When I first moved to Denver in 2004, I had a very difficult time locating pot. I spent a lot of time at galleries, concert venues and taverns like Gabors and Bar Bar, asking everyone I met where I could find “some grass” (as an ignorant farm boy, I still spoke like a hippie from Dragnet), and getting a baffled shrug from just about everyone I encountered. Either it wasn’t as popular then…or no one trusted me. Then one night at the DIY space Monkey Mania, I was told I could just go down to Civic Center Park and someone would happily sell me what I needed. This was a disturbing prospect for an ignorant, ex-evangelical kid who thought Denver was just as dangerous as South Central L.A. But I did it, and continued to buy there until I got a dealer — like a civilized human being.
And now — one decade and several pieces of legislation later — I am returning to Civic Center Park, looking to see if you can still pick up a dime of schwag, all the while craning your neck to look out for the po-po while a thug with bad cornrows sprinkles his musty dust into your outstretched palm.