DENVER’S STICKY WICKET – A REPORT FROM JUAN VALDEX
When the book Memoirs starts, an ounce of pot, good Mexican weed, was $20. In the 80s when I was ‘Capt. Dan Distributing’, I turned over quarter ounces for $20. When I came out to So Cali in ’94 I purchased my first gram of dank, a silver dollar-sized light green clump nug from the Chronic Queen for $20. The smelly nug weighed a gram and was called a dub. While the dollar amount stayed the same, the weight went down. In those days I was a rebel smoker.
I decided to revisit the rebel days [I am now a registered medical patient having gotten past the stigma of smoking pot] by calling my mole on the ground in Denver, Juan Valdez. Val is a pot smoker but remained illegal here and in Denver. Having lived here and puffed tuff, I wanted the straight skinny about Colorado in general, and Denver in particular, what with the Bud Bowl and all coming. Having read the talking head outlets all going “Whee, Colorado” I wanted the real deal.
NEWS: Hello Val, just calling to see how things are in Denver. Have you been to a legal outlet now that pot is legal there?
Val: No, not yet, so far. It is so expensive. (The pot) is not cheap, not at all. They are imposing a 20% tax. An eighth that is $40 gets $8 in tax (put on top) to cost you $48 [out the door].
NEWS: That sounds steep.
Val: Legalizing weed has done nothing to stop the black market. A eighth costing $60 that is legal is $35 on the black market.
Val: I know people that still sell (in the black market). I would rather go through my guy because it is easier to access too. I don’t have to wait in line.
NEWS: Is the price for medical patients the same as recreational?
Val: No. the legal (recreation) side is different in price. There is no excise tax so (the pot) is not so much.
NEWS: Do you have a medical card?
NEWS: How do you find the new pot reality there?
Val: I like it because if a cop stops me and sees pot on the seat, I can tell him that I am taking it home and not get a ticket.
NEWS: Thanks Val. I guess the only way to really kill the black market is to do what Uruguay did, sell weed for a dollar a gram. But we both know that is not going to happen here on Obama’s watch. That movie called The Butler should have been titled The Head Waiter.
Val: heheheh. Late, PT