Glenwood’s Phinest Reprazent


216 16th St.
Glenwood Springs, Co 81601

303 Kush
Grade: A-
Rec only

Some areas of Colorado simply don’t allow you to be too choosy about where to buy cannabis. They are rec only- if they have anything at all. Glenwood Springs is one of those places. It is squarely in the middle of Glenwood canyon along the majestic Colorado river. It is crammed with six lanes of interstate and as much civilization as humanity can fit in 400 sq ft. of available canyon floor. Just off of one of the crazy, clustered roads, right in the heart of the clusterfuck is Martin’s.

Martin’s is a rec only spot that almost feels like a smoker’s club. The vibe was relaxed and welcoming, fitting of the name choice. It is like you are actually going into visit with your buddy Martin. When I walked in, the younger budtender was educating the older hippie budtender on conscious hip-hop (most hip-hop is not bitches and hoes), something the hippie had never heard of. They had a few varieties of shrubs. They all looked great. Although they were rec only, their prices were competitive enough to keep me there.

I ended up walking out with some 303 kush. It looked ridankulous and smelled just as great. The herbs are mountain grown and come from all over. Martins is a third-party shop that does not grow their own herbs. Instead, they have an intrepid entrepreneur who buys from growers and sells them to you. The classic All-American middle man. And based on the selection at Martin’s, he has some good connections too. The 303 kush did not disappoint. It was flavorful and smooth. The prices were competitive with medical shops, which made me feel even better about my purchase.

The best thing about Glenwood Springs to me is not the two-block-long hot-spring pool or the escape room, but the nature of the world all around these springs. Out there, a mile can be a 1000 ft incline that is dominated by crystal clear rushing waters turned blue in their agitation. Trails are in the middle of streams out here. Massive misplaced boulders stand, waiting for Mother Nature to unleash her wrath on them and send them to their next resting place somewhere downstream.

These lands are still wild yet incredibly confined. Everything looks pristine and untouched from afar, but mailboxes and gates are as common as packed trails and lots of cars. People come here to experience the wild, untamed world. The world is quite tame, though. There are few rocks unturned here, and our presence is etching into the canyon more and more every day.

martins 2017-07-09 at 10.21.02 AM

Bombtasty Blackhawk Buds!

Rocky Mountain Organics
5312 CO-119, Black Hawk, CO 80422


Grade: B+

Gilpin County is one of my favorite places to go in Colorado. Its history dates back to the earliest days of Denver and the land reflects its boom-and-bust past in its steep cliffs, ghost towns, and mountain canyons scarred from the pick axe. They found gold in these Ute hills in 1859, and settlers flocked here hopeful for a taste of that sweet, sweet gold dust.[i] Before the Georgia prospector John H. Gregory got his taste, this was just some inhospitable land that was in the Northwestern Kansas Territory. This town quickly grew to nearly 2000 people as news spread.[ii] It was only a taste, however. The gold dried up as fast as it was discovered, and so did the population.

If you have ever seen the TV show Deadwood, then you can certainly get the vibe that Blackhawk gives off. It is where brutality carved out the wilderness before law and order rode in on his white steed and “civilized” the land. Not long after Mr. Gregory struck gold, Gilpin County was established in 1861. By the time the ‘80’s got here, Blackhawk was reduced to a row of trailer homes along a dirt road. Today, 64 historic homes have been renovated and sit on 90% of the available residential land.[iii] And one dispensary occupies a stretch of road just outside of town, Rocky Mountain Organics.

Keeping true to the wild west tone, Rocky Mountain Organics is in a mountain-type strip mall in a little mountain alcove off of an amazing Rocky Mountain road. Rocky Mountain Organics shares a lobby with its liquor store neighbor and had a Rocky Mountain dude running the spot. He had thick, fire chops burning his cheeks and he wore a Crocodile Dundee hat.  I normally stay away from recreational-use only places because they are so expensive. But, after we chatted for a while,  he gave me a really good price, so I went for some Mammoth.

