Monday, July 14, 2014

A few facts about marijuana in Colorado

         Colorado’s marijuana industry is the result of extremely good planning. They are not running out of weed. Any adult anywhere in the state can possess marijuana, they can grow it, and use it, all not just by law, but by a Constitutional right – the 64th amendment to the Colorado Constitution. That’s a far cry from merely allowing stores to sell pot in certain areas. Now, the recreational sale of marijuana is spreading rather slowly so all the news you may have heard about tax revenues have been based upon sales in very few places, Denver being the biggest market. Telluride has four recreational outlets. Pagosa Springs gave the green light recently, but the earliest they might start selling is mid-August (2014). Durango is still in planning stages. I don’t trust all the info I’ve seen online so it’s a good idea to double check before you go to a particular town in search of retail recreational sales.
         I won’t go into the medical marijuana laws since that only applies to Colorado residents and you can learn all about that after you get a Colorado drivers license. Suffice it to say that Colorado medical marijuana permits are easily obtained and allow those with permits to buy and hold large quantities.
In the recreational stores an out-of-state shopper can only buy ¼ of an ounce per day. That can last for days, of course. I have not researched quantities on baked goods and other edibles. Quality varies from good to out-of-this world great. It’s a good idea to look at the product. You want all buds and you want buds with visible tiny hairs and resins. Some shops trim the potent resins for use in other products. Bummer. I prefer weed that grew in dirt organically, but there are some magicians out there doing amazing things with hydroponics.
When entering the world of hash things get more complex. There are hash-type products that use butane and CO2 in the processing. Those are concentrated THC products and I avoid them. I can’t speak for CO2-extracted hash, but the butane products make by lungs feel bad in a way I never experienced before in my life and I want nothing to do with them. So I buy hash made in a water-based, or ice-based, process. I hear they put the weed into a washing machine for the procedure. It comes out looking a bit like thin beef jerky. It can then be made into lumps of varying sizes. Most hash makers use leaves and droppings left from the plant after buds are harvested. That can include high-potency resins that fell off the buds onto leaves below them, but I am looking for hash that was made from the best buds. I’m sure somebody is doing it.
I’ve had varying results with edibles and products for drinking. I have drunk sodas that were supposed to have a high dose of THC and felt very little. I have eaten pastries that have knocked my socks off. I have never been in a store that failed to inform me and caution me about potency. A 25mg dose of THC in an edible should be you’re first dose unless you have reason to be extremely cautious. If you buy a delicious pastry that contains 400mgs you’d better decide on how big a bite you dare before you get wrapped up in taste and overdo it.
The high from an edible can creep up on you. It will never be as fast acting as smoking and it can keep on taking you higher well after you’ve reached a “peak.” I have settled on a chocolate product. It’s divided into rectangles of controlled doses so I have learned what to expect and how much to take for various reasons at various times. The high you can get from edibles is well worth exploring.

The idea that you can smoke anywhere anytime could get you into trouble. Smoking your legal weed is going to prove more restrictive than drinking alcohol, but it’s a good tool for comparison. You don’t drink and drive and you better not smoke and drive. You can’t walk through the park legally smoking a joint. If you go onto federal land (national parks, BLM lands) pot is illegal by federal law. Colorado is not Haight-Ashbury, but it feels that way, just don’t go off into la-la land and wind up in jail.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Name the first country that comes to mind when I say ...

There are things that, if my young self had heard of them, I would NEVER have assumed were references to my country. Here are some:
The torture of prisoners of war.
Organized torture of civilian prisoners.
Police seizing the possessions of citizens upon as punishment for common crimes.
Imprisonment for debts.
Statutes outlawing acts of human kindness, such as feeding the poor.
Government kidnappings.
Wars of aggression without provocation.
Internal assassinations of political foes.
People toting guns at polling places.
Laws against the teaching of accepted truths.
Children imprisoned with adults.
Prisons consisting of tents in a desert surrounded by razor wire.
Near-starvation of prisoners.
Elevation of the views of one religion to legal status.
Guns in churches.
Forcing a raped woman to bear her rapist’s child.

Here are the countries, types of countries, or regions that would have popped into my head if you’d quizzed me:
The torture of prisoners of war -  Japan in WWII.
Organized torture of civilian prisoners – the Soviet Union.
Police seizing the possessions of citizens upon as punishment for common crimes – Latin America
Imprisonment for debts – Anywhere, but long ago.
Statutes outlawing acts of human kindness, such as feeding the poor – I honestly don’t think I could have thought of any place that weird.
Government kidnappings – Latin America.
Wars of aggression without provocation – Germany in WWII.
Internal assassinations of political foes – the Soviet Union.
People toting guns at polling places – Africa or the Middle East.
Laws against the teaching of accepted truths – Communist China and the Soviet Union.
Children imprisoned with adults – a poor, third-world country.
Prisons consisting of tents in a desert surrounded by razor wire – Africa or the Middle East.
Near-starvation of prisoners – Dictatorships anywhere.
Elevation of the views of one religion to legal status – Gosh, I guess anywhere outside of North America and Western Europe.
Guns in churches – Dictatorships.
Forcing a raped woman to bear her rapist’s child – the Middle East.

It’s chilling to think how rapidly and thoroughly citizens of the US have come to accept these things as religiously acceptable and compatible with American values.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Can't stand any candidate on election day, Dems? Vote for Mickey Mouse.

The dominant political parties of the United States have as a common interest the destruction of third- party organizations. Over the years they have taken actions that have led to the current two-party mess we have today.
Both parties in office have weakened the concept of media responsibility. Remember when a Presidential debate was an event run by The League of Women Voters and covered by the media? Now the candidates are show people in a media event controlled by the two major parties and the entertainment divisions of major networks.
I believe we need a revolution in this country, but I’ve had trouble envisioning the right kind of revolution that could win. Despite the federal government’s back down in the face of armed citizens in Nevada, I don’t agree with all those pro-gun folks who argue that they need weapons to fight  the feds. No violent revolution has a chance here and I don’t see any chance of enough people taking to the streets for the US to have an ‘orange’-style revolution either.
We pretty much just want to vote as our political statement. In fact, I think if we could register every eligible citizen and mobilize them we would show the political parties that, in fact, America is a land of progressives not neo-conservatives. It’s taken me about ten years to come to the conclusion that Ralph Nader was right in 2000 when he said Bush and Gore were “Tweedly Dee and Tweedly Dum,” that the Democratic Party has caved in.
So I’m serious about my backing of Mickey Mouse for President. Whenever I don’t find a candidate I can stomach I’m voting for Mickey. Dog catcher, President, whatever.
If you search online for protest votes, votes for Mickey Mouse and such, you will find a number of names people have voted for, many of them names of Disney characters. I suggest we come together with one name. Remember the news reports – if Ralph Nader had not siphoned votes from Al Gore, Gore would clearly have won. If we all use one name, I foresee a day when Democrats will get the message that, “Had it not been for the Mickey Mouse vote, the Democrats would have won.” Let’s vote for Mickey Mouse when we cast a protest vote.
I don’t expect Republicans to be reading my blog regularly since I am so far to the left, so I don’t think I’m offending anyone when I say that party is all bat-shit crazy. I would like the Mickey Mouse vote to be seen as a protest against a lame Democratic Party, but what if some Republicans join us? Then we have siphoned their vote from some bat-shit crazy Pol. Fine.

But if we can register huge numbers of new voters, out-distancing the Obama campaign’s registration surge and if, in the same election cycle, the Mickey Mouse vote goes up, I think it would be the Dems who get the message as intended. Who would bother to register only to vote for Mickey Mouse? Young people might start the trend.