Connect with us


Editorial: Pot Boobies

Maybe it’s time we talk like adults about marijuana. 



I can’t take any more pot puns or lame attempts at a Tommy Chong reference.

All this talk about recreational marijuana seems to go in three directions—Cheech and Chong references, how municipalities are going to turn into Walter White (the fictional math teacher turned meth drug lord), or like a Nixon-era narc in a bad after school special.

It’s boring to me because we aren’t talking about the issue as adults. We have reverted into seven-year-olds–allowed to stay up past bedtime watching TV–giggling when the screen flashes a bare breast, “hehe, boobies!”

“What good does it do when children hear the “adults” talk about pot like it’s a cartoon activity? If we don’t talk about it seriously, they will never take it seriously.”

Yet, how we talk about marijuana is how we always engage in civil discourse. Every single serious issue we talk about is nothing more than children giggling over the kid who smelt it. Then, the same children shouting “ewwww” upon learning who dealt it. This is what the adult version of a high-stakes game of cooties feels like. Except the sensible adults just stop playing and go home.

From guns to healthcare, to the environment to immigration—the childish way we talk about these serious topics is boring. I’ve had “adult” conversations where someone gets called stupid and the checkers board gets kicked over.

You want to know who are the adults about this?

A few weeks ago, I went to listen one of my favorite live singers. While chatting before the music kicked off, someone started to pass [insert bad pun] around and turned to me and said, “You want some?”

First, before we go any further, this wasn’t a 1920s style reefer and opium soiree.

It just happened and I said, “Nah, I’m good.” The entire interchange was about as boring as applying for a bank loan.

The disservice we do by talking about pot like we are prepubescent children is to reduce the legalization of marijuana to nonsensical talking points and Cheetos references.

That’s why I’m bored when my competitors talk about this issue like they discovered their dad’s Playboy. From the implementation allowing the safe purchase of marijuana, to public safety, to an entire economy that will be generated because of it— all serious subjects. And yet we dumb down this new economy into headlines like the “Rocky Mountain High State.”

So let’s talk about this like adults.

What about the children?  I’m not going to use the argument they are getting high already so that makes underage pot smoking acceptable.

Underage marijuana use and underage drinking should be taken seriously as new science is showing ‘use’ can hamper brain development. I understand some of the tax will go to prevention and that’s a good start. The answer here, no one wants to admit, is good parenting mixed with a solid public education system in a community that takes underage prevention seriously. That’s not an easy answer, but it’s the right one.

What good does it do when children hear the “adults” talk about pot like it’s a cartoon activity? If we don’t talk about it seriously, they will never take it seriously.

The most serious issue for me is the new economy that will be generated by recreational marijuana. It’s staggering. For perspective, in 2012 real estate accounted for $17 billion of Colorado’s total economy. As of February 2014, just this year alone, the marijuana industry looks to generate $1 billion of the state’s economy. In two to three years, marijuana has the potential to be a major economic driver in the state.

Still think we should talk about pot like it’s a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction?

The drug Colorado voters have unleashed on Colorado is the tax base. With it, comes serious questions for counties and municipalities because even here, in just two months, Pueblo County alone, has generated $1 million in sales.

Do you allow for recreational marijuana and create the equivalent of a retail tax ATM? Or does the community not allow it and watch the tax dollars go to another community? Here’s the debate that intrigues me—the internal struggle that communities will have over their identity and their tax base.

“The region isn’t suffering because of pot. The region is suffering regardless of it. ”

What if this money is used for good and sales tax offsets budget deficits? Is that a bad thing because it was generated from a “sin” tax? This comes at the cost of having to embrace the industry and being uncomfortable with the shops, the people, the tourists and even the money.

Here’s where the adults show up to balance the true identity of a town against the allure of easy revenue.

If tomorrow Boulder became the pot capital of Colorado, would you think any different of the town? It would still have “Colorado’s University.” It would house rich liberals alongside rich conservatives. Boulder would still be home to a dizzying array of cultural options and outdoor activities. Boulder would still be Boulder just with pot.

So why isn’t Pueblo just Pueblo with pot?

This is why the juvenileness bores me. I’m not scared about recreational marijuana, I’m scared that whatever you think of it—even if you hate marijuana do you hate tax revenue more? We are desperate for that tax revenue. The region isn’t suffering because of pot. The region is suffering regardless of it. 

To the officials who unleashed this drug (tax again) on us all, and to those who will. Do something with it. Use the money and do something good with it. Don’t talk about it. Do it and show us you can do it.

If we can’t turn this free money into something good, then yes, we are no better than pot boobies. And that’s when we should laugh—at ourselves.

