Have you given my mom weed?
As an intrepid Uber driver, Deb Browne has been gifted her fair share of cannabis that tourists couldn’t finish during their stays in Colorado. Usually, the stray pre-roll or abandoned bag she brings me comes attached with a story. Like the one about the two Midwestern dudes who slept through the Snoop Dogg show at Fiddler’s Green and couldn’t get their tickets refunded. Then there were the other Midwestern dudes who thought they’d light up their remaining stash outside of curbside luggage check at Denver International Airport (bad idea).
So many people, doing it so wrong.
I wrote a guide to visiting Denver back in the first year of recreational sales, and much of that advice still holds true. But it’s time to give some more practical tips for your next weed vacation:
You’re Buying Too Much
While out-of-staters are able to purchase up to an ounce of flower at a time, that’s enough to incapacitate even the bro-iest of Red Bull-pounding bachelor parties. Add to that the fact that Colorado pot doesn’t mess around at an average potency of almost 19 percent THC, and it becomes clearer that people are overbuying at a criminal rate. There’s a reason that so much of it is being abandoned at rental car lots and not just with Uber drivers. Try to buy an eighth or less. If you need to re-up, that’s a perfect excuse to check out a different dispensary. We have a few.
You’re Getting Too High
I’m giving you permission to put out a joint before you’ve smoked it down to the crutch. I’m giving you permission to put less than two grams of super potent herb in your grape blunt wrap. I’m giving you permission to start with eating half of a single-serving edible that has 10mg of THC, and to wait 45 minutes to see how you feel. Don’t let anyone give you the business because you’re being cautious — you’ll probably have to help your overzealous friend back to the hotel later, and being simply high is a lot more enjoyable than being way too high.
You’re Not Discreet
Sure, there are disappointingly few places to legally consume cannabis as a tourist in Denver — but things could change on that front with two separate 2016 voter initiatives vying to create safe spaces for use. That said, assuming you can light up wherever is as ignorant as it is disrespectful. Not everyone in Colorado is down to clown, and people puffing joints in public just stokes their anti-pot flames. It’s illegal to smoke just about anywhere outdoors, including parks, ski slopes and sidewalks, and if you’re being particularly egregious, you’ll wind up getting a public-consumption ticket as a souvenir.
Additional weed reads on joints, tourism and stoner tips
Don’t be THAT guy: Five things you do when you’re high that stoners hate
Joint master: Finding the legalized zeitgeist with crafty joint-rolling artist Tony Greenhand
On the pages: This major publisher of travel guides now includes sections on marijuana tourism
Weed news and interviews: Get podcasts of The Cannabist Show.
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You’re Underestimating Edibles
These are not the same pot cookies you made with that ounce of schwag everyone pitched in on when your parents were out of town. One of the easiest ways to lose your day is “Dowding out” on edibles because you think they’re innocuous and eat far more than the recommended dosage. They’re popular here because they’re stealthy, but it’s also a much different high when THC is processed by your digestive system than smoked flower or vaporized cannabis concentrates that are processed by your lungs. Edibles take longer to kick in, so some planning is in order. I’ll usually munch one an hour before an event to avoid spending my whole time waiting for them to kick in like bunk acid.
You’re Tipping In Weed
Cannabis isn’t currency here — if it was, the value would be plummeting faster than the Russian ruble in 2016. Our skyrocketing rents aren’t payable in dank nugs, so have cash for tipping and think of any weed gifting as a pure bonus. People can still be fired for using herb here, so even if the Quiznos guy looks super baked, it’s not a good idea to slip him some extra green for your Ciabatta Toasties.