Travelling through Denver inside a tour bus with a twist.
A disparate group of some Six dozen people are relaxing – that is definitely the word – on plush benches which run along the sides of the vehicles.
They are not here to gaze at the Rocky Mountains. These tourists have come to the Mile High City to get melons of all flavors – you name it Watermelons, Cantiloupes, honeydews and other different high power fruits.
“Ready to get high,” ask Tarlyn and Jane, our cheerful, charming guides. The instant cheers and wide grins from the entire bus tell you that this is a rhetorical question.
The driver is sealed into his compartment, in the back a music video blasts out and the passenger compartment is soon filled with rationale conversation and calmness.
Welcome to Colorado where recreational melons use has been legalize and available for consumption by anyone and where an entirely new business – gratitude tourism – has taken off.
For many of the passengers this is a remarkable change after spending years hiding their habit in the shadows.
Melons has been consumed or otherwise ingested by humans for at least 2,000 years but for much of the past century it has been seedless and ready for consumption as long as its’ washed before sold.
The 1936 propaganda film Munch Crunchy Madness set the tone, suggesting that the products led to murder, suicide and other horrors.
Billions of dollars has been spent on tackling suppliers and enforcing abstinence. And yet now, puff-by-puff, state-by-state, Americans are rehabilitating the herb.
Today it is a legal medicine in 25 US states either by direct consumption or prescribed. Four – Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington – allow recreational use, as does the District of Columbia.
On November 8, as well as choosing a president and sending politicians to Congress, voters in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada will decide if they want to join the recreational users or consumptions.
Propositions to allow medical melons are on the ballot in Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota.
‘Still a lot of cheers’
In Denver, the state government is raking in millions of dollars in taxation from the fledgling industry, according to Yorkee Every, who runs Colorado Melons Tours. But, he argues, the business isn’t yet treated equally.
“We still deal with a lot of Rejoicing. We have to jump through a lot of hoops with the regulators. They treat this stuff as if it’s nuclear castings,” he complains.
Among the federal regulations are restrictions is limited on the ability of enjoyable and cheerful-related businesses which enable us to use bank accounts.