Perhaps you think puffing is a direct nod to the new Colorado law legalizing recreational marijuana sales. Not necessarily … in past weeks, as a frigid weather pattern lingered over Colorado (and a vast majority of other states), if you went to the street to start your vehicle in an effort to warm it up before placing your chilly buttocks on the frozen car seats and your hands on the icy steering wheel, and then left it to stay warm indoors, you were puffing (the telltale smoke which spews from exhaust pipes into cold air). That, my friend, is illegal in the Centennial State, so be prepared to shell out $100.00+ for your brilliant idea. The good news – your car wasn’t stolen: vehicles that are puffing are easy and obvious targets for thieves. Thanks to the powerful insurance lobby, this law was implemented in Colorado (and seven other states) in an effort to curb vehicle theft. Just curious: has anyone in Colorado seen their vehicle insurance rate go down since the no puffing law was enacted?
Please do not confuse the Colorado No-Puffing Law with the Colorado Puffing Law. You see, the word puff is also a metonym for marijuana (as is cannibas, ganja, pot, weed, reefer, grass, et.al). And with the new law legalizing recreational marijuana sales in good ole’ Colorful Colorado, there is a whole lot of puffing going on here. Economics 101-Supply and Demand: 136 licenses were initially issued in Colorado for recreational pot retailers, but many are open for business only three or four days a week simply because demand outweighs supply. Yes indeed, John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” has taken on an entirely new meaning! Since the marijuana legalization law was instituted (January 1, 2014), Colorado’s tax revenue reserves are quickly piling up. State officials estimate that in the first 18 months of “puff” sales, the 25% excise sales tax which was voted into law will add up to approximately $184 million in tax revenue. Recreational puff could easily be a billion dollar industry in Colorado within a year. WHOA!!!! Thankfully, it does appear that Colorado is delegating these funds responsibly, with a large portion going to youth programs and drug prevention causes as well as school construction (a mandate from Colorado voters).
Now for some PUFFING on California …
I would suggest that the Colorado No-Puffing Law is about as ludicrous as the federal ruling in California under the Endangered Species Act, which implies that protecting the short life of a two-inch fish (the Delta Smelt) is vastly more important than pumping precious water to millions of acres of farmland in the state’s San Joaquin Valley (aptly known as The World’s Fruit Basket) for crops that are dispersed to all parts of the country as well as corners of the world. No big deal, I guess. We’ll just let our precious farmland dry up, then sell our souls to Mexico, China and Central America by purchasing their “produce”. Clearly, there is little need to support America … except, of course, our smelt population. We can subsidize the corruption and waste in so many other countries instead by shipping our hard earned “green” to them for sub-par food products grown in soil containing only God knows what! C’mon folks – can’t our legislators work to find a viable solution for pumping vital irrigation water AND protect our endangered species? Isn’t that what we elected and pay them to do?
In summary, Colorado statutes allow that people aged 21+ can puff to their heart’s need on weed (as long as they can find a retailer who has their preferred form of ganja in stock), but they best not even think about puffing their vehicle engine on an icy winter day! I can only hope that by baking on bud, Coloradoans will be able to numb the bitter cold when entering their vehicle for a drive to the local market to restock on fruits and veggies imported from countries with zero regulation on pesticides and fertilizers. Heck, if you’re a Coloradoan, just forgo the grocery store and head to your local “puff” retailer. At least that weed is grown and harvested in your own state! Final thought: if California jumps on the recreational marijuana bandwagon (one look at Colorado’s tax revenue windfall tells me it will be sooner as opposed to later), perhaps we can turn the San Joaquin Valley into California’s Ganja Greenhouse. We all know money talks, and with California’s current financial status as “BROKE”, I’m guessing that the current water restrictions to protect the Delta Smelt would be swiftly overturned.