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


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????!!!!



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