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.

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