Cannabis Time Capsule 1929: Colorado makes selling and growing pot a felony

Editor's note: William Breathes is off today. In his absence, we bring you a classic installment of Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule that's even more intriguing than it was upon its original publication in 2012.

The Colorado legislature had passed laws making marijuana a misdemeanor in 1917, with fines up to $100 and a possible month in the pokey. But with what was seen as a growing menace on their hands, Colorado lawmakers again took up criminalizing marijuana possession in 1929 -- writing laws that would pretty much stick with the state to this day with a few minor alterations to penalties along the way.

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Medical marijuana dispensary review: Boulder Botanics in Boulder

I used to love the summertime in Boulder. It meant that a huge chunk of the college population went back to Connecticut or California or Texas or wherever they were from and left the tiny college town feeling tiny again. Apparently, that is no more. There is gridlock everywhere, even on random Monday afternoons.

Driving to the area is a chore now, with nearly every inch of U.S. 36 under bottlenecking construction -- and trying to get around in Boulder proper has become a joke. But the buds at Boulder Botanics make the hassles of Front Range travel all worthwhile.

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Medical marijuana dispensary review: Earth Group Colorado in Denver
In a way, I kind of miss the old Patients Plus. Not because it had good medical cannabis for sale. In fact it was quite the opposite. But I liked it because it exemplified the type of neon-green, warehouse-bud-filled dispensary I like to avoid -- and I would often point out the low-rent shop to visiting journalists I occasionally show around town.

I just can't do that with Earth Group. But I'm glad the space has gone on to owners who can do more with the shop than make it a stoner's dream hangout (minus the ability to actually get stoned).

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Medical marijuana dispensary review: Sense of Healing in Denver

Is there a better stretch of road in Denver than Federal? Colfax, maybe. But Federal has the best food, the best people-watching, the best classic cars regularly cruising by -- and it's one of the last thoroughfare in the city whose character developers haven't tried to steal in the last ten years.

Too bad Federal doesn't have the best dispensaries.

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Marijuana: Colorado Symphony Orchestra's pot event shouldn't be a big deal

William Breathes
Worlds collided on Friday when the Colorado Symphony Orchestra held the first of three cannabis-friendly fundraisers whose concept collected a lot of attention -- and press. Brass and bongs. Corsages and cannabis. Hemp and Handel. Horns and hashish. By most accounts, the event was a success and raised about $50,000 for the CSO with $100-per-invite donations and more than $30,000 in sponsorships from participating medical marijuana dispensaries. But it also raised this question: Why is a cannabis-friendly campaign still a big deal in cannabis-loving Colorado? As our cannabis critic William Breathes points out on our Backbeat blog, it doesn't have to be that way.

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Medical marijuana dispensary review: A Cut Above in Denver

It's been a long wait, but May flowers eventually came -- at least here at Mile Highs and Lows. It's been a month of mediocre dispensaries (and hailstorms), leaving us with nothing but a few nice buds among a lot of slightly busted flowers while we wait to meet up with our caregiver next week. To restock the jars, we checked in with a place that did us well three years ago and seems to have kept up its standards since then.

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Medical marijuana dispensary review: Greenfields in Denver

Greenfields. More photos below.
There are no green fields around Greenfields. Just lots of black-topped parking lot and the wide stretch of Mississippi Avenue out front. There's a small shrub-like tree on the curb, but that's about it. As if to make up for that, however, the owners have painted their odd little building (formerly an awesome Mexican meat market and bakery that moved next door) entirely green.

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Medical marijuana dispensary review: La Conte's Clone Bar and Dispensary in Denver

It's been years since I was last in La Conte's. Back in 2011, it was one of the few shops offering buds below $40 an eighth, with hash oil selling at $30 a gram. It wasn't the best bud, but the value was good, and overall the shop got a great review that was even linked on its home page.

Last month, though, La Conte's took second place at the High Times Cannabis Cup -- and that sparked my curiosity as to how much the quality had improved in the past three years, during which it's gone from a mom-and-pop to a booming dual-use recreational and medical pot shop.

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Medical marijuana dispensary review: Flavored Essentials in Denver

Google maps.
In the year or so since photos of what looks to be a clean, well-lit and well-stocked Flavored Essentials were posted on the dispensary's Facebook page, the shop doesn't appear to have done much upkeep. Lights were out all over the place, and the only illumination came from the few lamps hung over houseplants and the leaking orange glow coming from an otherwise blacked-out window concealing the sparsely filled grow facility. The lights in the cabinets were all dim, spots overhead were out, and even the LED-lit magnifying glasses for patients to actually view the buds weren't working. And sadly, based on their appearance, the buds on the shelf could use a few more watts in the grow room, too.

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Medical marijuana dispensary review: Herbal Remedies in Denver

While recreational marijuana sales still offer the thrill of buying pot legally for those not accustomed to it, a trip to the medical marijuana dispensary for longtime MMJ patients tends to be about as mundane and normal as a trip to the grocery store or cashing a check.

Which actually makes the bank-like interior of Herbal Remedies in Denver (pretty much Lakewood) that much more appropriate.

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