What Marijuana Means to Colorado: "Beautiful, wonderful, legal ghanja"

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As part of our search for a marijuana-dispensary critic, we asked applicants to write in and tell us what marijuana means to them. In the coming weeks, we'll publish some of our favorites, including this one, from a badass hippie girl from Manhattan.

I got my first taste of decent marijuana at the Wonderbar, a chic little fag club in the West Village, NYC, circa 1990, when my wonderful gay friend Paxton offered me a pull off his joint. I was sweet sixteen. Don't get me wrong--I'd smoked pot before: shwaggy, seedy, stemmy, larfy pot--horrible brown stuff that tasted oily and rotten and (little did I know) never got me high. I remember gagging in my friend's basement as clouds of the icky stuff billowed around our heads and we rang out "3, 2, 1--Happy New Year!" welcoming in the 90s with rough, low-quality weed, but giggling anyway. But no, this was not that stuff. Paxton passed me the joint with a "you're cool, right?" smile, and I grabbed it and inhaled with blatant curiosity. The sweet taste lingered on my tongue as the smoke poured deep into the bottom of me, all the way to the soles of my feet, which were now completely one with the sticky carpet beneath my glow-in-the-dark 3-inch platform boots. Yummy.

Fast forward a few years to 1994, and I'm hitchhiking from Eugene to Las Vegas with my small crew of sweet, badass hippie girls from Manhattan, hawking macramé jewelry, grilled cheese sandwiches and some of the world's finest blond hashish. We had a pad back in the city--painted with a ring of psychedelic mushrooms around the baseboards--where we all seemed to end up just before Halloween. The Dead played Madison Square Garden and we partied for days--glitter everywhere--the best weed from across the country laid out on our kitchen table for all to share, trade and simply admire.

Ah, the good old days. Remember when it was illegal to smoke pot? Well true--it is still illegal. But now there is a get-out-of-jail-free card, and I'm really learning to like this new chapter in my personal marijuana journey.

Behold -- the arthritis in my hip (which I'm sure I got from all that dancing back in the 90s) is now my secret passport to all things legal in the world of medical marijuana -- candies, cookies, brownies, tinctures, and handfuls of sweet, yummy bud -- the kind that stays sweet the whole way down. As the "medical" industry booms into existence as rapidly as hot lava pouring into the ocean becomes new land, I am happy to sit back and enjoy the boom. At the end of the day, let's face it: my hip hurts a lot less after I've fired up a juicy bowl of phenomenal medical-grade ghanja--beautiful, wonderful, legal ghanja.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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