Introducing: The Dopebook

What's life like in the Mile High City? Smoke one with our Denver correspondents.

We may not have any Anderson Coopers on staff over here, but there are certain current events that get us thinking about visiting the front line. No gale force winds or torrential downpours, though, more like kush clouds and smoke storms. With all that said, we’re proud to introduce The Dopebook, a series from Mass Appeal correspondents and Denver residents, who are very much in the thick of the city’s blossoming marijuana culture. To get things sparked, our men on the scene introduce themselves (pen names used) and visit a newly opened retail shop.

With 40 years smoking experience and over 10,000 grams ingested between us, we,  Dabby Bongaduce and Francis Bakin bring you “The Dopebook” – An investigative and participatory look at the anthropological metamorphisis of weed consciousness in Colorado.

During the pre-medical era, marijuana in Colorado looked as it did in every other state – an illegal drug, found through underground connections, coming in four different iterations. You had three strains of smokeable weed, something powerful and flowery from British Columbia, compressed and seeded schwag from Mexico or the southern US, and the occasional unknown homegrown strain that could go either way. On the pharmacological side of things, edibles were developed on a stovetop while oils and liquids had yet to be dependably synthesized. There was no regulation of THC content, clone origins were mostly hearsay, and the consuming public remained undereducated when it came to the specific physical/psychological effects of each strain. When Coloradans passed Amendment 64 on Nov. 6, 2012 we decided that marijuana, the people, and the government could all get along. It became a legally viable economic, social, and cultural reality.

In early January 2014, Bongaduce and Bakin separately went to buy weed legally at retail shops for the first time. Taxes and lines aside, the variety of people from all ends of the country did not disappoint. A Florida family in town for the Bronco game came looking for Girl Scout Cookie (a popular, intense, and tasty body-high strain), willing to pay $400-$600 an ounce for it. A small group of kids in their early 20s from Ohio had been in Denver since Jan. 1 going from retail shop to retail shop and smoking in their hotel room (illegal according to Amendment 64). Couples walked hand in hand and giggled like they were in a sex shop as they went into a small room lined with jars of herb. A surreal experience. But a happy one. When a security guard in all black wearing a police badge around his neck came outside with a clipboard, there was a collective heart skip purely out of instinct. Fortunately, he was only there to tell everyone where their sister store was located. It had a much shorter line. With $60 eighths and $20 100mg chocolate bars, it was all over.

Locals will, for the most part, wait out the high prices at the retail shops and continue smoking medical or homegrown. Once the market settles, the belief is that things will even out and Colorado will figure out where weed fits in. During this transitional period and beyond, the variety of cultures here will also figure out where marijuana fits in. From all ends of the state, the team intends to find and explore the cultural fringes and key players involved in shaping this new scene as it develops.

Blunts, bongs, dabs, pipes, edibles, joints, jaybirds, one-hitters, ocarinas, pop cans, sprinklers, bibile paper, trombones, saxophones, gravity bongs, trumpets, apples, pens, they’ve seen a lot of it. The Dopebook, brought to you by the eyes and lungs of Dabby Bongaduce and Francis Bakin.

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