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A Tale of Two Rollouts

High times: Obamacare versus Colorado’s legalization of marijuana.

by
Stephen Green

Bio

January 6, 2014 - 12:42 am
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Two months ago, Healthcare.gov went live, sort of, as the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act finally went into full effect across the nation. On the first of this new year, right here in Colorado, it became fully legal to sell marijuana for recreational purposes.

Let us compare and contrast the two rollouts, shall we?

The first product, heath insurance, was so desperately needed by some 47 million Americans who lacked it, that our entire healthcare infrastructure had to be upended by force of law in order to accommodate them.

Pot is something which some unknown number of Americans, but probably quite a bit less than 47 million, merely desire.

On the first day those 47 million uninsured Americans were able to purchase health insurance on Healthcare.gov, six did so. Not six million. Six. As in five, six, seven. Only they never made it all the way to seven.

On the first day pot was legally available for recreational use in Colorado, thousands made purchases.

During Healthcare.gov’s period of growing pains, untold thousands, perhaps a million, frustrated customers gave up before they could complete simply setting up an account.

In Colorado last week the scene was somewhat different:

Pot shop owners said enormous amounts of people turned out to purchase recreational marijuana on New Year’s Day. Thousands braved brutal winds and cold to stand in line at pot dispensaries, awaiting their share of the now-legal drug.

“It’s huge,” Iraq war veteran Sean Azzariti while waiting outside of the 3D Cannabis Center in downtown Denver. “It hasn’t even sunk in how big this is yet.”

Barbara Brohl, from Colorado’s Department of Revenue, added that “everything’s gone pretty smoothly.”

At the nation’s Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius still refuses to reveal how many people have actually paid for their new ACA coverage, but I feel safe in assuming that Colorado’s pot stores are all paid up.

Under the strictures of the Affordable Care Act, American consumers are given a choice of one of four plans. Those plans are called “Bronze,” “Silver,” “Gold,” and “Platinum.” The Bronze plan is the one you can afford to pay the premiums to buy, but you can’t afford the deductible. The Platinum plan has very affordable copays and deductibles, but you’d have to be a very high earner indeed to afford the premiums.

Colorado’s imaginative and industrious pot growers and marketeers have slightly more options from which you may choose. There’s “Bubba Kush,” which is described as having an “almost tropical like smell. stanks [sic] up the whole room with only a small amount.” There’s also “Sour Diesel,” “Blueberry Yum Yum,” “Purple Haze” (naturally), and “Pineapple Express.” My favorite name might be the delightful mashup “Skywalker OG Kush.” Reviewer Kush_Master007 says it’s the “highest i’ve ever been on any strain.” If you simply must partake, I’d avoid “Ballsack” just because of the name. But also because it’s reported to look, smell, taste, and leave you feeling “like a ballsack.”

At least we don’t lack for choices here in the Mile High City.

Under the Affordable Care Act, you may keep your children on your plan until they reach 26 years of age. Anyone in Colorado 21 years or older may buy marijuana, but I plan on keeping my children away from it by teaching them about bourbon. Short of repeal, there is no way to protect your children from Obamacare.

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Top Rated Comments   
You're going to have dopeheads in your neighborhood, whether pot is legal or not. Hell, there's a dopehead in the Oval Office, for pete'sake, haven't you been paying attention?

Legalizing pot is just telling the government to minds it's own damn business.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, actually legalized pot is you using the government to tell me to shut up and put up with dopeheads in my neighborhood.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The difference is that legalized pot is telling the government to mind it's own damn business, while Obamacare is about the government telling us to sit down and shut up, while it ruins the healthcare business.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (30)
All Comments   (30)
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With freedom comes responsibility, I don't know to many responsible drug users. For those with an illness have all you want because the FDA won't get out of the way so you can get the pill form.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
The US has more people in prison than any other nation on the planet - most for drug offenses. First they arrest people, now they want to capitalize on a drug war they lost ions ago. I don't adhere to the use of drugs, but it sure seems particularly two-faced to me. But what the hell, the US is guarding the poppy fields in Afganistan. They want Americans drugged and stupid so the takeover will be easier.
People better read the fine print before they continue on with this insanity.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
ANYBODY WHO EVER OD STARTED WITH WEED. NOW IS THE TIME TO CLEAN UP YOUR NEIGHBOR HOOD. TELL ALL THE JUNKIES WEED IS FREE IN COLORADO AND SO IS WELFARE.
WWW.SPIRITOFAMERICAPARTYRADIOSHOW.COM