The Mammoth is an indica. The nugz are dense and rich with color. It almost smelled soapy to me. There is a hint of capsaicin in the background. There is not much flavor to it. The smoke is smooth, however, and its effects are sublime. It is also a good start to exploring the oldest “civilized” part of Colorado’s mountains. There is so much to do out here.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_353Gambling has been legal in Black Hawk since 1991.The narrow stretch of land in the steep canyon is dominated by flashy casinos. You can continue west to Central City (they have an amazing 4th of July fireworks show) for more casinos, or you can head south to play a round of disc golf in a ghost town. Head east, toward Denver, and you can find what was once the only resort west of the Mississippi that marketed to black people. It was called Lincoln Hills Country club, and it was in operation from 1925-1965. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places.[iv]

The towns out here are unique in so many ways. I crossed paths with a jeep carrying a pirate flag on one of these dirt roads. Just to the north is Nederland an all the nuttiness that comes with that place. Or you could go fishing in one of the many lakes and creeks around here. Then there are the hiking trails and rock climbers that dominate some of these sheer cliff walls… Long story short, these mountains (and indeed this world) are to be explored. What are you waiting for?





Simple is always the best

Simply Pure
2000 W. 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 82011


Simply Pure has been on my list for a few years now. I always catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye when I have to get somewhere so I never stop. I take a mental note, move on, and forget about it- until I pass it again as I rush past it on my way somewhere else. The name and logo are both simple and inviting, like grandma’s bakery. I am expecting a cinnamon roll and a pinch on the cheek too.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. But I did get some herbs, so there is that silver lining. Louis XIII and Lucky Charms to be exact. These were just the kind of sweets I wanted. These are the kinds of buds that grandma would grow too. They are nice, solid, and dense balls of dankiness. The crystals coat the buds like they were the sugary top of a sugar cookie.

The buds looked good, they smelled good, and they tasted good as well! The aroma of the Louix XIII is complex, to say the least. It is a bit peppery and kind of musty. There is some citrus in there too. The Louis XIII broke apart in chunks and burned smooth. Oddly enough, it tasted a bit like meatloaf. Like some cured venison, It was dry, but it was not harsh.

While talking with the budtender, I was pleased to learn that Simply Pure is a Black-owned business. I am thrilled that the owners, Wanda James and her husband Scott Durrah, have been such strong fighters for the long cannabis war on alternative truth. Not only are they military veterans, but they have been drug warriors for decades. It is such a treat to see a black woman at the helm of this business. It was in February, so I got a discount for Black History Month! Fantastic!

Now I see what I like about Simply Pure. It is that “soul food” flavor that is embedded in the tastes of the owners. There is also an established history of focusing on quality. Simply Pure was an edible company from 2010-2013. They were the first in Colorado to use actual chefs to design and prepare their menus. As edibles became more mainstream and the prices dropped, Ms. James and Mr . Durrah decided to close up shop instead of reducing the quality of their product in order to stay competitive.

They decided to reopen again as a dispensary in December of 2015, and are rolling along now. I was not aware of the owners’ culinary creativity because I like to go into these places with a blank slate. I glazed over the edibles because they are always the same thing: cheeba chews, Dixie this or that, or Mary’s More of the Sames.

I want the homegrown, small-batch flavor, and so much of the same keeps me from even looking at edibles. I want to see a slice of pie with the chocolate glaze shimmering in the artificial light. I want the lobby full of guests excited with their new purchase as they make plans with their new friend over a cup of coffee. I think Simply Pure does too.

The new microdosing market is a great way to introduce edibles to people who don’t want the heavy sedative levels that edibles can get to. Why make a cookie so potent? then you can’t have another. I love my chocolate chip cookies. you can ruin a dish with too much cinnamon or nutmeg. Why not with too much cannabis oil? It can really dominate the flavor.

Edibles in the future will be more subtle and complex. Gummies have been around for a good long time. There is a great opportunity to make a pack of ten gummies be the same dose as one gummy is today.  The increased competition in micordosing edibles will inevitably create a different market that could include savory dishes as well. Simply Pure will undoubtedly be at the forefront of businesses that can legally (finally!) blend the café with ganja. I look forward to that day that I can get some of that apple pie, an ounce of Louis XIII, and a pinch on the cheek.

The Holistic Health Headband


Holistic Health
105 Edwards Village Blvd
Edwards, CO 81632

707 Headband

Grade A ganja

Edwards, Colorado is one of those mountain towns that looks like a photo of it belongs on a Christmas card. I visited a their recreational-only shop that is here last year, Roots Rx. I went there last year because it is hard to find medical shops in the area. Everyone out here is rec-only. It is great to see that there is a medical shop here in town.

