Colorado’s Green Rush includes many dispensaries along the I-70 corridor from Denver to Utah. With so many weed outlets, how does one choose? It can become difficult to discern mid-grade shops from the true high-end. I recently returned to my birthplace after living a decade in Amsterdam as a cannabis photojournalist, so I’m familiar with the marijuana industry, just not the local scene.
Fortunately, I’ve recently become reacquainted with an old friend named Daryl, who first inducted me into the joys of the sweet leaf. We go back three decades and I’ve watched him grow from executive protection specialist, bestselling author, and Voodoo Priest. Back in the day, we were “skip tracers,” chasing bond jumpers before a reality show on the subject appeared. There wasn’t a door we wouldn’t crash through to catch a fugitive. I got shot at twice by some bad guys trying to earn a living. (We all got to eat—Jerry Garcia). We were younger, wilder, hungrier, tougher, and certainly more stupid. It was a time when sweet leaf was hated and hunted, when brothers and sisters went to jail for a joint, and the Brotherhood of Eternal Love was hounded by every state and federal law enforcement agency in America.
Fast forward 30 years and my longtime friend ushers me through a different door, one safer to enter and the people on the other side are happy to see us. This place is called Sweet Leaf, and it’s the warmest, friendliest dispensary I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. The commercial sales pitch from Denver “boom town” disintegrates and I find myself dealing with some genuine people serving up some really nice grass.
Dieneka (Momma Leaf) is the bubbly boss lady, with her husband Dave, by default a politically savvy, modern weed business man. They started on Valentines day 2009 with much initial ado from the local town council. To jump the hoops, a $5 per transaction fee was established for Eagle. Everybody needs their cut of the money tree.
Momma Leaf’s favorite strain is called Flow, a special and unique phenotype.
The nice thing about being a dope photographer is I get to have a few special moments with staff and owners of the places I am fortunate to visit; I always give thanks for these special times the people and that weed is legal in Colorado today. Maybe, was it the female spirit of the happily grown cannabis or maybe the healing glowing vibe of the sweet peeps slinging in this oasis of kind grass, in a megalopolis of mountain towns along the I-70 driveway that makes this place special.
As we leave this special place I feel all the old PTSD the memories from the shootings, battles in bulletproof vests, the hustles, ripoffs and payoffs, things nobody saw, starts to dissolve for the first time. In fact, I’ve never acknowledged my PTSD before I wrote this story, and this unexpected path of healing was mostly definably due to the properties of the ganja at Sweet Leaf.
Modern clinical studies have shown Cannabis has definitive therapeutic effects and benefits for patients suffering PTSD Many veterans here in Colorado have found the healing properties and relief that cannabis may offer. My friend, Gulf war veteran and Cannabis advocate for veteran’s rights and treatment and all around weed celebrity “OG Uncle Stoner” gives thanks everyday for his relief from PTSD by using cannabis.