He'll miss his daughter most of all.
Logan Edwards, a U.S. Marine and Iraq war veteran who risked arrest to treat post-traumatic stress disorder by smoking marijuana, left Iowa early Monday before the sun even cracked the horizon.
He didn't stay long at the Quad-City International Airport, telling a Quad-City Times photographer he was racing to catch his 6 a.m. flight to Colorado.
Diagnosed with PTSD shortly after returning home in 2009, Edwards spent months grappling with his decision to move. But he wasted no time getting to that early flight, eager to take advantage of Colorado's pot-friendly laws.
He was alone at the airport. No family, no friends.
After touching down in Colorado, Edwards went to a local dispensary, and just before noon, he posted on Facebook that his first legal stash cost him $245 with tax.
"I'm smoking on 'exodus kush' right now," he posted.
In Iowa, he could have been arrested any number of times over the past two years for marijuana.
Edwards first broke the news of his move to Colorado in a July 21 interview with the Quad-City Times.
“Conflicted” with the decision, he explained the difference between buying marijuana on the black market and buying it from a legal dispensary.
“In Colorado, I can get a safe, good-quality strain specific to what I need,” he said.
In Iowa, he relied on whatever he could buy from the black market, and it wasn't always a trustworthy source, he said.
To purchase marijuana in Colorado, Edwards first had to apply for a state medical marijuana ID. He suffered a back injury in Iraq, and that’s a qualifying condition. PTSD is not.
He said one reason for his move is to raise awareness of PTSD as a qualifying condition to buy marijuana.
If safe, legal access isn’t enough to move, fear was the other motivating factor. And Benton Mackenzie’s trial was the tipping point.
“That could just as easily be me,” Edwards said.
A Scott County jury found Mackenzie and his wife guilty last month of growing marijuana in their home. Mackenzie has said he did it to treat his terminal cancer, although the trial judge barred him from making that defense to jurors.
With a few drunken driving convictions on his record, Edwards said the judge could have thrown the book at him if he was ever caught with pot in Iowa.
He used alcohol as a form of "treatment" for his PTSD, he said. The arrests all happened after he returned from Iraq.
“If I’m a convicted felon, I won’t be able to vote in the country I fought for,” he said.
The latest news out of Iraq has raised his anxiety level.
“Places in Iraq, places we freed, they’re back in enemy hands,” he said. “People ask me all the time how I feel. It stirs things up.”
That’s code for a panic attack.
Since late last year, Edwards has openly discussed his marijuana use. He first shared his story with the Quad-City Times in November.
He admitted to feeling anxious during the course of the July 21 interview.
He recalled that on a visit to Colorado earlier this year, he spotted a police officer but for the first time didn’t feel like a criminal.
"I'm not wrong for doing this," he said. "What's wrong is that it's illegal in this state."
Edwards has little hope Iowa will legalize medical marijuana during the legislative session next year.
"I hope some legislators will see me leaving as a wake-up call," he said. "You should not have to leave your home state to get medical help."