As an artist, I had given up the fear, paranoia, and hiding from the law in the overly conservative state of Kentucky after doing jail time for smoking cannabis. 

I’d never been in any real trouble otherwise but the state’s outlook on marijuana really put me in a bind for my enjoyment of smoking grass. I’d always saw it as an outlet to inspire creativity and lower stress.  It was that mellow vibration, energy, and open thinking during the high that promoted my line of work, in both writing and painting.

No more fear

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Of course, after my arrest the authorities had me cautioning any kind of use of the plant both medicinally and recreationally, not to mention the 2 years I spent under home surveillance and random drug screenings at $50 a piece.  These restrictions led me to become resilient to how I would treat my cannabis consumption in the future.

Where would I hide my stash? Who could I trust to talk to or even share a joint with?  Would I be busted for this dime bag of Mexican press weed hidden in the pepper shaker?  How long would I serve?? Maybe.. my girlfriend is an agent with the DEA??!

I had thoughts that it wasn’t even a good idea to go out into the public when I was high. Everyone I knew was living this way in the Kentucky area; stony red eyes and too much fear. It is a real tragedy that all the people who love weed, among the weekend-partying-alcohol-drinkers, couldn’t embrace the joys of catching a peaceful buzz with some kind herb.

In Kentucky, all my friends had to keep the smoke under their hat, making them constantly surrounded by unnecessary paranoia and the thought that the police might come crashing in through their door every time they lit up.

Time to relocate

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When I heard Colorado made the medicinal use of marijuana legal in November of 2012 I knew it was time to give up on the long stigmatization of the plant and take the 1200 mile ride into the mountains. So, at the end of that year, in the last snows of December, I packed a few small bags, a roll of toilet paper, and $500 dollars for the trip out west.

I still live here in the peace of the mountains today, writing and enjoying cannabis whenever I choose.

There is no more waiting on the dealer to call you back as the hour grows late into the night only to realize that he isn’t going to return your call.  You just go to the store. Mine is across the parking lot from my house.  I can see it from the front door. There is no more smoking that flat and brown press weed smuggled in by the criminal cartel, who packaged it in boxes of fake carrots for the American border either.

All that is looked down upon here in Colorado, because here in the mountain, weed is not only medically legal but it is recreationally legal.  The only trouble I’ve had here is in choosing which strain of bud to pick with all the types, flavors, blends, variations of high, candies, chocolates, sour hashes, waxes, shatters, and on!! Here, with over 800 dispensaries throughout the state, it just comes down to personal choices.

Cannabis cornucopia

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Colorado State Law Amendment 64 states that each adult –21 and older— can grow up to six cannabis plants within a household and legally possess all cannabis from these plants within the house.  So, if you have three roommates you all can grow up to 24 plants within the home, given you have that kind of space to grow.

It is also no problem to have up to an ounce of weed in your vehicle at any time and you may also gift up to an ounce of weed to anyone 21 years or older without any legality issues.

Tourist and visitors to the state are welcome to purchase marijuana at local recreational shops without any repercussion so long as they don’t try to take it out of the state.  They are allowed to have a total of ¼ of an ounce on hand at any given time. This is different for state residence in maintaining that travelers try not to stockpile and export marijuana from the state.

Get high, get along

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Traveling downtown during the weekend it is not uncommon to smell some sweet hash being passed around or have a beautiful woman you’ve just met roll you a joint at a local diner.  People roll in and off the bus with glazed eyes smiling or just keep to themselves happy and high, and when grocery shopping in the area you’ll see a lot of people that are high, either working or shopping.

Here, it’s just acceptable.  The cops are pretty lax about it. No one gets too worked up over smoking marijuana.  It does get smoked in public from time to time but this is generally frowned upon by authorities, having to give out an occasional fine of around 100 dollars to those who burn in a public area.  I’ve even been stopped by police in public for smoking and warned of a fine, but never actually given one.  They simply said, “We ask that you use better discretion next time.”

Nice price, too

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The experience is a culture shock to those who first arrive, with medical dispensaries sales as low as $15 – $20 for a 1/8 bottle of cannabis. A person can even sign over their rights to grow plants in their own home, giving these rights to the dispensary to grow their plants so that they get an increased monthly and yearly discount.

Recreational shop prices can run from between $20 – $60 for a 1/8th bottle of cannabis. These prices are going up as the quality of marijuana increases but with so many shops available it isn’t that difficult to find the dispensary that has the best quality and price point for you.

Some shops are more commercial with formal procedures in sales, marketing, and distribution to the customer while others are more welcoming, stoner-friendly mom ‘n’ pop like places, often owned by experienced smokers who can give you all the details and recommendations on just what you may be looking for.

Are you also a resident in a legal state? Have you moved there for cannabis? Let us know on one of our social media accounts or in the comments section below. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

 Life In A Legal State

Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee is an artist/activist writer living in Boulder, Colorado.He collaborates projects at with Ralph Steadman, Ron Whitehead, and many other eccentric talents.He enjoys the companionship of good friends including modern rock musicians and the beat era poets. In his free time he enjoys traveling, skateboarding, and Tai Chi.
 Life In A Legal State

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