It is apparent that Holistic Health has been around for a long time because it is so hard to find. (2006 or 2009?) Pot shops used to maintain low profiles because they did not want to shake up the status-quo. Like skid row, the canna shops used to really struggle to get a foothold in our cities and towns. The green cross was often the only cairn that showed you the way. This place seems to have been built with that caution in mind. Today, the pot shops are as bold and bright as a 7-eleven. They are as ubiquitous as the gas stations, to say the least.

Holistic Health is a reminder of how much things have changed.We can now ask google (or Siri) to find a place. In this case, maps gets you close, but not quite. Google maps puts Holistic Health in the middle of the street. Of course this isn’t true, and as I looked around, I spotted a green cross glowing on the second-floor hallway of the building to the right. There it is?

The cross is half the battle. Finding the front door is the other half. After parking and finding the entrance to the building, I had to go up some stairs, down a hallway to the end, where a poster guiding me the rest of the way. To the right, under a big vent, and then a door with a note. “back at 1:00” it said. I glanced at their hours, and they opened at 11 AM. OoooooKaaaaaay.

“Not today”, I thought, and went on my way.

So I went back the next day. Everything was golden, the sun was shining, spring was in the air, and I knew where I was going. After a quick rap on the door, I was greeted by a lovely young lady who was thrilled to help me with my purchase.

They had a wide assortment of flavors. They were a basic mixture of a few sativas, a few indicas, one CBD-rich strain, and a few hybrids. They all looked good. Their buds were nice and healthy, thick meaty morsels of cannabinoids and fiber. They are mountain grown too, so they grew up happy and stress-free.

The budtender is a nutritionist. She left a rec shop to come here because she cared more about the health of her customers than making a sale. I mentioned that I was going on a hike, and she had all sorts of ideas. 707 Headband is what I took home.

A good herb is like a good parmesan cheese or a nice glass of port after dinner. It only takes a little bit to accent the day fantastically. I don’t need to get stoned out of my mind. I dont want to get stoned out of my mind. I just want to enjoy a bit of a smoke and enjoy the day. This Headband certainly fits the category. It does not burn; rather it is smooth and light. It is like spring in the mountains, a breath of fresh air.

Indeed, this Headband fits in well with the crisp and thin mountain air and the rising elevation pushes the heart, which in turn pushes the legs, and a walk becomes a jog up the peaks of the earth. This weed is sublime, and a little bit goes a long way.

Some Sativa from the Springs Suburbs Cannabissary

Big Medicine Cannabisary


Wild Girl (S)
Grade: F

Big sky Cannabissary is another place that came recommended. Located in north- central Colorado Springs, it is in an unassuming stand-alone building. Their logo is a buffalo standing the way buffalo often do. They win just for that!

It was quiet inside. The girl behind the bar was real nice, and she is part of a rare group- the sativa lovers. It is such a rare treat to find someone who prefers sativa. Indica seems to be what everyone wants, and I have floated that way recently as well. So it was refreshing to get pushed into buying sativa for once.

The prices were crazy cheap, which is why my friend comes here. Some places are good, and others are cheap. It is rare to find something that is both good and cheap. Will The Big Medicine Cannabissary be that place? there is only one way to find out!

As the budtender led me along, she pointed out Wild Girl, their in-house strain. It smelled musty and dank and looked meaty and red hairy. It tasted peppery and a bit leafy. It has that subtle sativa style too. Speedy. It is stoney, but it is the undercover kind of stoney. There was something off about it. It was one of those headache herbs. This is going in the butter bottle. It is not for me.

South Park has a Dispensary!

Wise Cannabis CO
21950 Highway 285
Fairplay, CO 80440

Grade: A

It is Rec only. Is that still a dispensary?

A new dispensary in Alma inspired me to go on another mountaintop jaunt for herbs. Alma is a  short and beautiful drive from Breckinridge. It is just over the Hoosier (?) Pass and the road winds down the backside of the mountain.   As I approached the location, I recognized the logo to be one of the cleverly named strain wise dispensary logos. I was duped. I was this far, however and I wasn’t going back empty handed. There was a spot just south of FairPlay that I noticed recently; today was the day to see how it measured up.

I continued to South Park, hopeful and happy.

img_5394When I pulled up, I was mortified to see it was called Wise. I was instantly paranoid and ready to head back to Breckinridge empty handed. “Strainwise is down here too”, I thought “Damn”. Despite my hesitation, I went in and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.

