Finding fierce banana kush at the corner of Fox and Warner

Fox Cannabis

It has been the talk of my PTSD and Illinois Medical Cannabis Card groups on Facebook: Has anyone tried Banana Kush?

Wouldn’t you know, nobody could find it. But I did! At the corner of Fox and Warner.

The budtender at Fox Cannabis dispensary was delightful. She explained that Banana Kush is quite popular right now among people with PTSD and is of the indica strain, commonly remembered as the “in da couch” strain. You wind up calm, relaxed, and asleep after smoking it.

At any rate, I’m doing backflips over scoring that at the corner of Fox and Warner, just one block from the Quality Inn Cannabis Plaza here in Central Denver.

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I woke up this morning irritated, as often is the case. Right now I seriously could not care less, but this morning I got an email that said a I had a “Google Voice message from a prisoner in the … “ and then it cuts off.

I used the Google Voice account once for a project I was doing for John Deere that required interviewing people in Germany. Who would have that number. I don’t even know what the number is.

I realize these things just happen. But they happen to me all the time. Every day. Internet, phone, nothing ever works. It’s a daily non-stop occurrence for which nobody ever has any explanation.

But to have the Google Voice prisoner thing happen the day after a tour of Sweden was booked on my bank card, lol, well…I was ready for some of that delightful banana kush this morning.

The banana cream pie I just ate was delightful too. I was going to take a picture of it but I forgot and I ate it.

Fox dispensary has PTSD-specific cannabis

So, the dispensary thing is a racket. Some of the ones that look really fancy…the product is nothing special. I am very excited about the Banana Kush I purchased from Fox cannabis center.

Another strain I purchased is called “Hell’s Fire,” which, like “Hell’s Angel,” is used for PTSD breakthrough symptoms. I have been feeling really good and am not sure why I have not yet had a little dance party in my room. I am very disappointed that I forgot to pack my Braven Balance.

So, after I devoured my banana cream pie, I just ordered sirloin tips with mashed and gravy and green beans. Then I’m getting a piece of coconut cream pie to go.

Oh, here it is, just delivered to the table. Marvel:

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So yeah, it’s pretty much Village Inn, pipe hits, blog posts, sleep, etc. this week. Not a bad life, for sure.

My life is so cool it’s ridiculous. Sometimes I don’t even know how to begin to thank God, to tell you the truth. I try to my best each day.

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My initiation this morning as a victim of credit card fraud: Yah, yah

Yah Yah

For the second day in a row, I awoke this morning at 4 a.m. after eight solid hours of sleep, happy and rested.

Then I turned the phone on.

“URGENT: Suspicious Activity Detected on Your Account,” read the email from my bank’s “Fraud Service Center.”

When I clicked to see the suspicious transactions, I learned that apparently, I was headed for a tour of Sweden!

Yes, a Swedish tour company in Helsingborg called Stena Line Travel Group had charged my card $346. Two minutes later, a “charitable organization/non-profit” in Roanoke, Va. called Minute Clinic 71109 sent through a charge of 76 cents, no doubt as a test that would be followed by a much higher charge. That information I received from my bank’s Fraud Center.

The bank sent me an email one hour after the transactions occurred, at 5:30 and 5:32. It instructed me to dial a number, which was a horrifically aggravating experience and I won’t get into all of that. I do have a very, very difficult time understanding people who speak limited English, and I don’t know if it’s because I grew up in the Quad-Cities or what. But when I don’t understand what they’re saying, or see myself getting overly frustrated with customer service reps, I just hang up.

And that’s what I did. Twice.

I handled it about an hour ago with my lovely bank manager, Ann. While I might be tight on the cash for the rest of the trip, this is far from a catastrophe and could have been much, much worse.

I’ll tell you this – I was grateful to have my “Hell’s Angel” cannabis strain for breakthrough PTSD symptoms. Made the morning much easier. And dealing with this on vacation in Colorado is a lot better than being at home and having it happen, even if not financially so.

The charges still were pending and were denied. The only down side to all of this is that they had to cancel my card, so I don’t have access to the money left in that account and will be more reliant on my credit card now while I’m here.

