Smoke gets in your eyes 

Street Smarts

A visit to one local cannabis club found people as interested in the social scene there as in any substance on-site.

click to enlarge SHAYLENE BALES
  • Shaylene Bales

Shaylene Bales of the west side is looking for work.

Why go to a cannabis social club? For the same reason you go to a bar. You're surrounded by people who are chill and mellow, and since they smoke, they probably have the same interests as you.

Are places that sell recreational marijuana necessary? Marijuana stores provide a safe, organized place to buy, and you're assured of high quality. When you buy on the street, you don't know what you're getting, and you could get robbed or cheated.

How often do you buy marijuana? At least three to four times a week because I don't have the money to buy in quantity. It's like swinging by the grocery store because you're out of milk.

click to enlarge GABRIEL PIEPER
  • Gabriel Pieper

Gabriel Pieper of Denver is part owner of a limo company and a cannabis club.

Explain the cannabis social club scene. People who have kids or who live in apartments that are surrounded by neighbors can't smoke at home very well. Since you can't openly smoke in public, cannabis clubs fill a niche. They have a fun vibe. You can stop by after a long day at work to smoke, unwind, make new friends and socialize.

click to enlarge ROBERT DANIELS
  • Robert Daniels

Robert Daniels of Colorado Springs just left the military.

You say you arrived in Colorado Springs from Florida at 4 o'clock this morning. It's now noon and you're visiting a cannabis club. Why? Cannabis clubs are like hookah bars — a place to relax, hang out, make new friends and smoke socially.

Veterans Affairs doctors can now prescribe medical marijuana — in states where it's legal — for ailments like post-traumatic stress disorder. Does that affect how you perceive medical marijuana? I just got out of the military and I have documented PTSD. Cannabis relieves my anxiety better than anti-depressants and drugs like Ambien, but the VA where I was stationed in Pensacola [Florida] wouldn't prescribe it. First chance I get, I'm going to the VA here to get it prescribed.

click to enlarge MIKE WINDLE
  • Mike Windle

Mike Windle of the east side is a union sheet metal worker.

Why go to a cannabis club to smoke? It's like going to a bar to drink instead of drinking at home. It's an easygoing, laid-back scene. ... You feel like family there. You'll see young chicks, 22 or 23, people my age, around 40, people 60 or 70 years old. There's foosball, pool tables, TV, comfortable couches. It's the perfect place to mingle and hang out with friends, especially if you're not into getting drunk.


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