The inside space is quite large. The bud counter is against the back wall, and the main room had a couple of vertical display cases for their glassware. They had a lot of locally made things for sale. The walls all had locally printed t-shirts. They even had a coffee cup/pipe available for sale. The cup was quite hefty. You could prolly add dumbbell to its uses, especially with a full cup of coffee inside.

Wise is so new that they still don’t have their plants in dirt yet. But they are working on it. Fortunately, they do have friends all over these mountains. Their herbs came from local growers. These mountains are great places to grow indoor herbs.

The cooler temperatures and drier air make it easier to for the grower to maintain ideal conditions. I harvested in the Denver warehouses for a year and spent most of my time hanging nug branches in the dry room.  Every place I worked at had serious issues with heat. A room full of 1000 w lights in Denver in August is not a joke. In fact, Denver hit 60’s last month. The city growers can only expect increased hot months as this planet continues its warming trend.

Another thing that the sparse mountains have over Denver is the insect infestations. There is only so much industrial space in Denver. The bugs know that and these areas are now mega-cities for spider mites and russet mites. These grow rooms are also bombarded with cross-contamination. None of the grows in the city practice clean indoor gardening. There are owners showing off their set-ups to US Senators or potential investors.

If Attorney General Sessions (is still in power and) comes to Colorado to see our operations facilities, there is an excellent chance that he is not going to have to decontaminate himself (or his entourage) before entering the grow room. I’m pretty sure he is not growing herbs, and so there is virtually no chance that he will bring some pollen in on his shoulders. There is a good chance, however, that some little flying critters could hop on and come in.

The many employees can also contaminate these areas. Delivery drivers and growers from other locations come and go all the time. I was part of a harvest crew that went to at least 10 different grow houses in a month. I highly doubt that all the harvesters were wearing clean clothes. (I tried repeatedly to at least get a minimal source of protection: booties so that we would not track any plant matter outside after work. I am still not sure if they heard me.)

The mountains don’t have this problem though. They are sparsely populated. The air is cool and dry. The sun won’t bake the building and everything inside it. In fact, the herb that I got, Dank #5, was grown underground and is solar powered.

It was amazing. The buds were healthy and their meat filled out nicely. It smelled peppery as hell. Not much of a flavor. It was smooth and did not burn. The way good herb should be.

Centaur Hunting in the Collegiate Peaks


Buena Vista

centaur-crossingThe area:

The ghost towns are scattered throughout this part of the Rocky Mountain range. The Silver Rush turned the homesteading trickle into a flood. The dreamers and schemers dug out virgin alpine forests and used their woody flesh to construct sheds, mills, mines and main streets. Tent towns popped up all along the newly carved train lines. Many towns didn’t make it, and their rickety boardwalks were consumed by the landscape. Buena vista is one such town to survive the and thrive amidst the stampede west.

Like so many mountain towns, Buena (pronounced like the “beu” in beautiful because double meanings are always fun) Vista was a landing zone. The real action is out in those vistas. They are called The Collegiate Peaks in the Sawatch Range. Mountains Princeton, Yale, Columbia, and Harvard tower to the west of the town. You could see more of Colorado’s famous 14ers (mountains over 14,000 feet tall), but these mountains are so massive that they cover up the view.

Of course, there were people here who have also named these mountains. They are the Tabeguache Ute. The Moache and Capote Ute bands also would have been in the area at times.[i] For them, these mountains are embedded in their creation. There are two more 14’ers just to the south of Buena Vista, Mountains Ouray and Chipeta. Ouray was chief of the Umcompahgre Utes and Chipeta was his wife.[ii]

If you have been to Colorado, then you have seen many Uto-Aztecan words. They are everywhere. Pagosa (Water that smells like sulfur)[iii] Springs, Tabeguache (a Ute Tribe), and Sawatch are just a few examples of Ute names still alive in Colorado. In fact, the Spanish word saguach comes from Sawatch and they both mean “blue-green” place.[iv]


The Herbs:

Natural Mystic Wellness Center
204 E Main St, Buena Vista, CO 81211

Cosmic Brain Buds 70% (I), 30%(S)
Grade: B+- should have been an A, but the buds were entirely too small.

There are not any recreational shops here in Buena Vista, but there is a lone medical dispensary. It sits right next to an old-timey mountain tavern and is called Natural Mystic Wellness Center. It is nice and pretty and clean from the outside. Yet, I could not really tell if it was a ganja shop or not. The façade looked like I was walking into a massage center or an acupuncture studio. It could have been a naturopathic Doctors office or an aromatherapy place too. I had to triple-check the green cross on the window before I walked in. (but that is not always going to lead you to the right place either).

