Rocky Mountain High, in…uh, in…uh, Woah

23 Oct

by Roger White

So I’m sitting, slightly askew, on the couch the other evening, wincing through the throbs of a pulled lower back, trying ever so hard to catch glimpses of “60 Minutes” in between intermittent stabs of electric pain. Note to self: It takes two people to move the wife’s giant potted sago palm.

Lo, mi amigos, there on my favorite TV news magazine was an investigative piece on the burgeoning business of cultivating and selling, shall we say, pungent herbs in states such as Colorado and California. For medicinal purposes only, mind you. According to Steve Kroft and crew, 17 states have now legalized the medical use of (cannabis…shhh) for treatment of ailments such as glaucoma, side effects of chemotherapy, nausea, and, aha, chronic pain. There are, get this, more than 200 medical marijuana (there, I said it) dispensaries in Denver alone! That means there are more corner Grass-n-Go markets than there are Starbucks in the Mile High City.

Talk about a budding industry. Rimshot. Applause, applause.

It’s interesting to note that although an air of legitimacy is lent to this state-sanctioned drugstore doobage—with barcodes on individual plants and white-coated THC technicians advising patients on characteristics and properties of each strain—that vestiges of the headshop hippie days still linger, specifically with the nicknames attached to different types of product. Some samples: Jack Frost, Blue Dream, Purple Haze, Skywalker Special, Accidental Tourist, Gracie Slick, Agent Orange—and yep, there is still Acapulco Gold.

Try as I might, I’m having a bit of difficulty envisioning an elderly glaucoma sufferer, say, an 85-year-old grandmother with a walker, toddling into her corner Hash-n-Dash. But here goes:

Eighty-five-year-old Grandmother With Walker: “Hello, Doctor Stoner.”

White-coated THC Technician: “Please, Mrs. Baker, I’m not a doctor, just a technician. Call me Moon Skye. How’s the glaucoma this week?”

Eighty-five-year-old Grandmother With Walker: “Not good, Dr. Moonpie. I ran out of the Lemon Skunkweed two days ago and couldn’t get in until today.”

White-coated THC Technician: “Tell you what. We’re out of Lemon right now, but we’re having a special on Night Train Nebula.”

Eighty-five-year-old Grandmother yadda: “Oh, that Night Train makes me paranoid. Do you have any Blue Monkey Balls?”

White-coated THC blah etc.: “Sorry, Mrs. Baker.”

Eighty-yadda so on: “Oh, all right. Half-ounce Night Train then. And do you have any papers?”

White blah etc.: “Sure thing, Mrs. B.”

Eightyzzzz: “Groovy.”

Sounds hokey, yes, but this is big, big biz. As in the billions of dollars. It’s a green industry in more ways than one. And for those nonsmokers looking for relief, these pot practitioners make cannabis-infused cookies, candy, ice cream, sports drinks, pills, olive oil—you name it. If it can be ingested, it can get you toasted.

Yet, as I squirm here on my couch, twinging with what feels like lower back labor pains, I must settle for a measly couple of ibuprofen, seeing as how Texas doesn’t square with Colorado’s views on pain-relieving plants and such. I know we’re the big, fat belt buckle of the Bible sash and all, but if cooler heads prevailed in the Legislature (get it? heads), we’d see the obvious benefits—namely, crazy stacks of Benjamins in state coffers. And don’t quote me on this, but I bet we’d see a reduction in violent crime and speeding offenses. In fact, I’d predict a spike in tickets and warnings issued for driving too far under the speed limit. And I imagine there’d be a quantum leap in late-night sales of Doritos and caramel corn.

Texas being Texas, of course, we could put our own brand on the business. The possibilities would be practically endless: Texas Tea, Lone Star Lids, Dallas Dimebag, Galveston Ganja, Houston Homegrown, Beaumont Buds…you get the idea.

Naah. I don’t see it happening. That sort of thing is viewed as just too dangerous here in the big state. Besides, there’d be no room for dispensaries amid the gun shops and liquor stores.

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit

11 Responses to “Rocky Mountain High, in…uh, in…uh, Woah”

  1. onlyinrockhill October 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    I visited a friend in Los Angeles a few months back and he showed me an smartphone app he had installed that showed the proximity of all the “shops.” Imagine Google® Maps. Even zoomed in to it’s lowest level, not a single bit of earth was to be seen… it was merely a conglomeration of the flags showing each shop. Literally hundreds within a few square miles. Mind boggling.

    • oldspouse October 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

      Now, that, my friend, is an app. Acapulco App.

  2. John Hughes October 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    Now Roger, you forgot to name your ole home town in this piece, Burleson Bud’s, kind of catchy isn’t it……….

    • oldspouse October 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

      Yep, John, it does carry a certain aroma. Partake with a pal from said town and it carries a double entendre or two, also.

  3. Rick Barbuto October 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Takes one to know one, eh, mi amigo?

    We were in college in the late 70’s. Automatic hall pass.

    Coincidentally, the wife and I just returned from Boulder.

    “Ohhh yeah…” (song by Yello).

    Sadly, I must agree with you on our state’s likelihood of joining the “progressive 17”.

    In fact, Texas will probably be one of the last states to legalize herb (if it doesn’t secede first, out of protest).

    Rather: “Will sir be having one Vicodin, or two this evening?”



  4. freedlife October 23, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    I have a customer who has at least 6 licenses to grow med-marijauna. He has super-high-tech hydroponic grow-show and brings in 1/4 million a month. He can’t keep up with the demand. I s’pose there’s a lot of hurtin people out there. I just don’t know what to think.

  5. Rick Barbuto October 24, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Hey Roger,

    Here is my headshot in case you would like to include with my comments.

    I look forward to your next post…


  6. BECKY October 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    Love it Roger! Of course I will be the 85yr old lady, Maybe by then Texas will pass legalization and make Texas a greener natural high state. Ha, I wonder in my lifetime…LOL! I got a laugh out of your suggestions for names..I think like the Texas Tea best. Maybe I should just move to Colorado. Thank you for the laugh!

    • oldspouse October 27, 2012 at 9:52 am #

      Hey, Beck! Thanks. You guys come down to Austin n see us sometime.


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