You may or may not know that Colorado legalized Medicinal Marijuana in 2000. This was kinda nuts for the state. We had a number of “Doctor Nick” kinda doctors who would give you a so-called “red card” that would allow you to buy Medicinal Marijuana to treat what ailed you and, golly, the list of things that ailed you that were covered by the red card was long and suspicious. Sure, it covered insomnia and back pain but it also covered headaches. Stress. Writer’s Cramp. Pretty much the only thing it didn’t cover was PTSD. Which meant that weed stores sprouted up all over town.
This allowed for a fun thing to show friends from out of town. On the drive between our house and the edge of town down one of the main arteries, we passed a dozen medicinal stores. You’d just say “let’s start counting them!” when you left the house and have your guest number them off. They’d get a great story for when they went back home.
Well, you almost definitely know that Colorado legalized Recreational Marijuana back in 2012. This makes visits from out-of-towners even *MORE* fun. Show them the ads from the back of the Colorado Springs Independent and they would see the numbers and freak out and say something like “I paid more than that back in 1993! AND THOSE WERE CLINTON DOLLARS!” Or they’d say, as a recent houseguest said to us, “I can’t believe that you guys have this many marijuana stores in town.”
“Those are dispensaries”, we told her. “You’d need a red card. You have to leave town if you want recreational.”
Which makes this next bit of story kinda funny:
Until very recently, you couldn’t buy booze in the grocery store here. Like, we had 3.2 beer but that’s it. And by “3.2 beer”, I mean “beer that had 3.2 percent alcohol by volume beer”. Like, if you go to the liquor store and purchase a case of Bud? That has 5% alcohol by volume. Here, the grocery stores were prohibited by law to sell anything stronger than 3.2. So if you wanted a sixer to help you deal with the fact that you just mowed the lawn? I hope you enjoy peeing because you’d have to drink all six if you wanted to be riding the same buzz that four “real” beers would get you to. And don’t even think about wine being sold in the grocery store.
This made my visits back to such places as Michigan somewhat surreal. “YOU GUYS SELL WINE IN THE GROCERY STORE?!?” I’d yell right there in the middle of the meat aisle as I boggled at the bottle of wine they had right there 2 feet away from the steak. Then we’d walk down the wine aisle in an Albertson’s and I’d boggle at how their wine selection in a freakin’ Albertson’s was better than I had in my little local liquor store near the college. They sold wine at the *GAS STATION*! And then someone would find out that I was from Colorado and we’d exchange “I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!”s over how they did things in the strange place far away.
Well, back in 2016, the Colorado Legislature passed a law saying that grocery stores would soon be able to sell full-strength beer and some grocery stores (like Costco, say) would be able to pick *ONE* store in a jurisdiction and sell everything that a liquor store would sell. (This protected little local Mom&Pop liquor stores, you see.)
All that to say: you can now buy booze at the Costco on Nevada here in town. Like, walk past the books, walk past the shirts, walk past the jeans, walk past the life-sized Santa Clauses and there it is. A full bottle of whiskey. Next to vodka. Next to gin. Next to wine. Next to the refrigerator cases where you’d get your cheeses, hummuses, and pork chops.
And you wouldn’t believe how transgressive it feels.
Anyway, this weekend is the Semi-Annual (Bi-Annual?) Company Picnic and we’re going up to the campground and going to make smores and count stars and maybe drink a bottle of wine that we got at Costco as we watch the campfire turn into a bunch of embers before falling asleep in one of the cabins they have reserved for folks up there. And then wake up, make breakfast, and then get ready to schmooze with our partners, our competitors, and anybody they bring along for a few hours before going home and collapsing in a heap. And then recover for a couple of years.
So… what’s on your docket?
(Image is “Play” by Clare Briggs. Used with permission of the Briggs estate.)
Wife and I are driving out to Denver for my daughter’s birthday. We have tickets to see ZOSO, which I’m led to believe is the best Led Zep cover band out there. Been a while since we’ve been to any kind of concert. The last one was either Aerosmith on their Nine Lives tour or the Plant and Page thing (sorta coincidentally I guess).Report
I get weirded out every time I go back to Illinois and walk into a Walgreen’s and see the booze aisle. For years here, it was (warm, even – couldn’t be refrigerated until a few years ago) 3.2 beer and wine coolers in groceries, and everything more alcoholic in the (generally creepy) liquor stores. When I wanted wine to cook with, I waited until I was making a trip into Texas, where you could at least buy wine at the Kroger’s (but not sherry, which I guess is higher alcohol?)
My weekend plans depend a great deal on a phone call I get later on today. My dad developed pneumonia and spent last night in the ICU of the hospital. I am hoping the word later today is that he’s improving and they’re planning towards when he goes back home, which means I spend the weekend here getting ready for the start of classes.
if things get worse….well, I may be planning a trip to Illinois and also having to make short-term arrangements to cover my first few class meetings while I’m out of town.