It wasn’t much clearer when I got inside. In fact, I was even more confused. It really didn’t help. The aromas of a ganja shop were there. But smell alone was not enough to rule out a massage or acupuncture studio. It was not until I was able to verify with the receptionist that I found the right place.

After all the formalities were finished, we headed to the display room. They had a ton of herbs. 40-50 varieties maybe. There was at least ten of each of the Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid varietals. They kept them in glass jars and weighed each order out, which is a huge bonus in my book.

The Cosmic Brain Buds have one hell of a name and came budtender recommended. The few nugs that are fullly intact are dense as a baby pinecone. Their meat is a strong purple color that made me feel like I was taking a color blind test when I looked into the jar. There are all sorts of colors, but purple really stuck out.

The Cosmic Brain Buds burned clean. The growers really know what they are doing. The budtender said that they cure for up to 8 weeks. This cool, dry mountain air is the perfect environment for a nice long cure to take place. It is far superior to the cures that growers in the industrial district in Denver have to deal with: swamp coolers and humidifiers are often needed to fight the incredible heat that these dry rooms face. These Buena Vista buds are far from those big city worries, and it shows.

The most fantastic thing about this place, however, is the big playground in the sky right outside their doors. The snowcapped mountains can blur the separation of land and clouds. 8 of Colorado’s 14ers are in the area. Buena Vista sits in the valley that the mighty Arkansas river carved out. It is indeed a beautiful view.

There are wilderness areas all around here. A short drive north will take you to Twin Lakes and a segment of the Continental Divide Trail. Or, you can go south and head into the San Isabel forest for some natural hot springs action and a creek-side soak all year long.

If water is your thing, then the Arkansas river is raging and ready for the best you got. This area is brimming with river rafting companies. You could also bring your own raft. Be ready, though, because this river has some serious attitude. Parts of it are the most dangerous level, class V. People die rafting this river every year.

If you don’t want to go that extreme, you could just wade into one of the tamer parts of the river and do some fly fishing. Get some of that River trout and let the shower of praises from your family for your killer instincts. Get wild in these hills.


[i] Email correspondence with Liz Cook, Environmental Educator of the History Colorado Center.




Idaho Springs Brings Decent Herbs and Good Vibes.


Mountain Medicinals


Have you ever eaten dinner at a restaurant and, upon walking out, discovered another restaurant down the street that made you wonder when it opened and how you missed it? Something about it intrigued you from the outside, so you put a note in the back of your mind to try one day. That is Mountain Medicinals in Idaho Springs to me.  The restaurant is Idaho Springs, the busy little mountain town just outside of Denver. It is the biggest of the communities in the area that includes Georgetown, Downieville, and Dumont. The rusty red Argo Gold Mill and Mine crawls along the side of the mountain and indicates the dominant industry of the area. Across the street from the mine is Mountain Medicinals. It is a simple, small shack, like so many of the shops in the area.

Mountain Medicinals must have a lot of bills, because this place was quite a bit more expensive than anywhere else in this area. They weren’t so high that I walked out, though. The owner was not there either, so maybe these prices allow the owner to take some time off.

They had a decent selection; I took home the Headband. Classic. The Headband did not upset. The buds were deep green and they smelled peppery and spicy. The smoke was clean; it did not burn the throat and was cool on the exhale.  There was not too much of an aroma, and I got tired of it real fast. It was just ok.

A trip to Idaho Springs is totally worth it though. It is great to walk around and enjoy the view. The Tommyknocker restaurant and brewery is here.  There is also a fantastic coffee roaster called Java Mountain Roasters on the block. The owner is one of those people who found their bliss; he would gladly pay you to roast coffee and talk to people. He got lucky.

There is a lot to do in Idaho Springs, and their cannabis selection is pretty vast as well. There are lots of shops to go to. The mountain town vibe is on point and the marks of mining are embedded in the culture.

Todd is not Here, Man

Sofa King


Grade: A

Play Dough. Penicillin. The Slinky. “The New World”. Some of the best things in life are stumbled upon. This is how I found Sofa King. I was looking for a completely different spot in the Georgetown area, and ended up here. There are about six dispensaries in this area.That is quite a bit when you see that the area is really only two blocks. that are bookended by canna shops.  The Highway is on one side and Mind Body Spirit is on the other. They both look  ghetto. The sign for The Highway was hand painted and looked like they had a family day out on the lawn to make it. Mind Body Spirit is in a trailer park trailer. Nuff said.

