Destinations Magazine

A “Mile High” Vacation in Denver

By Kenin Bassart @Constantramble

Kenin and I just spent a glorious week in Denver on an actual  vacation. We didn’t have any intentions of taking photographs or talking about it on social media and I definitely had zero plans to write about our time off. Then I realized I was part of a large problem. We planned our vacation in Denver to see what the Colorado legalized marijuana scene was all about. We aren’t everyday or regular smokers, but we are huge supporters of legalization nationwide. It is after all, just a plant. Not talking about our vacation would lend to the stigma that we were ashamed or secretive for a reason.

Well, loud and proud, I stand with legalization. First of all, for medical reasons, but secondly, because there is no good reason for it to be illegal. Pot was made illegal for nefarious reasons and kept illegal for reasons just as bad.

Visiting Oskar Blues in Colorado

Visiting Oskar Blues in Colorado

There are many articles penned about The Schafer Commission and how marijuana was forbidden by law and just as many about the benefits of marijuana and why prohibiting marijuana was a huge mistake, but I am not here to talk about that. I am here to unashamedly talk about my vacation and why legalization is not only important, but incredibly lucrative. I also want to point out that speaking about marijuana is still taboo in most circles, even for folks that support 100% legalization. If you believe in something, you should say you believe in it and stand behind the many people trying to get this legalized for any of various reasons: fun, medicine, money, or just because it’s not an evil killer plant unlike rhubarb (too much of the leaves can put you in a coma or even kill).

Marijuana buds

Baby’s got buds!

I digress though. Back to vacation speak. I have to admit, Kenin and I tossed the idea of not writing this post around for a few weeks and then I made the decision to nip this thing in the bud (see what I did there?). I smoke pot occasionally. I also recently found out I suffer from endometriosis and smoking helps with the nausea that is caused by the fistful of pills I down every single day now.  I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t enjoy the heck out of it. In a world where there is so much hustle and bustle and noise, marijuana helps me unplug and live in the moment. It eases my anxiety and helps me sleep soundly.

Our Denver vacation started off with a trip to a few dispensaries. I just wanted to know what was available and educate myself in a safe and informational environment. An education was exactly what I encountered. It was actually a bit overwhelming. There are so many different strains and they are all used for different things.

Some have more THC while some are higher in cannabinoids, while others have no THC at all.  There were also so many different products that I never even knew you could make: sodas, brownies, gummies, chocolates, toffees, and so much more! On our first visit,  we bought some pre-rolled joints and an absolutely delicious batch of brownies. We ended up going in a few days later and also purchased a chocolate bar.

A pre-rolled joint next to a quarter

A pre-rolled joint next to a quarter

After our first dispensary visit,  Kenin and I went back to our hotel and sat on the patio before dinner and smoked a joint…in public! I looked around ashamed and afraid, not realizing that if the po-po (aka  the police) came around the corner they couldn’t arrest me or even say anything to me about this, but that didn’t stop my irrational fear. We sparked up on that first day and at first, it was not enjoyable. I was smoking pot outside. What!?!

Kenin and I looked at each other and then both had a moment of clarity when a weird reality sunk in. This is okay. No one is getting arrested. No one is getting hassled. We smoked our joint and it was bliss. We sat on the patio and chatted with some of the hotel staff and other guests like we were vacationing anywhere else in the world, but we were smoking a joint and it was legal.

Grow Room

Grow Room

Colorado pot businesses sold a record amount of marijuana in January 2015, resulting in an excise tax of nearly $2.35 million designated for public schools. Based on the Colorado Department of Revenue data, around $36.4 million of recreational marijuana was sold this January, compared with about $14.69 million sold the same month last year. Residents of the state of Colorado are enjoying this new found freedom and the business is thriving.

I never thought I’d live to see the day when smoking a joint out in the open was an okay thing to do. There are enough people out there that will stand up for medical marijuana (even though I do benefit from it medically) so I don’t feel like that’s what this article needs to be about. I don’t even want this to come across as me touting for marijuana in a recreational manner (even though it is pretty schnazzy for fun).

I decided to write this article because I traveled for vacation and had a fabulous time.

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