I didn’t need this. (If this had happened earlier in the summer? I could have just gone up there anyway, but now, it will be only if things get really dire). It sucks living far away from family…Report
If they’re allowed to sell fermented but not distilled booze that might explain the lack of sherry, as it’s a fortified wine – it has brandy mixed in, even if the end result isn’t necessarily stronger than regular wine.Report
When I was a kid in Michigan, you could buy booze in the grocery store but it was behind a counter where you had to talk to a person who would ring it up for you special.
Liquor stores were called “party stores” and I remember my parents laughing when I was was five and I said something to the effect of that we should go to a party store because we should have a party.
Yeah, they’re vaguely creepy. Gotta have selling points if you’re competing with the wine sold 2 feet away from the steaks.Report
That used to be how liquor stores worked in Saskatchewan – you couldn’t actually pick up a bottle off the shelf and read the label. Too much temptation to debauchery. There was just a paper list of the store’s offerings. You filled out an order sheet, handed it to the clerk, who went back to the stock room to fill your order.
I’m too young to remember this, but I do remember seeing liquor stores that still had signs advertising that they were the new-style open shelf stores.
(Also standing up while holding a drink in a bar was forbidden – if you wanted to join a friend at another table, you had to get a waiter to carry your drinks over. Singing in bars other than by paid performers was also forbidden.)Report
Singing in bars other than by paid performers was also forbidden.
All of this is from description by my parents, incidentally – before my time. The rules seemed to be generally structured around the idea that prohibition is gone, but we can still make drinking as unpleasant as possible.
There were two classes of bars – “men only” and “ladies and escorts”. Women were not allowed in the former, and unaccompanied men were not allowed into the latter – men could enter the latter but only as part of a group containing at least one woman. My dad described the general ambience in a typical “men only” bar as “a public lavatory fitted with beer taps” – ease of cleaning up blood and vomit being a primary design consideration.
There was no particular limit to the number of men who could escort one lady into a “ladies and escorts” bar. So if my dad and some of his male friends wanted to go for a drink, they’d try really hard to find at least one female friend to join them, so they could get into a reasonably pleasant place.
The “ladies and escorts” thing was introduced in 1960, as a liberalization of the previous laws in effect since 1935, which forced strict gender segregation of bars. In practice this meant that only men could go to bars, because no “ladies only” bars were actually ever opened.Report
When I was in high school, my band director had a polka band that played weekends in the German and Bohunk social halls/bars in South Omaha. When someone in the band was sick or busy, he had some of the guys from high school fill in (he would have liked to have some of the young women, but the owners wouldn’t stand for it). All of us had union cards — no one played in South Omaha w/o being in the musicians’ union. If they had tried to ban the patrons from singing along, though, there would have been riots.Report
In VA you can buy wine at Grocery stores, but Liquor requires a trip to your local State Run ABC store. Which means you can buy Vodka… and Jack Daniels… but mostly vodka. Maybe a gin or two and some new sweet thing that tastes good with ginger ale (and vodka).
Fortified wines fall between two stools, not wine, so not in Grocery Stores (except the lowest form of “cooking” sherry)… but the ABC stores? Not gonna waste shelf space that could otherwise hold vodka.
I admit that I’m a fish out of water in my neck of the woods, but one time I had a friend coming over and thought maybe some Calvados would be perfect (what with our part of VA being an old apple producing powerhouse)… the good folks at the local ABC store didn’t exactly say it… but I could see the gears turning on whether that was a brand of Vodka they hadn’t heard about yet.Report
Illinois has a lot of clean, moderately-priced warehouse beverage stores selling all kinds of booze in buildings about the size of a grocery store (around 20,000 sq. feet). The chain emanating from Chicago is Binny’s Beverage Depot and the chain emanating from St. Louis is Friar Tuck’s. Some of the larger Central Illinois cities have both, which is kind of mind-boggling to me.
I guess in some places, taking someone to one of these would be like taking a Russian or Chinese visitor during the Cold War to a grocery store.Report
Hallelujah, it looks like I will NOT have to make a trip up to Illinois – by this afternoon my dad was greatly improved (raising a person’s blood O2 will do that, I guess) and while he may not be back home for a while, at least it looks like he will eventually be coming home.
Tomorrow I think I am going to watch cartoons and knit; after this week I think that’s all my brain can take.Report
Very Glad to hear that fillyjonk. Hope to hear further update of his continued improvementReport
When we moved to Alberta from Saskatchewan, I was weirded out that there were different liquor stores with different prices and selections and some with bored minimum wage staff and others with well paid staff who offer cooking suggestions to accompany the booze you just bought – you have to comparison shop for booze? Back home it’s just the government stores, with the same catalog and union staff.
