Denver, The New Amsterdam – Delta First For Me With Bourbon And Pot

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On the way home from a recent trip to the mile high city onboard Delta’s 757 in seat 1a, I was shocked. The flight back was at the end of a week and the last flight of the day. So it is easy to justify giving a pass on two fronts for this experience.

The first shocking experience came about mid-flight somewhere around the Nebraska and Missouri boarder. As we crossed into Missouri territory, I should have known the rest of my flight would have been intolerable. And this is when I was also shocked for the second time. One was sad and one left me cracking up all the way back to my seat.

I stopped by the galley to stretch my legs and ask for drink number two. That is when I found out the flight was out of Woodford Reserve. Oh what a travesty to have #firstworldproblems.

I found out the flight was out of Woodford during a conversation in the galley that went something like the conversation below. After this conversation I was left even more shocked than before.

Weekly Flyer: “I’d like a Woodford on the rocks, please”

FA 1: “Ok, let me check” – Checks two carts in the galley and asks another FA if there is any more Woodford onboard.

FA 2: “Looks like we are all out”

FA 1: “I’m sorry sir, we are all out of Woodford”

Weekly Flyer: “What else do you have?”

FA 1: “We have Jack Daniels”

Weekly Flyer: “I’ll take it! On the rocks please with a small bottle of water”

FA 1: “Must be a long day”

Weekly Flyer: “It is. This was the third and last city I’ve visited this week. Are you all ending after this flight?”

FA 1: “No, this is day one of three. Sounds like you’ve had a long week. Are you going home to smoke some pot” – FA 2 interrupts FA 1

FA 2- “We’re leaving Denver, not going to Denver”

FA 1 – Hand-In-Forehead. “Sorry, it’s been a long day” – hands over Jack Daniels on the rocks

To be fair, FA 1 thought we were heading to Denver and not from Denver where pot smoking had recently been legalized. So it was more of a current events conversation starter than anything. But I was caught off guard and laughed all the way back to my economy comfort seat with a Jack Daniels in hand.

This made me realize something, not that the conversation shouldn’t have come as surprise, but that there is a significant debate going on in terms of how the implementation of making pot legal in Colorado will occur.

With the recent vote to legalize pot in Colorado, I’m sure this topic will continue to play out in the coming months and years in the courts.

But one thing is for sure, Denver is a lot closer than Amsterdam. Given Amsterdam’s recreational activity of choice, could this impact their travel industry and be a boon for Denver’s travel industry?

What do you think? Are the Federal and Colorado state laws in direct contradiction? Will this play out by the Colorado law getting struck down or something else? Will this have a global impact to the travel industry?

At the very least this adds a total new meaning to the “Mile High” city.

a close up of a boat

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The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. As John Denver used to say “Rocky mountain high, Colorado”
    Federal law overrides state law on this issue so I think it will be a long time before we see legal pot use. I don’t smoke pot or use other drugs, but I think it’s time to legalize and tax it.

  2. I live here, and several cities DA’s offices (the least surprising being Boulder), have already put out notices saying they are throwing out all marijuana related cases, and will not arrest or prosecute any in the future.. haha the state and federal laws will definitely be contradictory when this is all said and done (will be phased in over 2013 and 2014), but when local offices start acting like this, who knows what will happen! You are definitely right that this gives a new meaning to our city’s nickname of “The Mile High City”…

  3. As a side note, medical marijuana was legalized recently in the state, so this is only a minor jump forward, since it’s already available and easy to get for stupid things like a headache.

  4. @Jenn,

    The federal and state laws are in conflict but the Feds cannot force Colorado to enforce Federal Law. When the people voted to legalize pot, the State law against using weed was taken off the books and all Colorado State Courts lost the ability to punish people for possessing weed. The Feds of course retain the ability to prosecute any marijuana case they want. The DAs dropping the charges has nothing to do with whether they support marijuana but rather is an acknowledgement that they no longer have the power to prosecute people in STATE Court.

  5. The one thing you hear no one mention is if your employer requires drug testing you will still lose your job or not?

  6. @Dan

    You are right that there is little the federal government can do given their resources so it will be interesting if they try anything. The thing I was pointing out about the DA’s office dropping cases and not charging that is interesting is that the law doesn’t change until Jan 1st… haha so they are acting prematurely…

  7. Denver the new Amsterdam… hahaha NO NEVER.

    SEATTLE will be the new Amsterdam…. centered between Vancouver BC and Oregon… we have a huge hemp fest that brings hundreds of thousands of people (that being before weed was even legalized) and we have more international flights to Seattle than Denver.

    In regard to employers changing their policy… they probably will have to over time but in my opinion it doesn’t make much of a difference. I know more professionals than you probably want to to believe who either smoke or go to work high already and still are productive and successful individuals in society. The stigma created around marijuana is by those who know nothing about the plant or the benefits and likely have never tried it in the first place.

    I have no problem admitting I smoke everyday because I know that I am still healthier than the 2/3 of our country that is over weight or addicted to pharmaceutical medication. Plus I go to school (honor roll), I have a job (30+ hours a week), I work out, and I still have time to do all this.

    so about those stereotypes? lol . I cant wait to prove ignorant uneducated people wrong .. and the time has finally come.

  8. I am from Seattle and we are bracing for a section of our inner city “becomming the new Amsterdam” too.

    The only problem is I see corporations getting involved too heavily trying to use the starbucks on every block model…so using just a small fraction of the city just for this industry just doesn’t seem like it will fly in the US with everyone trying to make a buck. This would only happen if law makers step in and zone parts of the city accordingly.

  9. Seattle has around 50 dispensaries while Denver has around 250. I think the Title has to go to Denver for now. Why can’t we have two Amsterdam? One to visit in the Fall/Winter (Denver) and one to visit in the summer (Seattle).

  10. William (post #7), you should smoke another one and check your logic. Hempfest vs. The first true Cannabis Cup in the U.S. (that’s coincidentally held in Denver, not Seattle). For those that don’t know, The Cannabis Cup is held in Amsterdam every year that last few decades, and now they have one in Denver and San Fran. (Not Seattle)

    The “international flights” logic is laughable as well. I mean, they never, ever change flight schedules right? They are set in stone forever? (sarcasm) It’s based on demand and changes ALL the time; international flights to Denver will surely increase with the change in legal status. (idiot) (Like flight schedules really matter anyway. (sarcastic laughing))

    I live in NY and have been to both Denver and Seattle multiple times. The 300 days of sunshine in Denver gets my vote every single time compared to the cold drizzle you have nearly year-round. Plus, Denver’s prices are lower and I don’t have to hang out with so many flannel-wearing hipster dufus’ like yourself.

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