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
"We the People" begins the American Constitution. The People are the highest constituted authority in the American Union.  The nature and character of the People will determine the nature and character of the American Union. Is it not reasonable to say that if the People are ill-informed then the American Union will suffer from that ignorance, or if the People are immoral that such depravity will comprise its sacred institution the family, and if the People are enslaved to addictions such poison will permeate through the entire system devastating the infrastructure. Is it not just as reasonable to say that if the People are enlightened to the dangers of civil government that they will be ever vigilant over the laws and the agents who execute them. It is not just as reasonable to say if the People are striving toward virtue that their virtue will strengthen every institution to the profit of all, and if the People place a high bar on morality that public and private decency will prevail. Can the sovereign of America, the People, forsake their sacred obligations of being informed, moral, and virtuous and yet still have the quality of life that all desire and want? What folly to encourage the corruption of the American sovereign, the People, when so much is at stack - everyone's life, liberty, property, and quality of life. What folly to allow the sovereign, the People, to surrender its expected and required sovereign duties! 
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Putting it bluntly up front, I'm opposed to legalization.

However, I'm also oppose federal laws against pot. As far as I'm concerned, if it's not crossing the border then it's none of the federal government's business.

If they had to pass an amendment to ban alcohol, then pass another amendment to rescind the previous one, then I don't see how they had the power at the federal level to begin banning anything!

Anyway, leave it to the states. As Colorado has decided to do it is now legal there.

Well whoop-da-frickin-do.....

Let Colorado deal with the ramifications now.

If the federal government is subsidizing health care costs there - pass a federal restriction on federal monies (taxed from the rest of us) that can be used on ANY drug related medical cost.

They have someone with medical issues come into the ER that are either caused or exacerbated by smoking weed into their lungs - no federal subsidy can be used in their treatment.

They have an increase in crime? Too bad - no additional federal monies for crime prevention.

Colorado legalized it - let them pay for the societal costs that will inevitably incur.

Just because you have the freedom to do something still doesn't make it a good idea.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
It never seems to work that way anymore. Our government is not only trashing the Constitution, they're in bed with the Mexican cartel and trashing States' rights.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just saw this morning that the legalized pot dealers are now taking federally provided EBT cards for their weed.

So basically, tax money taken out of mine and your pockets is being used to buy marijuana.

Brilliant....
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
OK -- one might have been a roll-out, but the other was more of a "roll yer own".
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is the exact fight that we should be having. The freedom to choose without harming others. Hemp is the beginning of the fight. Get government out of the way and let us live free. Let the free markets reign without big government and crony capitalist messing it up.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Two observations:

--Kathleen Sebeliius vs General Eisenhower:

Under comparable logistics (a huge regulatory burden accommodating a sudden, massive demand), the marijuana rollout was handled with the same sense of mission as the D-Day invasion. If there were any computer glitches in the transaction process, they were not publicized, and the free market struggles (and left its own devices, will solve) to keep up with the demand for their product, a la Apple iPhone rollouts.

--Already, temptation to kill the egg laying goose: Threatening to price their product out of the market with the 25% tax, ironically reinvigorating the undergound suppliers. Like saying Prohibition is over, but legal booze is now $100/bottle
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
As a bona fide child of the 70s, I cannot wait to see how the pot rollout goes. I expect to see increased thefts at late night doughnut shops, convenience stores and fast-food drive-thrus with comical YouTube videos of 10 mph police chases and high capture arrests because loadies drive really, really slow.

2014 will be the year of Spicoli.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"If only there was a black market for health insurance."

Give it time, give it time. I'm thinking about starting a medical speakeasy...

Oh, and $300/oz? Do you have any idea how much Blanton's I could buy with that?!!!
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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