Mr T’s band is playing a festival this evening, so we’re all heading out there. Just going for the evening, so we don’t have to pack all the camping stuff, which is kind of a relief.
Tomorrow there is a friend’s housewarming, and later the big monthly shindig at the casa piena di hippy. Not sure who’s all going to which of those.Report
I’ve pretty much always lived in places where everything from cold, full-test beer to distilled spirits were available in grocery stores. The exception was Tennessee and I found that very annoying. Having done a bit of study in the XVIII and XXI Amendments, it was just that much more annoying.Report
As for my weekend plans, it’s my [cough cough] high school reunion this weekend. Oy.
Amazingly a non-trivial percental of my high school class has preceded me to the Pacific Northwest, so renewing those friendships will be a big deal for me.Report
In a similar vein as @burt-likko, a significant amount of my high school class has relocated to the PNW, though my reunion isn’t for another year.Report
I’m visiting my older brother, not Saul, and niece in LA? I took a brief visit to the pre-school my niece attends yesterday. My thought was on what happened to Oath of Office test for naming children?Report
Apparently I said something wrong and my comment (talking about how I hoped my state got rid of its truly paternalistic liquor-sales restriction laws if they are gonna be looking to legalize weed) got sent to Comment Hell.
@fillyjonk @jason (and whomever else is missing a comment) – I’m not sure what happened to them but it had nothing to do with what you said.
Will moved the server yesterday so it’s possible something about the switch caused us to lose some things that happened yesterday?
Definitely not intentional on our part and I apologize for the comments getting eaten.Report
It’s also possible I hit the wrong button and never posted it. (I sent it this morning).
I’m not in the best frame of mind today. (Still waiting for an update on my dad).
At any rate, I basically re-said the gist of the missing comment in the one that did post: “Are we gonna wind up with a state where recreational weed is legal and widely available* but it’s hard to buy a stinking bottle of sherry?”
(*Already medical MJ is legal and even though it’s not “officially” legal, two or three shops have opened in my town to sell CBD and they will sell medical MJ as soon as the rules are firmed up. This is a town of about 12,000 people or so….and I expect there to be more shops open over time)Report
No problem. I assumed it was one of those tech glitches that happen. Last year, a student emailed a homework assignment to me in early September. I never received that email, so I assumed the student was just BS’ing. I received the email in February. At first, I thought the student made a mistake because he wasn’t my student anymore. When I opened the attachment, I saw it was my assignment. My mailbox was never full, so that wasn’t the problem. Just a weird MS glitch.Report
I’m see Crazy Rich Asians tonightReport
I’ve had a lot of personal growth in the past year and have evolved so that I don’t even *see* Rich/Poor anymore.Report
Final push before the GF returns…I’m behind on my Braai menu research..we’re having a party of traditional south african foods and she wants to show pictures of our trip.
Other wise I’ll be take a private lesson with a jujitsu friend…focused on self defense. The last one had me being thrown/and throwing folks to the ground. I still hurt from that.Report
A couple vignettes from Washington, which of course has legalized recreational MJ and just before that, had legalized booze in the grocery store:
The MJ dispensaries are everywhere now (2 in a conservative farm town of 1600 people) but at the beginning they were concentrated in one section of Nearest Large City. You’d drive through and there would be dozens of huge bright green signs reading “CANNABIS”. One day my young son asked “Why are there so many cannibals here?” He had mixed up capital I with an L and was terrified that these big neon green signs were being erected to warn us of the threat.
And as for the legalized booze in the store, in Washington this transition happened to fall just as video rentals were dying. So virtually all the grocery stores took the opportunity to get rid of their video rentals (which you may recall were usually housed in a separate cubbyhole at the front of the store) and put in booze, in one fell swoop. Now most grocery stores just have a great big room o’ booze up at the front where the dusty copies of Gigli used to linger.Report
“Why are there so many cannibals here?”
My town is right over the state line from a state that (I think) still doesn’t do medical MJ and doesn’t do recreational and I am sure the shops are positioning themselves for the influx of traffic from it.Report
Yep that happens here – I live on the Idaho end of Washington. It’s actually pretty funny because Idaho has legal fireworks and tax free cigarettes (which you’re still supposed to pay taxes on), so there are a lot of Idahoans going one direction with illicit weed in their car and a lot of Washingtonians driving back the other way with trunks full of bottle rockets and cigarettes, with everyone just praying that they didn’t get pulled over.Report
Dinner for 38th anniversary was on Friday with Ms. Cain. Fifth birthday party for granddaughter #1 is on Sunday. Damn, am I old.Report