Continue Reading
Click to comment


In the cup of a revolution: The birth of CBD Coffee Shops



Founding a company can be a daunting task for anyone. Starting from scratch isn’t easy, but it helps a ton if what you’re doing is important to you. David Dzurik is lucky in that way, as he found a passion that can drive him for the rest of his life. Originally inspired by beating cancer and using cannabis to help do so, Dzurik has created an extremely original brand in Deez CBD Coffee. The company combines high-quality coffee ingredients with 50% water-soluble CBD, the non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that has shown tremendous promise in the healing of many ailments.

David Dzurik

As of now, you can purchase Deez CBD coffee on multiple online outlets including – as well as other retail stores all over the nation.

Dzurik originally started the company using a medicated CBD tea archetype, however realizing the coffee market had so much potential, quickly jumped into production about a year ago. Within the year, the community has been very receptive of the products quality and has given a ton of praise. In a great business move, Deez Coffee partnered with the two-time award winning CBD chemists at Sacred Body CBD, giving him a constant supply of high-quality CBD.

While the movement of the company is already transitioning fast, there’s another aspect that Dzurik is even more excited to see. Deez Coffee is the inspiration for the first ever CBD infused coffee shop, which is already planning on opening in New York and quickly making its waves to the Colorado market. An idea that has already taken off in places like New Zealand and Australia.

While the company is already growing well and seems to be on the right track, Dzurik doesn’t want to stop there. He has plans for bringing back Deez Tea at some point and is very interested in expanding his product line even further.  While the healing effects of non-psychoactive CBD will always be the focus for Dzurik, he also recognizes the huge potential market for recreational THC products as well. While there’s not a legal way to regulate THC products yet, Dzurik doesn’t count out the idea for future ventures.

Working with Deez CBD Coffee over the past year, Dzurik has seen an outpouring of community support and praise. Some social cannabis clubs have been quick to carry Deez products and have even gone on to throw co-sponsored charity events in support of veterans.

Working to help the people who need help and can benefit from CBD Coffee is one of Dzurik’s biggest passions and he isn’t in the industry for the money. Being a cancer survivor himself, it’s no wonder why he believes so strongly in the powerful benefits of CBD and cannabis.

Dzurik is on the forefront of what seems to be a revolution that is slowly making its way to Colorado. The idea of CBD coffee shops hasn’t been touched in the Colorado market yet, and Deez Tea is looking to help break in on the ground floor. With a ton of passion for helping people and an high-quality product, it makes sense people are connecting with Dzurik’s mission.

Continue Reading


Sal Pace: He led on cannabis, now he’s leaving office



Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace isn’t running for re-election. That leaves a huge question mark over the next name that will lead Pueblo County on a number of issues, but particularly the marijuana issue.

Pace has been at the front of the conversation of what a legal marijuana market should look like, how it should operate and how it can be better in Pueblo and across the state.

The former State House minority leader and current county commissioner has had his name tied to the subject of marijuana since the beginning — he was elected to the legislature in 2008 and appointed to county commissioner in 2013. In 2016, Pace held tight to his support of the marijuana industry, opting to celebrate the downfall of potential industry-killer Props. 200 and 300 in Pueblo instead of watching results roll in with fellow Democrats.

The death of Pace’s father last year and the sudden death of his sister has caused the lawmaker to take a hard look at his life, notably the time spent — and not spent — with his family. He wants more of it, and so that involves less lawmaking.

“Sadly for me, it took losing my own father and sister to fully comprehend the importance of being present for my kids and wife,” Pace wrote in an editorial announcing his decision to not seek re-election. “I know that no lost experience can ever be replaced.”

In a sit-down interview with PULP, Pace talks the politics and policy of the industry and where local leaders should pay close attention to as more states legalize.

So, you’re not running for reelection. Was that a tough decision?

Nope. I think it’s important to reevaluate your values. It’s a constant struggle determining perception versus being here in the now. Ego is really based on past experiences and future expectations.

You’ve been seen as a leader for the marijuana industry in Pueblo. Do you think that will be your legacy?

That’ll be for the political pundits to decide.

How did this become your issue, anyway?

Because too many politicians are cowards. It’s a no-brainer. Especially when you look at the overwhelming support from the public. I don’t think it’s very risky at all. I feel very confident that 20 years now from now people will laugh that there was ever marijuana prohibition.

Do you think taking on marijuana policy like you did was a good political move?

I don’t know if it served me well politically. I’ve enjoyed being on the front-end of policy debates. I enjoy the opportunity to shape policy. If the goal is to be popular and reelected easily, which is the normal definition in modern-day politics, then no, this hasn’t been good for politics.

The emails and scowls and the threats I get daily response from prohibitionists? No. Other issues didn’t bring out the visceral response from the public.

