Colorado Rocky Mountain High

anonymous Taffet

An anonymous Taffet with her purchase from Green Man Cannabis

Earlier this month, I visited Colorado for the first time since the ban was lifted.

Same-sex marriage? Eh. That’s old hat in Colorado. I’m talking about the ban on recreational marijuana that was lifted last year.

Colorado voters overwhelming decided to legalize recreational marijuana. Despite this being a very regulated new industry, there are now more pot stores — I’m sorry, Colorado, I mean cannabis dispensaries — than there are Starbucks or McDonald’s restaurants in the state. The state’s a little touchy about how we reefer, I mean refer, to their huge new industry.

The state’s raking in the bucks. With a prescription, purchasers of medical marijuana pay just the sales tax. Recreational users, however, pay sales tax plus any state and local tax. In Denver, that means 20.5 percent tax.

I was in Colorado to visit family. We converged on a cousin who lives south of Denver and relatives came from Mississippi, California and London. Us out-of-staters decided we had to visit one of the state’s newest attractions. Oh, we made it to Garden of the Gods in the hills below Pike’s Peak. And we crossed the Continental Divide, drove over mountains more than two miles high in Rocky Mountain National Park, photographed marmots, elk and mountain sheep and shopped in Boulder and Estes Park.

But our visit to Green Man Cannabis in Denver was, well, fascinating.

Of course, I wasn’t buying any for myself. The trip was entirely inspired by one of my cousins. Really.

First, find a location. Basically, if you’re in Denver and there’s a shopping center, you’ll find a dispensary. They’re out, they’re open, and they have big, well marked signs.

Next, you must show ID. Colorado residents may purchase up to an ounce a day. Out-of-staters may purchase ¼ ounce in a single transaction.

With IDs checked, pass through the door to the dispensary. Stoners — I mean salespeople — have the product behind the counter. These salespeople are well educated about their product. Our saleswoman had quite extensive personal experience with the products she was selling. Any retailer would be proud to have salespeople with such good product knowledge. I wouldn’t be surprised if she had actually sampled much of the product in order to enhance her selling ability.

In their bid for professionalism, the weed stores — I’m sorry, cannabis dispensaries — have an entirely new lingo. They don’t sell pot brownies. Instead, there’s a variety of “edibles” — hard candies, cookies, chews, drinks and tincture. They don’t sell reefers, but you can buy pre-rolled product. You can also purchase topicals: “medicine that can be applied directly to the skins surface for muscle and joint pain as well as skin irritation relief.”

And of course there are cannabis varietals that are displayed in clumps in glass jars. Our saleswoman did a good job of explaining the difference between each of the samples and recommended just what she thought we — I mean my cousin — would enjoy.

She was also clear on the law. The business is strictly regulated. My cousin was leaving the state the next day. No, she shouldn’t pack it in her suitcase. Pot is strictly forbidden on federal property. That means don’t bring it to national parks, national forests, federal court buildings or airports.

Even though the city of Denver operates Denver International Airport and Denver police are responsible for its safety, federal law is followed. So Denver police who have more important things to do will reluctantly — pot tax is where their next raise will come from — arrest anyone caught with weed in the airport. And they use sniffer dogs, although we didn’t see any at the airport.

Interestingly the ban on bringing pot into a federal court building implies it’s perfectly fine to bring it into a county courthouse.

The law prohibits smoking in public. That’s why edibles have become so popular. There are no laws about sucking on candy in public. And there are DUI laws with a legal limit for THC in the blood while driving.

According to one anonymous source — OK, according to one cousin who lives in Colorado — quite a few dispensaries opened and closed quickly. The remaining ones are run by serious business people, many of whom are now expanding to multiple locations.

In January 2014, pot sales began slowly and the state only collected about $3 million in tax revenue. By July 2015, marijuana tax revenues topped $10 million for the first time.

The state and the dispensaries are having a problem, however — where to put their money. Banks are federally chartered and regulated and have been reluctant to take deposits from dispensaries or even from the state, because they could be seen as laundering drug money.

