pay at home, but that is because of taxes. Colorado collected 3.5 million dollars in January alone with the sale of marijuana. I am happy to play even a small part in the demise of the pot prohibition. If the money I paid in taxes helps end the drug wars and does something good for Colorado, I am all for it. I could easily have purchased weed illegally in any number of places I have been recently, but I would not have had a choice of what to buy or any way of knowing if the count was correct.

The pot prohibition is so ingrained in me that I am second guessing myself as I write. Earlier today, I purchased marijuana in the clear light of day and paid hefty taxes for the privilege, yet, I am fearful of what some of the people in my life who might read this will think. On the other hand, if they know me at all, they know I do not fit the stereotype of pothead because I am not a pothead, I am a person who likes to smoke pot…and then go hiking.

As I stood in line waiting to enter the store, I envisioned a day when people would go on pot tours the same way people go on wine tours, except they would go on foot. Pot aficionados could take walking tours all over the country and stop in at their favorite dispensaries to sample the goods. When they got tired of walking, they could stay in strategically located B and Bs, satisfy their sugar cravings at conveniently situated bakeries, and get plenty of exercise and spiritual enlightenment in the process. The states could collect the taxes, local businesses would benefit, and nobody’s severed head would be tossed into a cantina like a bowling ball.

After they had weighed out my two selections, they packaged it up in pink pill bottles and labeled them. I left the same way I came in and exchanging  friendly farewells with the people I had just met in line.

The weed was so skunky that the truck soon reeked and I felt that familiar paranoid feeling before remembering that  I was not going to get into trouble…for now. Tomorrow I will be in Kansas, and I imagine that busting people leaving Colorado must be like shooting fish in a barrel.

I wish I could report on how my selections turned out, but I am currently trapped for the night inside a 15-foot trailer in a KOA off  I-25 in a dust storm. I am now wishing that I had purchased a small quantity of “couch glue” for moments like this.




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  1. michael o'brien says:

    Another good story Liz… I suggest you use your kerchief over mouth for the dust. What is couch glue? Good luck in Kansas as you try to avoid swimming in schools! Drive easy and drive drive sane. Best to your Royal one. Peace…Michael O

    1. admin says:

      Thanks Michael, Thank goodness we didn’t have to be out and about in the dust, and as dust storms go, it was pretty tame. Kansas, now that is quite a place. See you is a few weeks xoxo

  1. Into Dodge | The Flip Side says:

    […] « The Greener Side […]

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