I was looking for Mountain Medicinals when I walked into The Highway. I quickly realized my mistake upon entering. It even looked ghetto inside.  No way. I turned around and headed for the car, but I was distracted by a big banner advertising “medical marijuana” next door, and I changed course. It was called Sofa King.

Sofa King was hidden. It was sofa king far back off of the road that it hugged the cliff wall like a fucking sofa. It is medical only, so you have to have a permission slip to get in. The front room is long and spacious inside.  it is a big lounge area with a couple of sofas. It is open and bright and welcoming. My kind of place.

The owners are also 75% of the employees. There are three of them and they have one person on staff. They do everything between the four of them. They grow, harvest, trim, and sell. Oh and they blast too! This is what a boutique cannabis shop should look like. They are not packing indsturial warehouses full of plants and equipment. They have a grow room of course, but they don’t do nearly enough business to have to harvest 200 pounds/ week. They are in Dumont, Co. after all. It is a blip on I-70, and you would not even notice the town if you blinked.

Most of their business is distribution to dispensaries in Denver. They would love the foot traffic, but the nearest attraction is the weight station across the street. Not many weigh stations are  popular tourist traps. Other businesses in the area are a corporate coffeshop, a couple of gas stations, and the two ghetto dispensaries.

tumblr_mblssfrrjf1rydpeho1_500It is worth your time, though, if you stop. These guys know how to grow herbs. They trim their buds to be nice, big chunky greenie goodness. There was a good assortment of flower on their shelves. I took home the Cherry Diesel.  This one is new to me. Like “Purps” of the 2000’s and “kush” of the 90’s, Diesel is the new name that is synonomous with “dank”. Personally, I’m getting burned out on the diesel train. This includes the gorilla in the room.

The most exciting thing about diesel happens before ever smoking it. Diesels smell amazing! This Cherry D. was no exception. It attacks the nostrils with its crisp, diesel odor. It is stinky, inky, inky. These buds are solid little buggers too. They are dense like little river pebbles. They are about as big as little mini pinecones. They don’t budge when compressed. Solid.

The Cherry D buds are a forest green, and the smoke is nice and smooth. It is an all around quality smoke.  The price is right, and the crew are quality too. It is always much more of an experience when you can talk to the owner face to face. It makes the herbs even better.

Bonus Charlie Murphy Story:—rick-james-pt–2—uncensored

Mary Jane For President.


If pot were running for president, she would have won already. It has been 20 years since Mary Jane won her first state and The Feds still refuse to listen to the will of the people. Cannabis has been on the ballot in each election since California passed Proposition 215 in 1996. This year, nine states will decide what level of access to cannabis they will give to their citizens, if any. Five states (Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada) will vote on recreational laws. The four other states (Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota) will be voting on medical marijuana on Tuesday.

We are 218 million eligible voters. Yet the two candidates we have to choose from are among the least liked candidates in recent elections. Not a single candidate has agreed with me on cannabis legalization since I became eligible to vote 22 years ago. They only need 270 electoral votes to win the big chair in the Oval Office. My only candidate, cannabis, has steadily crept across the country and gobbled up support in these 22 years. When cannabis wins, they win with bipartisan support. This year, our Presidential candidates are ignoring another 87 electoral votes that are up for grabs for recreational cannabis and 41 electoral votes are up for medical cannabis.

The Recreational Initiatives

California is by far the biggest state to ask the recreational question with 55 electoral votes. California has attempted to legalize cannabis more times than any other state. The third time is a charm, they say. But then again, they were pretty wild to attempt to legalize cannabis just two years after the Controlled Substances Act clamped down on the United States. Then they never really got the vote behind them and struggled throughout the campaign in 2010 with Prop 19. In the great 2012 quest to be the first legal state, California couldn’t even get enough consensus to get a single initiative on the ballot. Everybody had their own ideas for the perfect initiative and nothing got done (except for San Diego County, which got five initiatives on the ballot).

The polls for the most recent initiative are much more positive. In fact, Californians have supported AUMA in every major poll taken this year. The most recent poll I could find was on Oct 26th, by the Public Policy Institute of California. The poll showed 55% support for AUMA and 38% against.

