Don't be surprised if a friend or relative soon announces a trip to Colorado.
It is pretty there. Rocky Mountains, old mining towns, ski resorts. Oh, and the state Tuesday became one of the first two in the country to legalize recreational marijuana.
Supposedly, you will soon be able to go into a store and buy pot like it's a bag of 15-bean soup mix.
Denver could become like Amsterdam in the Netherlands. But then, so perhaps could the first farming town past Goodland, Kan., on Interstate 70. Just no canals. Maybe some irrigation.
Colorado's Amendment 64 passed Tuesday with 53 percent approval. The new law allows anyone over 21 to go into a specialty retail store and buy up to an ounce of marijuana. Supporters in the state danced in the streets when the results became final.
They're probably dancing elsewhere, too.
"You know people are going to drive to Colorado from Kansas City and a whole bunch of other places," Larry Townsend told The Star on Wednesday.
He's the sheriff of Wallace County in Kansas, right on the Colorado border. Don't count him among the dancers.
"They will buy where it's legal and as soon as they leave the state it's going to be a crime. It's going to be a terrible mess."
Coulter deVries, a Kansas City lawyer who supports the legalization of marijuana, acknowledges that residents of other states will probably go to Colorado to stock up on pot, but he thinks what voters did there is a good thing. The new law also allows residents to grow up to six marijuana plants.
"Look, a lot of people smoke pot, and it's ridiculous to throw them in jail when they get caught with it," deVries said.
The thing now, deVries cautioned, is what the federal government does in response to Colorado's new law, because marijuana officially remains a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it is dangerous and has no health benefit. In other words, Washington, D.C., trumps whatever transpires in any state when it comes to saying what people can smoke, and right now federal law says smoking marijuana is illegal.
Which means every medical marijuana clinic in 17 states is in violation of federal law.
But nearly a third of the people in the country now live where penalties for marijuana have been greatly relaxed because of medical marijuana statutes or decriminalization for possession of small amounts. Washington state joined Colorado in passing a legalization measure Tuesday. Oregon residents narrowly turned one down.
Still, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, an opponent of Amendment 64, cautioned supporters.
"The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will," Hickenlooper told The Washington Post. "This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don't break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly."
During the campaign, supporters pushed hard that the proposal would generate millions of dollars in tax revenue. Colorado has already been reaping the bounty from the state's hundreds of medicinal marijuana clinics and pot-growing operations.
That kind of money would seemingly be attractive to other cash-strapped states, such as Kansas and Missouri. But Missouri voters declined Tuesday to even approve a hike to the state's tobacco tax, the lowest in the country.
In Colorado, opponents of Amendment 64 argued that the amendment would not only lead to a federal crackdown, but also cause increases in use by youngsters and in pot-impaired driving. They also don't like the idea of people coming from other states to buy marijuana.
That's what Sheriff Townsend is worried about.
He knows that residents of his town, Sharon Springs, who smoke pot will soon be driving the 17 miles to the Colorado border. Same goes for border counties in Wyoming, Utah, Oklahoma, Nebraska, New Mexico and Arizona.
"I don't think Colorado should have passed this," Townsend said. "I don't think it's good for the people of that state or my state or society as a whole.
"Marijuana is a gateway drug, and they shouldn't have done it. But Colorado has been leaning to the left lately. Probably because of that influx of California people."