Sitting out here on the Left Coast, enjoying the lifestyle that embraces all that is comfortable and liberal and diverse, I can't help but look back over my shoulder at those wacky folks in Colorado. Not only was the Centennial State out front of those of us here in the Golden State when it came time to legalize marijuana, now the Mile High City just took it to another level: They've gone and decriminalized "magic mushrooms." It still won't be legal to buy or sell them, but the effort in Colorado seems to keep winnowing the list of controlled substances. Denver police are now asked to make drug offenses that include mushrooms their lowest priority.
Out here by the bay, we can only shake our heads. How is it that all those uptight cowboys are getting the step on us when it comes to legalizing drugs?
Well, maybe it's worth noting that all the drugs I consumed were those that I consumed in Colorado. I left quite a sordid past back in the Rocky Mountains, which does lead me to wonder if drugs had been legal when I was in my twenties if I would have found them so alluring. I am reasonably certain that my tripping, snorting and swallowing would not have been nearly as exciting without the chase. It wasn't like things are today, when you can pop down to the store and pick up a six pack of beer and make a stop at the pot shop for a little weekend mood leveler. You had to know somebody. Or you had to know somebody who knew somebody. Or somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody who - you get the point. And this was a cash business, back in the day. There was no venmo. And most of the characters I encountered in those bygone moments were not the most reputable or savory individuals. The idea of dropping by the local dispensary for a bit of the usual from my friendly neighborhood cannabis provider seems pretty foreign to me. Amsterdam-ish.
Which may be how all of this legislation has come to pass. Since folks like myself are now of an age an potentially status where they might have a thought about making laws that would remove some of the Dragnet stigma that scared the living bejeezus out of me when I was ten years old. Sure, there were plenty of casualties along the way: John Belushi. Jimi Hendrix. Janis Joplin. But all of these were on a par with those brought on by alcohol or just plain old depression.
The voices that led the fight to decriminalize psilocybin insist they are tired of seeing people thrown in jail for what they choose to put in their bodies. A noble enough thought, but out here in the People's Republic of California, we're just hoping that we can pass meaningful legislation to limit hotels from distributing those little containers of shampoo. That's what we call a "head trip."