Lessons from Colorado: Legalized Marijuana – Heavy-lifting!

Go Lean Commentary

“Rocky Mountain High … Colorado” – Song verbiage from John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High – see Appendix A

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This is a familiar refrain from a familiar song; a folk rock song written by John Denver and Mike Taylor about Colorado, and is one of the two official state songs of Colorado;[1] recorded by Denver in 1972, it went to #9 on the US Hot 100 in 1973; (source: Wikipedia). The song also made #3 on the Easy Listening chart …

But in 2017, the phrase “Rocky Mountain High” has a total different meaning, because the State of Colorado has since legalized recreational use of marijuana.

This is not an easy topic; this is heavy …

There are so many lessons we can learn from the debate, legalization, implementation, regulation and societal repercussions of this product in this State. All in all, it is heavy-lifting. This is the theme of this series of commentaries of lessons that have been learned by Caribbean stakeholders visiting, observing and reporting on the US State of Colorado. (All non-encyclopedic photos in this commentary were snapped in Colorado by Bahamian student Camille Lorraine).

We have so much in common and so much in contrast. One commonality to consider is how Colorado is now associated with marijuana consumption. See Appendix B VIDEO below.

“Welcome to our club”! This has always been the image of Caribbean people and culture – think: Rasta Man smoking Ganja; (marijuana is called ganja in Sanskrit and other modern Indo-Aryan languages.[173]).

Don’t like the imagery, reputation or sullied practice? Then welcome to societal development 2017; welcome to heavy-lifting.

This commentary continues the 5-part series on the subject of Lessons from Colorado. There are so many lessons that we must consider from this land-locked US State; good ones and bad ones. In fact, the full list of 5 entries are detailed as follows:

  1. Lessons from Colorado – Common Sense of Eco-Tourism
  2. Lessons from Colorado – Legalized Marijuana: Heavy-lifting!
  3. Lessons from Colorado – How the West Was Won
  4. Lessons from Colorado – Water Management Art & Science
  5. Lessons from Colorado – Black Ghost Towns – “Booker T. turning in his grave”

The book Go Lean…Caribbean calls for the elevation of Caribbean society, to re-focus, re-boot, and optimize all the societal engines so as to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play.  The movement behind this book wants to do the heavy-lifting to reform and transform Caribbean society. So we must tackle these “heavy” issues that others may just want to brush aside. As goes Colorado, soon the rest of the US – 4 states currently support recreational use of marijuana; many others support medical marijuana; in total 28 states will have some kind of legalization on the books).

“Marijuana legalization is now the norm for 40 percent of the American population.”

It is only a matter of time – considering American tourism, trade and Caribbean students matriculating in the US – when this debate comes to our door in the Caribbean.

Oops, too late!

According to social media sites, there is already an outcry for regional leaders to consider some form of legalization or decriminalization in the Caribbean.

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This issue has previously been addressed by planners of a new Caribbean stewardship – see here:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9646 ‘Time to Go’ – American Vices, i.e. Marijuana. Don’t Follow!
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1386 Puff Peace – The Debate  for Marijuana in Jamaica

The book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society. According to that previous blog-commentary:

There are moral, religious, legal and psychological (treatment) issues associated with this topic; and there is history – good and bad. Any jurisdiction decriminalizing the use of marijuana has to contend with the previous messaging to the community of: “Just say no to drugs”.

The [Go Lean] book asserts that before the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies of a roadmap to elevate a society can be deployed, the affected society must first embrace a progressive community ethos. The book defines this “community ethos” as the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of society; dominant assumptions of a people or period. Think of the derivative term: “work ethic”.

Marijuana is a mood-altering drug; it has negative effects, one being preponderance for apathy, to tune out of any active engagement. In the US, even in the states where marijuana is legal, most firms/governments still screen staffers (new hires and veterans) and ban consumption of the drug. The reason is simple: Apathy does not make for industriousness. So this issue/drug presents a conundrum for the CU. The mission to grow the economy, promote industriousness, foster new jobs and new industries is pronounced early in the roadmap, detailed in the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 14) with this statement:

    xxvi. Whereas the Caribbean region must have new jobs to empower the engines of the economy and create the income sources for prosperity, and encourage the next generation to forge their dreams right at home, the Federation must therefore foster the development of new industries … In addition, the Federation must invigorate the enterprises related to existing industries … impacting the region with more jobs.

So to all you Caribbean stakeholders clamoring to follow Colorado’s lead … into the heavy-lifting of legalized marijuana use, we ask this one question:

Are you ready for this?

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Thank you Colorado, for your fine role model. You have provided guidelines and learned-lessons that we can apply in our own jurisdictions. We learn that there are “pros” and “cons” to this controversial issue. Colorado authorities report that for 2016, they transacted over $1.1 Billion in marijuana sales for recreational and medicinal purposes; the State have collected $141 million in taxes, licenses and fees. The repercussions and consequences of legalized marijuana have not just been economic benefits, there have been public safety (security) incidents as well. Consider these headlines:

The Go Lean movement, as stewards of a new Caribbean, must answer the same question:

Are we ready?

No, our communities and societal engines (economics, security and governance) are NOT ready!

Yes, we accept the challenge; we hereby urge all Caribbean stakeholders – governments, law enforcement agencies, social and civic agencies – to lean-in to this Go Lean roadmap for how to make our Caribbean homeland a better place to live, work and play.

Our judgment now is that the Caribbean is not ready to sanction recreational marijuana use, but still …

… it is what it is.

We must be prepared and “on guard” for “bad actors” (and foreigners) to exploit the demand for this activity in our community. We are not trying to be Colorado, or to be America; no, we are trying to be better. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix A – John Denver – Rocky Mountain High – https://youtu.be/eOB4VdlkzO4

Published on Apr 5, 2013 – John Denver’s official audio for ‘Rocky Mountain High’. Click to listen to John Denver on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/JohnDenverSpotify?…

As featured on The Essential John Denver. Click to buy the track or album via iTunes: http://smarturl.it/EssentialJD?IQid=J…
Google Play: http://smarturl.it/RMHGPlay?IQid=John…
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/EJDAmazon?IQid=Joh…

More from John Denver
Take Me Home, Country Roads: https://youtu.be/1vrEljMfXYo
Leaving On A Jet Plane: https://youtu.be/SneCkM0bJq0
Sunshine On My Shoulders: https://youtu.be/diwuu_r6GJE

More great 70s videos here: http://smarturl.it/Ultimate70?IQid=Jo…

Follow John Denver
Website: http://johndenver.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JohnDenver
Twitter: https://twitter.com/johndenvermusic
Subscribe to John Denver on YouTube: http://smarturl.it/JohnDenverSub?IQid…
He was born in the summer of his 27th year, coming home to a place he’d never been before.
He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again,
you might say he found a key for every door.
When he first came to the mountains, his life was far away on the road and hanging by a song.
But the string’s already broken and he doesn’t really care,
it keeps changing fast, and it don’t last for long.

And the Colorado Rocky Mountain high, I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.
The shadows from the starlight are softer than a lullaby.
Rocky Mountain high, Colorado. Rocky Mountain high.

  • Category: Music
  • License: Standard YouTube License


Appendix B – Legalized: A Year In The Life Of Colorado’s Legal Weed Experiment | NBC News – https://youtu.be/B1cyfObqehI

Published on Nov 9, 2016 – Election night 2016 was a big night for the marijuana legalization movement as multiple states passed measures including recreations initiatives in California and Massachusetts. This piece documented the first year of Colorado’s legal weed experiment.

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Legalized: A Year In The Life Of Colorado’s Legal Weed Experiment | NBC News

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