Travel Guide: Colorado and Marijuana

So it turns out that John Denver had it right decades ago, and Colorado (a state which, indecently, chose “Rocky Mountain High” as the official state song several years ago) has now legalized Marijuana for those over 21. For residents, this is more of a semantics change; it’s been “medically” available for several years for those with a license (sidenote: I don’t. No judgment, and probably 1/3 of those in my social circle do, but am not a subject expert on plant varieties or grow houses, etc). Pot is so widely available, in fact, that the local weekly has an entire guide which, among other things, covers deals and specials.

These changes won’t take effect until 2014, and the Feds may still challenge it (as our Governor said tonight, “federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don’t break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly”). But hey, don’t overlook that Colorado is now in a very unique position to capitalize on a whole new type of tourism. Of course, those willing to hop on a plane are probably looking for an experience they can’t get at home. Which raises the idea of a whole cottage industry; will there be Mary Jane Guides? Step-on bus tours? Sommelier-style training? A whole new take on Farm-to-table? No matter which way it goes, Mary Jane’s visitors should know a few important things:

  1. Culinary is an important part of the current industry. Infused food is referred to as ‘edibles’ but there is a crazy amount of variety, and some stores actually market themselves as ‘supermarkets.’ Not just weird candies; there are restaurants that have tapas, pizzas, even gluten-free ice cream. Seriously.
  2. Not every county in in Colorado treats this issue the same. Places like Denver and Breckenridge are mellow; some other counties, not so much. Plan accordingly.
  3. It’s still not OK to wear tie-dye as an adult. Not ever. 
  4. Forget Yelp or Tripadvisor; there are whole review sites just on this topic. Although, I kinda want to see what happens when you submit a review into either of those. Hmm. Please try that, tell me how it goes.
  5. Um, duh, but Medical marijuana is still considered a controlled substance that impairs a driver’s ability to control a vehicles. IE, you are subject to DUI rules. Which shouldn’t need to be pointed out but…it does.
  6. Don’t take home souvenirs. I may have my suspicions about certain TSA-friends (holla, DIA), but still. Just don’t.
  7. Regardless of the outcome of the election, Denver has been crowned “America’s Cannabis Capital” by marijuana advocates. Some claiming that there are more dispensaries in Denver than there are Starbucks coffee shops in the whole state of Colorado.
  8. We’ve already begun preparation for this monumental event. Mary Jane’s Pizza is only open from 11 p.m. to 4:20 a.m., 7 days a week for all your munchies needs.

Thanks to co-author @KristinGritt, who is also endlessly amused by how many long-lost friends have called to couch surf after hearing about the vote.

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