It’s no secret that there has been a vocal group against the industry in Pueblo — they still say pot has made Pueblo worse off. Is there something the pro-marijuana camp can learn from them?

I’m probably talking to regulators and policy makers in other states 2-3 times per week. And I’ve met with dozens of states and regulators and legislators from several different countries. I tell people to not expect the opposition to disappear because there’s overwhelming support. Frankly, had I known (the opposition) wouldn’t respect the will of the voters, there were policies I would have done differently to alleviate some of their responses.

I think we’ll have some form of national legalization and decriminalization in the next three years. And I don’t know how the local prohibitionists will react, but it will take a lot of the wind out of their sails.

The marijuana scholarships got a lot of attention — even nation wide — do you think they’ll have a lasting effect on Pueblo’s economy?

There are people that weren’t going to go to college or were going to go somewhere else. There were kids that were going to take a year off, but didn’t so they could qualify for the scholarship program. I think it’s a bit of a chicken and egg argument, but I don’t think anything can go wrong with a more educated populace.

Do you have advice for other Pueblo leaders on how to navigate the future of legalized cannabis?

I think, considering the vocal minority still exists, the city did the right thing on a limited number of store fronts. I think it’s important to look at the tax rate. That doesn’t play a big role on the retail side, but as we want to keep the thousands of jobs in cultivation and manufacturing, it’s important we don’t tax them out of existence.

I’m probably going to propose tapping the excise tax. I think there are two areas where policy makers should keep a keen eye on. One is continuing to foster cultivation — that’s where we have a distinct advantage. In the county, I think that means working with some of the largest dispensary chains in the state.

We can create another couple of thousands jobs by doing that.

In the city, they should really take a look at their 8 percent excise tax. They might not realize it, but they’re driving away a lot of business.

The other piece that’s really important is cannabis research at CSU-Pueblo. When you’re generating intellectual property or new ways of production — that wealth from IP will be worth more than just cultivating or dispensing.

Do you think this Institute of Cannabis Research will put CSU-Pueblo on the map?

Oh, absolutely, if they embrace it. They’ll have to deal with the same political issues that I did.

What’s your vision for Pueblo and marijuana in 10 years?

I think the big variable is whether there will be shipment of cannabis across state lines in 10 years. And you know, I’m really nervous about the overproduction of wholesale cannabis. Obviously Pueblo has played a role in that. We could see point of sales decrease in Colorado.

I’m really concerned about people surviving and the commoditization of product. It’s a lot more affordable to buy it wholesale than grow it in Denver. In 10 years from now, I think we’ll have legal shipment across state lines. It will allow Pueblo to be a cultivation hub for the nation.

Continue Reading


Smell of marijuana no longer enough cause to search a vehicle in Colorado



DENVER — Drug-sniffing police dogs in Colorado may need new training if they can detect marijuana, after a ruling last week by the Colorado Court of Appeals that sets a new precedent for drug cases.

A three-judge panel agreed that if a drug-sniffing dog is trained to alert officers to marijuana and other drugs, cops need more cause to search a vehicle without permission.

The decision came out of a 2015 case in Moffat County, where a drug-sniffing dog named Kilo alerted officers to the presence of an illegal drug in a truck driven by Craig resident Kevin McKnight, The (Grand Junction) Sentinel reported.

But because Kilo could not tell officers whether he smelled pot or other drugs, the search was illegal, judges wrote. The dog was trained to identify to detect cocaine, heroin, Esctasy, methamphetamine and marijuana. Marijuana possession by adults over 21 is legal in Colorado.

“A dog sniff could result in an alert with respect to something for which, under Colorado law, a person has a legitimate expectation of privacy,” judges wrote in the ruling.

“Because a dog sniff of a vehicle could infringe upon a legitimate expectation of privacy solely under state law, that dog sniff should now be considered a ‘search’ … where the occupants are 21 years or older.”

Courts in other states with legal marijuana for medical or recreational purposes have said that a pot smell alone is insufficient for a warrantless search. Those states include Arizona and California.
The smell of marijuana in a Colorado search is still sufficient if there are other factors that raise an officer’s suspicion.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that a drug dog’s smell test can “contribute” to a probable cause determination if the suspects are doing something else to raise suspicion.

“The odor of marijuana is still suggestive of criminal activity,” the Supreme Court wrote in that decision.

But in the Moffat County case, judges concluded that the dog’s alert did more than “contribute” to a decision to search the car because the man gave no indication he was impaired or doing anything illegal.

“The police lacked the requisite reasonable suspicion to subject McKnight’s truck to a dog sniff,” judge wrote.

The resulting search turned up a glass pipe commonly used to smoke meth, and McKnight was later convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.

The decision reverses McKnight’s conviction.

Continue Reading