The Sweden thing makes me laugh because Sweden has a “zero tolerance” drug policy. Maybe the queen was trying to fine me for coming to Colorado for a cannabis tour.

A disgraced graduate of the royal family’s beloved Augustana College, lol.

My only other issue today is that the hotel wi fi is not working, nor is my tablet hot spot working. And I really do continue to work when I’m on these vacations, so thank God for Village Inn!

Many things to be grateful for this Monday. Have a blessed day.

A pub crawl, but no idiots because we’re stoned instead of drunk

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I admit that it looks scandalous, but debauchery isn’t the right word for it.

It’s just fun.

I was aboard one of three luxury stoner-fied tour buses that left Cheba Hut sandwich shop in downtown Denver this morning. We embarked on a four hour and twenty minute tour (yes, 4:20).

It included a stop at a marijuana growery where the smell of the plant alone made you feel like you were walking in the clouds.

I got some incredible photos, as you can see here. I did not actually snap the photo of this bud blooming on a plant, but I watched the guy who did do it. The guy who ran the tour, Ryan, knows just how to expose the shot just right and offered to shoot it with my camera for me. Thank you, Ryan.

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We also went to the finest bong shop in the world, Illuzion, where one bong sells for a million dollars and many go for a quarter of a million or more.

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We also went to dispensary, after dispensary, after dispensary. And really. How much pot can you smoke or do you need?

But there’s cookies, gummies and truffles, oh my. Edibles, they told me, stick with those — they’ll get you high.

Well, in fact I did all of it, and I feel absolutely wonderful and content and calm. It’s just as it’s depicted: Tour buses with disco lights and music videos on flatscreen televisions, people getting stoned in every way possible. Bongs, steamrollers, joints; munching on cannabis cheddar popcorn and gummies passed out like peanuts and M & Ms in Red Solo cups at Thanksgiving family gatherings in the 1970s. They were the pre pre appetizer. Really old school moms used those frosty party mints that melt in your mouth with the peanuts, not M & Ms.

At one dispensary an especially charming budtender said to me, “We have one cookie here, and I ate one once, and it made me giggle so bad I couldn’t interact with the customers.”

My response? “Two of those, please.”

They’re snickerdoodles and they’re delicious!

I booked The Original Denver Cannabis Tour through Colorado Cannabis Tours. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys smoking marijuana.

The passengers were a diverse group of nice, fun people, of all ages and skin colors and backgrounds. There was absolutely zero alcohol and nobody was the least bit intoxicated.

I could never smoke as much pot all the time as I did today, nor would I want to. But it sure was a fun way to experience America in a way I never would have dreamed possible.

And in the end, as Ryan noted, it really is just a fun, responsible time, with an emphasis on responsible. He admitted we were an especially fun, cohesive, put-together bus, however.

‘If they’re not dancing they’ll turn yellow and wither’

The growery had tremendously high security. Everyone was inspected by armed guards on the bus before being allowed to enter the facility. Inside, security was similarly tight.

The CEO of Colorado Cannabis Tours gave an intoxicating scientific speech about how cannabis is grown at  Medicine Man Denver. There actually are plants that just grow stems and seeds, and they line a long hallway known as “The Green Mile.” You can see it pictured here. Many celebrities such as Nelly have come to Medicine Man for photoshoots, with the Green Mile being the hot spot.

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He said that for marijuana to grow properly it must “be dancing and happy.” He said the key to good growth is having the marijuana always slightly moving in the breeze, or, “dancing.”

He said if “they’re not dancing they’ll turn yellow and wither.”

Snowy (almost) May morning as I prepare for Colorado Cannabis Tour

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I woke up to a snowy morning! A “winter storm” has arrived, two days before May. This is the view standing in the carport of the hotel.

The hotel was a bit noisy overnight, but it was a Friday, and as you can imagine, there are all kinds of people staying here. I fell asleep very peacefully and woke feeling very, very refreshed. So nice.

