From Togo to Denver: How to say ‘recreational pot’ in French

From Togo to Denver: How to say ‘recreational pot’ in French

DENVER — Kodjo Apedjimou moved from Togo to Denver two years ago seeking more freedom. In his home country, he says, he didn’t have the chance to choose what school he attended, where he lived, where he worked, what he drove and what he did in his spare time.

One of the things he likes to do in his spare time is get high.

Apedjimou struggles with English. So, in the lobby of Medicine Man dispensary, in front of a sign reading “Happy Independance (sic) Day!” he spoke about pot in French, the language of colonial West Africa.

Maybe it was the lyricism of that language, or the heavy scent of pot in the air, or Apedjimou’s particularly way with words — whatever the reason, he spoke about the use of recreational marijuana far more eloquently than any of the dozens of other customers I interviewed in lines at pot shops around Denver on New Year’s Day, the day it became legal in Colorado for licensed shops to sell pot for recreational use to adults.

“It’s not an addition. Not a hunger. Not a bad habit. It’s just something I need to help me feel my place in the world,” said the 45-year-old who works at a meat plant in Fort Logan.

“People who are afraid of marijuana are afraid of something in themselves. And the truth is, there’s nothing to be afraid of,” he continued. “It helps you see — not just with your eyes, but with your heart.

“Why, in any country, shouldn’t that be legal?”

[ Image by Natalienation. ]

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About the Author

Susan Greene

A recovering newspaper journalist and Pulitzer finalist. Her criminal justice reporting includes “Trashing the Truth,” with Miles Moffeit, and “The Gray Box.” | 720-295-8006 | @greeneindenver

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