We all laughed and joked as the officers picked through my seemingly endless drawer of paraphernalia and placed it all into an evidence bag. They even found two dead plants on the back patio that I had attempted to grow and had forgotten about. We were all still laughing as they loaded us into several police cruisers and headed towards the new temporary police station (a trailer next to Albertson’s), but when we got there, suddenly no one could remember what was so damn funny and a couple of the girls began to cry. At the end of the day, I had been charged with four felonies (possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, cultivation and my personal favorite, being in a place where marijuana is being smoked).
About a month later, my father went with me to court. We sat in that courtroom all morning long with my dad checking his watch about every five minutes until eventually the judge announced that the court would be taking a two hour recess for lunch. That was all that my pop could take so he marched right up to the district attorney, explained just how busy a man he was and exclaimed that he didn’t have time for this crap. To my complete surprise, the D.A. apologized and said that we would be first on the docket following lunch. After lunch, he called us into his office and asked me to explain the circumstances of the charges against me. After listening to my explanation, he said, “Here’s what we’re going to do. I will present a plea bargain to the judge and if he accepts it, we will dismiss all of the charges except for possession of marijuana, impose a fifty dollar fine and move to have your record expunged.” My father stood up, shook his hand and thanked him, to which the D.A. replied “You know now that they’ve passed decriminalization (SB 95), this stuff is going to be legal in a couple of years anyway”. That was 1975.
Some forty years later, that prophecy is finally starting to come to pass so I recently took a trip to Denver to experience for the first time what purchasing legal weed was really like. After landing at Denver airport, I went straight to the closest recreational cannabis dispensary. There was a sign on the door that said “Please Knock”, so I knocked and was promptly greeted by an armed security guard who asked to see my driver’s license. As I fumbled for my license, I threw out my standard line when being asked for proof of age and said “you don’t get this ugly in less than twenty-one years”. The guard just laughed and said, “Welcome to Colorado”.
Once inside, I walked up to the counter and a lovely young lady showed me samples of the various strains of cannabis that she had to offer that day. I picked out the strain that smelled the best to me and asked for a gram and some rolling papers. (I’m old school.) She put it in a child proof plastic bag (that’s part of the law) and asked if I needed anything else. I said, “What the heck, you might as well throw in a bag of them gummy bear edibles just for fun”. Before leaving this wondrous place, my first instinct was to stuff that plastic bag of contraband down my pants, but then I remembered that I didn’t have to do that here and I just walked out holding my plastic bag loud and proud right in front of God and everybody. After all these years, I have to tell you that it felt pretty damn good. It was just like the good book tells us;
“Good Things Come to Dudes Who Wait”.