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High Mileage Tour: Biking across America to end cannabis stigma pt. 2

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High Mileage Tour

Article 2: Biking across America to help end cannabis stigma

Welcome back to the “High Mileage Tour.” My name is Dan Osterman and I’m the Social Media Manager for Nice Guys Delivery. Two months ago, I drove my home on wheels away from Marin County to Michigan where I spent time with family and friends while preparing to ride my bicycle across the country. If you’re unfamiliar with the High Mileage series I recommend clicking here first. I’m officially on the road so this article highlights what I’ve learned about cannabis in Michigan and also gives you an eye into my bike touring experience.

Michigan could become the next state to go recreational

While in Michigan I spent time getting to know the cannabis scene. With recreational-use on the November ballot and with Michigan being projected as the second highest grossing legal market behind California, I was excited to return to my home state. Michigan is a “reciprocating state” meaning they are legally allowed to accept out of state medical recommendations but upon further inspection I found that it wasn’t that simple. I thought it was going to be easy to acquire green because I work in the industry and have a medical card, but every cannabis business I called on WeedMaps turned me away.

When asked whether dispensaries would accept out-of-state licenses they said they didn’t know all the rules and regulations and they couldn’t sell to me because it was company policy. I mentioned Michigan being a reciprocating state, but they held to their word. No one had any real good answers beyond it being “policy,” so if I had to guess I’d say it’s because businesses are trying to play it safe until November when Michigan has the potential to join 9 other states and DC as legal recreational marijuana states.

As much as I agree with being safe and doing everything correctly in the industry I’d like to point out the obvious issue we face from the wall of prohibition. What happens when a person with a chronic illness travels away from their home? Today, a lot of Americans are using cannabis to treat symptoms, illnesses, and pain. With prohibition in place it leaves far too many people suffering and unable to access quality medicine, and when people are forced to suffer they look elsewhere for alternative options, which in turn fuels the black market and illegal drug trade. The current situation is a mess!

Biking to Denver

The High Mileage Tour is a bike ride to spread positive cannabis awareness across the United States. I’m sitting inside a McDonalds in Havana, Illinois writing this article and doing some work. I woke up in my tent this morning after camping near the Illinois River. Yesterday was my first official day on the bicycle. My friend picked me up from Michigan and drove me to Normal, Illinois so I could begin my tour from there. I biked 68 miles in 90+ degree heat. My bike is extremely heavy, so heavy I decided to dump a backpack worth of gear a few miles after initially departing. The bike was shaking in the front and I was unable to stand and pedal, but after I repacked everything on the bike it felt sturdy enough to ride.

Packed on the bike I have my camping gear, cooking equipment, media gear, solar charger, and water. I am biking the first 1000 miles solo from Central Illinois to Denver, Colorado where I’ll leave my bike for a week and fly to California for the Mill Valley Film Festival Nice Guys is sponsoring this year. My route to Denver will take me across Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado with 21,000 feet of climbing ahead of me. After time in California I’m flying back to Denver and joining up with a friend to ride our bikes together to San Francisco. There’s a good chance I’ll leave more gear behind before we climb the Rockies.

Yesterday’s bike ride was spent traversing county roads of Illinois, so I saw a bunch of tractors, semis, and cornfields. One man ran out of his house and gave me a bottle of water as I rolled by. Later in the day I was riding on the shoulder of the road when a car honked and flipped me off. When I arrived in Havana a little before dark I found a place to camp, set up my tent, and then had dinner. It was so hot last night I didn’t fall asleep until after 1AM.

For me to reach my flight in time I must average 43 miles a day. Yesterday I rode 68 miles because some days are work days where I spend a large chunk of the day working on Nice Guys projects and resting my body. Some days I’ll ride extra, some days I’ll rest.

Illinois is medically legal, and I’ve spoken briefly to people about the plant and received positive feedback, but the next couple states after Illinois are both under prohibition and I’m excited to see what people think about the plant in states where it isn’t legal. The War on Drugs has ruined millions of people’s lives, so I feel extremely fortunate Nice Guys have given me this opportunity to ride my bicycle to positively impact cannabis perception!

For a more intimate look into my journey I recommend following us on Instagram where I’m sharing photos, videos, and stories from my adventure! Thanks for reading! Join us on social media to help end cannabis prohibition through promoting an active and adventurous lifestyle!