Next, I am taking a four-and-a-half-hour cannabis tour, where a tour bus takes you to all aspects of the marijuana industry, from where the cannabis is grown to world famous dispensaries. I have an hour to kill before the hotel shuttle takes me to the restaurant where we meet for that.

I’m wearing a brand-new Jerry Garcia tie I bought last month to premier on the cannabis tour. I also was delighted to see I packed my dad’s old Chicago Bears jacket, just in case it got chilly. So, I’m going to wear that too.

Now, to prepare for “What’s Quad-City?” all day long, lol.

Have a blessed day, I sure am!

Village Inn corporate HQ, famed pot hotel next-door neighbors

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“Would you like some pie with that?” beams the wide-eyed waitress, expressing joy simply in asking the question.

They know their audience.

I noted earlier that when I saw a Village Inn located next door to my hotel I knew that was J.C. letting me know that that is where I can go to occupy myself and write my blogs instead of the hotel bar/restaurant.

I also had mentioned that I heard it was a “training center.”

In fact, it’s the corporate by God office.

Certainly, not the prettiest corporate office in the world, pictured here, nor is it in a swanky area of Denver, but it does have a restaurant attached to it. I’m sure it’s a microscope. I remember many years ago when I lived in Phoenix that the very impressive Circle K headquarters had a store in it, sort of jutting out the side of a cool but non-descript building. I remember thinking, wow, the pressure to work in the “microscope store” of a massive company.

Village Inn was founded in 1958 right here in Denver in a store located a few miles away. It’s still up and running. Today, there are more than 200 restaurants nationwide.

I got to chatting with the restaurant manager, Paula, and as small worlds would have it, she was born in Moline. She moved to Colorado many years ago as a child.

I told her that Village Inn in Moline, 1st Street, holds a very special place in my heart as every person who works there has treated me like family for many, many years. They went through the entire journey of my dad’s dementia death with me.

I explained to Paula that the Village Inn was located next to the bus stop, and how I would take the bus to dad’s memory care facility. I told her how they used to send my dad a free piece of pie now and then.

I told her how my dad’s final meal was two bites of a Village Inn coconut cream pie.

I told her how all the waitresses chipped in and bought my lunch the day my cat died.

Then tears!

Paula said that in fact, Village Inn 1st Street Moline is the top performing store in the nation. I am not surprised. Tim Masterson and his staff are all amazing. Absolutely every person who works there has gone out of their way to be kind to me and has seen me in all sorts of situations.

And of course, dad’s former neighbor who he adored, his dear Lisa, worked there for years. What a blessing that dad got to see Lisa literally just four or five days before he passed away. She said she was walking past St. Anthony’s and had heard he was in there and thought she would stop in. Dad already had gone mute by then but the nurses said he indeed got a kick out of her.

Of course, my Village Inn love affair goes back even further than that. We would go to Village Inn with my Aunts Enid and Mary and my mom, cousins Amber, Lisa, Cindy and Monica, sometimes more aunts, uncles and cousins, every Saturday back in the olden days of the 1970s, fun with cousins while our moms talked up a storm.

I asked Paula if the president and CEO comes into the restaurant.

“All the time,” she said.

Well, I would like to tip my hat to him or her and thank him for keeping Village Inn one of country’s best diners, hands down. It’s a pleasure to be your next door neighbor this week. I’ll be in for free pie Wednesday!

Feeling a “normal” in Denver long lost: Marijuana helping with PTSD

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In typical Dave Heitz fashion, I was madder than a hornet.

I had been standing outside the airport in the cold – 34 degrees, to be exact, with no coat – for more than an hour. The marijuana tour service had not shown up with the limo. When I was calling them about it, I was getting voice mails.

If you know me, you can about imagine the voice mails I was leaving!

But we worked it out. It was a comedy of errors. And what has transpired after that one short hour of standing outside an airport in 34-degree weather certainly has made it all worth it.

This is my “rehab vacation,” where I stop taking the benzos and put an end to the booze relapse that started in January. The slope was getting slippery.

When my tour guide arrived in his white Acura SUV limousine, he knew just what to do.