And the rest of the trip? You owe yourself a drive through Rocky Mountain National Park.

—  David Taffet

The radical wisdom of Rep. David Simpson, the evangelical Christian from Longview

Screen shot 2015-06-30 at 4.04.27 PM

Rep. David Simpson

Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, yesterday (Monday, June 29) called for a special legislative session “in light of the Supreme Court’s lawless and unconstitutional redefinition of marriage,” according to a statement released by his state senate campaign.

“I cannot and I will not sit idly by while unelected judges redefine the sacred institution of marriage and force our county and state officials to violate their most cherished beliefs,” he said. (No matter the decision was 5-4.)

But unlike Texas Eagle Forum’s Cathie Adams and other belligerently anti-LGBT crusaders who called for a special session this month barring recognition of same-sex unions, Simpson took a different approach. He wants government out of the equation.

“In its place, the process of issuing a certificate of marriage will be performed by any willing clergy member consistent with their conscience and in respect for our culture and our heritage,” he said, sticking to his deeply held conservative Christian convictions. But your marriage isn’t his issue: because if a couple doesn’t want to have a religious ceremony, a notary just needs to sign a certificate authorizing their marriage.

“Marriage is a divinely instituted tradition as old as humanity. Government marriage is just another government program and a modern failure. Government has cheapened it, redefined it, and parceled it out for profit,” he said. “As a Christian, I call on every Texan to reject this aberration and contact the governor to take swift action to end it.”

(His statement on the ruling itself, however, can be found here.)

I realize many of my colleagues may disagree with me on this, but it’s not that bad of an idea. I recognize Simpson’s ideology – very, very libertarian – and its flaws – libertarian Republicans oppose government regulation, including government-recognized employment protections. (Notice, however, that doesn’t mean opposition to private policies.)

However, I want to strictly speak in terms of marriage here, and the representative’s wisdom.

Of course, with marriage brings benefits (and federal tax incentives). And counties would lose some serious revenue if they no longer issued licenses, which mean a decline in services.

But to me, Simpson seems to be saying this: should the government capitalize upon our unions, or should they be cherished and sacred, free from interference? (Alternatively, and no disrespect to the representative’s faith, he’s saying “this is noneofya damned business!”)

Bucking the trend

You may have heard of Simpson this past session for making a similar argument on a different topic: weed.

“I don’t believe when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix,” he wrote in op-ed in the Texas Tribune in March. “In the name of protecting the public, certain substances have been declared evil and contraband.”

In early May, seemingly out of nowhere, his bill decriminalizing marijuana statewide passed in committee. It was surprising that legislation by Simpson, who has bucked his party’s leadership even before he entered the Capitol in 2011.

First elected in 2010 in an upset over long time Rep. Tommy Merritt, an ally of Speaker Joe Straus, he has vocally opposed the speaker, who is disliked by numerous Tea Party Republicans. Simpson last cycle was one of the “Turner 19” who voted for Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, for speaker over Straus. During the 83rd legislative session, Simpson even ran against Straus, though he ultimately withdrew his candidacy before the vote.

But over time, like some of his other rebellious but conscientious fellow Tea Party, he has gained his colleagues’ respect for being so gosh darn nice.

To be fair, Simpson has never been a LGBT ally. He won’t politically be on the front lines in the battle for legal recognition. He’s consistently been a darling of the religious right restricting women’s reproductive freedoms (which is none too surprising) but he wasn’t the face of the movement this session.

The government may mean different things to us, and Simpson and I likely disagree on the government’s role in addressing various inequities. In his genuine pursuit of individual freedom, the guy also makes a compelling point – even if you don’t agree with it. And that seems to be his point.

—  James Russell

WATCH: Jack in the Box’s new stoner ad campaign

Screen shot 2013-10-01 at 2.24.18 PMOK, we’ve all seen commercials with skaterbois and hippies and too-cool-for-school characters seeming a bit on the high side. But as I was watching TV last night, I saw what I think may be the first ad directed specifically to the stoner market.

