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Green across the border

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By Bob Hagen

The Greener Side is in a pre-fab metal building that looks something like a failed truckers’ pornstop, just off the interstate outside Pueblo, Colo. There’s no billboard and only the adjacent greenhouse, surrounded by a chain-link fence topped with strands of barbed wire, tips off the astute shopper that this is the first legal retailer of “recreational” marijuana north of Uruguay.
Half the cars in the parking lot are from out of state, mostly from Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. A security guard swipes my New Mexico license through a card reader, confirming that I’m legally eligible to buy up to one-quarter ounce of marijuana for my personal use, and I join the line of customers inside.
With its cheap paneling and hard plastic chairs, the tiny anteroom resembles a cut-rate dentist’s waiting room, but the atmosphere is much more cheerful. For about half the customers this is a first-time experience, and everybody is studying the menu on the wall and discussing the pros and cons of the various strains on offer.


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