“Are you serious? Is this really legal?” I asked, eyeing the pre-rolled joint.

“Yes, it is, so long as you sit in the back seat,” he replied.

Ten minutes later I had told him my entire life story in one breath, adding, “I’m really not much of a joint person.”

We pulled up to the dispensary. I had no idea what to expect.

We hop out of the limo (I was in the back seat, mind you) and I then pointed my Prius remote at the Acura, clicked it, and headed for the door.

My tour guide looks at me and says, “Did you see what you just did?”

Yes! And how fun to laugh.

Inside: A security guard, a window…sort of like how a doctor’s office would be in a correctional facility. You give them your driver’s license and then they call you back.

I discussed with the “budtender” that I have PTSD and recently applied, was medically approved, and paid the state for my Illinois Medicinal Cannabis Card. I told him I was waiting for it to arrive in the mail and in the meantime thought I would come here, smoke legally, and do some research. I told him I also am a journalist and blogger.

I explained that I want to be sober (from alcohol) this entire week and simply concentrate on educating myself and finding the right strains for my PTSD.

“Hell’s Angel,” he said, without hesitation.

“That’s what you had in the car,” the driver added.

I smelled it and it smelled like what I was getting my first year sober, when things were going remarkably well.

Waking up with Greg Dutra – it’s been so long

My physicians and therapist also have been concerned about the effect smoke has on my lungs, so they have been encouraging me to go with edibles when I get the card. The budtender and tour guide also were pushing me toward edibles.

So, I did buy some edibles. My physician in the Quad-Cities had mentioned the Stern dispensary has the gummies, so I bought some of those. Everything except for one container I bought is Indica strain.

Indica apparently is to be remembered as “like in da couch all night,” yet that’s not what it does to me. It gets me going and then I tire out naturally, satisfied by living an incredibly productive, anger-free day.

I did buy one-eighth of “White Poison,” which is a Sativa strain (“a head high,” the tour guide called it) because I asked for something that might induce creativity. One of the workshops put on by the tour company is called “Lit on Lit,” and it’s for writers who like to get high and write.

I tend to prefer writing as clear-headed as possible, although unfortunately I am willing to try anything once.

Tomorrow I am going to write a blog about my obsession since childhood with morning shows. Quad-Citians, let me remind you who the Denver Fox weather stud is…The Dutra! So maybe I’ll get out the “White Poison” to write that one.

Most importantly, both the budtender and the tour guide talked to me about things I can do around Denver to busy myself with, etc. They are used to dealing with sober people who only smoke weed.

Everyone here at the hotel is genuinely concerned that I maintain my sobriety this week and they truly are just one incredible bunch. This hotel is very, very nice for the price, much nicer than I expected. The room is huge. I do look out at mountains – and a freeway, and an industrial rooftop. But absolutely no complaints.

Next door is a Village Inn, which of course, is one of my faves. I already have been there once today. I met a waitress who is two years sober and I shared my story with her. She was wonderful. Apparently, the Village Inn next door is a training center, so they are open limited hours.

I’m looking forward to feeling GOOD AGAIN at the end of this week!!!!

Can I get an AMEN????!!!!

AMEN!

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Finally, on the issue of my lungs. I have been provided a vaporizer for my room to smoke my weed with. They cost about $350; this one is rented. But that’s one solution to the combustion/lungs issue. I did not know they had devices for which you could vape flower, but that’s what this thing does.

Judge not, lest you will be judged, as they say. I think I truly am learning what that means. There is no one path to sobriety, to happiness, so long as you don’t hurt others along the way.

We all need that reminder. To be kind. To let people be who they are. I very much feel like I have a lot of those types of people in my life right now and I am so incredibly grateful for that.

There are good people in this world. I want to thank from the bottom of my heart everyone who follows my work. I always feel like you can never really go wrong by being authentic, so that’s what I try to do.

Tomorrow I am taking a 4 1/2 -hour long cannabis bus tour. It takes you to various aspects of the cannabis industry, from growers to dispensaries. Should be interesting