Massachusetts and Arizona each have 11 electoral votes. Massachusetts is the more promising of the two. A mid-October WBUR poll shows that support for their legalization initiative, Question 4, increased support from 50% yes and 45% No in September to 55% Yes and 40% no in October. Arizona, on the other hand, may not get the necessary 50% of the vote. In fact, Proposition 205 opponents are winning with 51% of the vote. There is only 45% support for the initiative in Arizona.

Nevada and Maine are the final two recreational initiatives that will be decided on Tuesday. In Nevada, more voters support Question 4 than oppose it, but only 47% of those surveyed said they would vote yes (43% said they would vote no). Unfortunately, they need to reach 50% in order for the initiative to pass. They are running out of time too, since this poll was conducted on October 29th and 30th. These 6 electoral votes are looking a bit too elusive.

Meanwhile, the four electoral votes for Maine are looking to the positive for the supporters of their initiative, Question 1. The most recent poll that the Portland Press Herald conducted was between October 20-25. 50% of the respondents said they would vote yes, while 41% said they would vote no, and 9% were undecided.

The electoral results on Tuesday night could be mixed at best. The best case scenario has California, Massachusetts, and Maine winning. Worst case, everyone loses. Let’s hope we see 71 more electoral votes when we wake up on 11/9.

The Medical Initiatives

As for medical marijuana, four states have initiatives on the ballot. Florida runs away from the pack with the most electoral votes (29) up for grabs. The voting season started out a bit roughly in Florida, oddly enough. NORML sued the Broward County Election Supervisor when they discovered that some absentee ballots did not include Florida’s legalization initiative, Amendment 2. Then the judge ruled that the Election Supervisor took the necessary steps to rectify the problem and closed the case.

A similar initiative called Amendment 2 came before the people in 2014, but their support for that initiative did not reach the required supermajority 60% of the vote that Florida requires for a constitutional amendment. They only got 57%.

Things look different this time around, however. A St. Leo University poll was taken from October 22-26. The poll showed 71% support for the upgraded initiative. 22% of the respondents were against this medical marijuana initiative and 7% were undecided.

Arkansas is another interesting state. Poor, Poor Arkansas. They tried in 2012 and narrowly lost 51%-44%. Then, on October 27th, the State Supreme Court struck down a similar medical marijuana initiative, issue 7. 12,000 signatures were ineligible. This made Issue 7 short of qualifying for the ballot by 2,500 signatures.

Fortunately, there was also Measure 6. The University of Arkansas released their most recent poll on November, 2nd. It shows Measure 6 winning, with 50% of the people polled saying that they would vote yes and 49% voting no. Like a wetsuit in February, these 6 electoral votes are skin tight!

The final two medical marijuana initiatives are Montana and North Dakota. They are coming in with three electoral votes each. Montana seems uninterested in such a law, and is polling at 51% – no, 44%- Yes, and 5% undecided. North Dakota chooses to leave everything up to chance, apparently, because there are no polls out there to provide anything to chew on.

All in all, the medical marijuana initiatives are looking bleak. Florida could send 29 more electoral votes for medical marijuana, but that is all the meat on the medical marijuana bones this election. It makes sense that medical marijuana would be difficult to sell on the ballot. Medical marijuana has reached critical mass. All of the easy states already have laws in the books. Some of the harder ones too.

In fact, 41 of the 50 states have established medical marijuana laws. Sixteen of these states have CBD- only laws, which don’t count. One of those CBD states, Texas, doesn’t even have a way to enact the law. It is a vegan steak. But when all 41 of these states’ electoral votes are added together, a whopping 474 of 538 electoral votes already have medical marijuana laws on record. Remove the vegans from the equation and the electoral vote is still a majority at 278.

So what if we add another 29 electoral votes to the national tally? So what if 42 states have access to this loophole that is medical marijuana? Congress should already be full of Representatives pushing the agendas of their delegations. But where are they?

We are still stuck with a fearless leader who is still afraid to have some courage. The only option we have is “us or them”. We have already decided. 82% of us already have. They need to catch up. My throat is hoarse and my hands have grown leathery from this climb to relevance. Catch up, D.C. Catch the fuck up.


Click to access October-2016-Florida-Ballot-Measures1.pdf,_Issue_6_(2016)

Click to access Arkansas-Poll-Release-2016.pdf

Arkansas Supreme Court Suspends Issue 7 From November Ballot,_Issue_5_(2012),_I-182_(2016)#Polls,_Initiated_Statutory_Measure_5_(2016)#Polls