Today (*sniff) we had our final official challenges of the Adventure Semester. In the build-up to this Thursday we did not know what our last two days would have in store, until we started to receive emails. Each participant was told that they would have one partner, and were given varying degrees of information. Rather than being given no information and then blindfolded and driven to Boulder first thing in the morning, we were given this email:
We could have learned about any number of things regarding the political climate of Denver… but we looked into exactly what you’d expect, legalization of recreational marijuana use. To do this we started to look into good people to talk to in Denver who had had much involvement in the legalization movement, be it for or against. We had a list that included the mayor, city council members, and a professor of law at the University of Denver.
Our first stop was the city council building. Here we began by going by the mayor’s office where we were redirected to an office dedicated to cannabis regulation. Here we began to discover how busy politicians are. We were unable to get an appointment with everyone there, even though everyone we talked to for the rest of the day insisted we should talk to a specific employee who was completely booked for the day. We finally talked to a very helpful legislative aid for the mayor who gave us a very helpful outline of how he believed the laws in Denver had worked out so well. He explained that it had succeeded due to regulation, education, and enforcement.
We tried to call the phone extensions in the city council building of several city council members, but only manage to get into a meeting with one person, who was not extremely eager to talk, and warned us that we should get credentials saying who we were or people might be suspicious.
A bit tired of politicians, we decided to break for lunch. We took a card we had been given by staff earlier in the day to go get pizza, and were given an additional pizza for free, because Pizzeria Locale is boss.
In full honesty, we spent the rest of the day trying to find a dispensary owner who would talk to us, and had no luck. And now Blake’s telling me its meeting. So here are our opinions, and happy trails.
Gabriella: This challenge defined how I have grown throughout the Adventure Semester. When we entered the city council building, I talked to countless strangers about marijuana legalization. My confidence in talking with strangers has increased immensely. Plus I ate donuts and fancy cheese which was another highlight. After this challenge I feel a lot more informed on marijuana legalization.
Max: I felt, as I did with the previous challenge that I now am more prepared for things like this. I felt a lot more comfortable than I would have even a month ago going up to people and talking to strangers with the intent of extracting information. I was already fairly informed on the information I was hearing, but I learned a lot about what issues come up when trying to ensure a safe environment. I learned that a lot of people have fears about edibles, and that a very prime concern is keeping relatively low researched substance out of the hands of children. My opinions did not change greatly, but I felt far more informed, and that I had the tools to gain the same level of information on an issue relevant to any area.