A sport, a coalition, and the hazy politics of Kansas cannabis
, 2023-03-31 08:03:07,
It’s a brisk spring day, and droves of disc golfers have returned to Rosedale Park to hit one or perhaps even both of the 18-hole courses the KCK recreational hub offers for a flourishing regional scene that has one of few legitimate claims at being the sport’s true capital of the world.
In all likelihood, many of these frisbee-slingers will also probably be taking hits as they stroll the course and plan their putts. Disc golf and the Devil’s Lettuce, after all, have been naturally intertwined ever since the lax yet sufficiently competitive hippie version of golf originally sprouted up in Oak Grove Park, California, in 1975.
In the decades since, a dominant stigma around disc golf—that it is a “stoner’s game”—has stuck around as societal judgments typically will. And though those lingering negative connotations may more often than not be supported by the literal frequent odor of that skunky, funky, smelly green shit out on any given course, it seems that the American masses have, for the most part, finally turned their backs to the pitiful dying embers of the “War on Drugs.”
Not everyone has the luxury of being able to do so, however. In a few vile circumstances, states like Kansas now border more than one state with legal recreational, adult-use cannabis markets. With Missouri now having officially joined Colorado in that distinction, leaders of the Sunflower State have found themselves pressured into finally facing the absurdity of the fact that Kansas doesn’t even have a medical cannabis patient system in place yet.
Meanwhile, out at Rosedale, one party of disc golfers advances to the third hole of the “Up-Top” course. As they make their ascent on the final straightaway before entering into the first of a great many swarming groves of trees, the worst and newest player in the friend group has only just now clunked their disc into the chains. They snatch their putter from the basket with an added pep to their step as they hustle to catch up with the rest of the squad, hoping that maybe the next hole could mark a turn in fortune—the long-awaited putt that could finally, if only for one fleeting moment, put them on equal footing.
Just under a mile and a half east of Rosedale Park lies State Line Road. It was here that the Kansas Cannabis Coalition organized an event March 4, 2023, to protest the absurdities of continued prohibition.
Looking on at the…
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