Here’s the set up: The fast-food chain Jack in the Box has a new late-night meal deal called the “Munchie menu.” Now, we all know “the munchies” is a condition caused by cannabis use. Of course, you don’t have to be high to get the munchies, but it’s out there.

Now, the weird Jack character is typically portrayed by a life-sized actor in a ping-pong-ball head. In this commercial (and others) he’s more like a puppet. Suggestive of a hallucination?

The clincher is the (actually kinda cute) actor in this segment: His vacant eyes, his pointless smile, his slow, befuddled banter. (It might as well be James Franco.) And the dialogue with puppet Jack sounds like it was written for Harold and Kumar.

So I ask you: Can there be any doubt this campaign — this entire product line! — is targeted tokers? Watch it after the jump.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Pat Robertson Says Marijuana Should be Legalized


You heard that right.


(via daily dish)

Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

George Michael came out today — of prison

The Associated Press reported that George Michael has been released today after serving close to a month in jail for possession and DUI. How time flies. This is what AP said.

The wayward singer was released from jail Monday after serving almost four weeks for driving under the influence of drugs.

Michael thanked those who had supported him while he was jailed and said outside his north London home: “I just want to start again.”

The former Wham! singer received an eight-week sentence on Sept. 14 for crashing his car into a London photo shop in July while high on prescription drugs and marijuana.

The judge ordered Michael to serve four weeks of the sentence in prison and the rest on parole.

The musician, whose hits include “Faith” and “Freedom 90,” also received a 1,250 pound (about $2,000) fine and lost his driver’s license for five years.

I speculate a “Freedom 2010” single.

—  Rich Lopez

California Decriminalizes Marijuana

The Governator just signed a bill decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana down to the level of a parking ticket.

Those caught with less than an ounce of marijuana will still receive a maximum penalty of 0. However, Senate Bill 1449 reduces the legal categorization of marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. This means that those caught will not have to appear in court, pay court fees or receive a criminal record. Schwarzenegger opposes Proposition 19, a pending referendum that will provide a legal framework for the sale, cultivation and taxation of marijuana. However, despite this opposition, Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law.

Schwarzenegger says the state simply cannot afford the expense of prosecuting those found with less than an ounce of weed.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Chief Halstead: 'I will find you and I will fire you' (unless, apparently, you raid a gay bar)

Wesley Lamb
Wesley Lamb

“To those very, very select few who think that you can stand against policy, that you can violate the public’s trust, I will find you and I will fire you,” Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead told a news conference yesterday, according to The Star-Telegram.

No,  he wasn’t talking about the officers who raided the Rainbow Lounge. He was talking about the latest string of scandals to hit the department including this week’s arrest of officer Wesley Lamb.

Lamb was arrested for smoking a doobie — in uniform — in his patrol car.

Not kewl, dude.

—  David Taffet

Porn star dies during arrest

Andrew Grande — better known to his fans as porn star Dustin Michaels — died during the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 12, when police in Panama City, Fla., tasered him while attempting to arrest him. reports that Grande had apparently gotten into an argument with a female friend with whom he was riding. He made her let him get out of the car at a hotel parking lot and then pushed her when she followed him. Someone called the police, and when they arrived, Grande reportedly tried to swallow a plastic bag of marijuana.

What happened next was caught on video by a camera crew with TruTV. The graphic video shows Grande fighting back as officers wrestled him to the ground and tried to handcuff him. It shows one of the officers shooting Grande with a taser gun, and it shows Grande immediately beginning to choke, reaching down his own throat to try and dislodge the bag and frantically trying to signal his predicament to the officers.

The video also shows the officers trying desperately to help, administering the Heimlich manuever and doing anything else they could. But to no avail. Grande was taken by ambulance to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Here’s the video. But be warned, it is pretty disturbing stuff.
html код для регистрации людей

—  admin