Pubdate: Thu, 24 Mar 2005
Source: Boulder Weekly (CO)
Copyright: 2005 Boulder Weekly
Author: Wayne Laugesen
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Popular)


I didn't inhale, but I did get stoned-entirely by accident. I have 
witnesses. It was spring in the late '90s, and our neighbors invited us for 
dinner. I slathered melted butter all over my corn, lest it seem too much 
like a vegetable.

Halfway through dessert, I felt weird. I developed a keen understanding of 
what people really mean when they say things like "that was great steak." I 
knew they were really saying this: "Wayne, we're onto you. Nobody likes 
you. You're an illusion, man, and we will reform you."

Growing increasingly paranoid, I turned to my brilliant, gorgeous wife and 
whispered my knowledge of the conspiracy. I said we should leave soon. She 
was a bit puzzled at first, and then appeared enlightened.

"Did you butter your corn?" she asked.

"Uh huh," I said.

"You used this butter, with the green tinge?" she asked, holding up the 
dregs of the butter, which was only slightly green.

"Uh huh," I replied.

"That's ganja butter," she said, giggling about my plight. "I thought Sarah 
made that perfectly clear, but maybe you were outside. The clean butter's 
in that dish. This butter's cooked with pot. There's no conspiracy, honey, 
you're stoned."

Even worse, I'd taken my dessert from the wrong brownie tray. Before long, 
I was reading people's minds.

For whatever reason, pot doesn't bring me joy. My worldview regarding cheap 
thrills, therefore, goes like this: beer good, pot bad. As a journalistic 
professional, I consider High Times a has-been rag. Modern Drunkard, by 
contrast, is an up-and-comer. High Times celebrates druggies; Modern 
Drunkard celebrates drunks.

Both publications enshrine the unique liberties and excesses we enjoy in 
the USA, where we live by the words of heroic Revolutionary War General 
John Stark, who said: "Live free or die."

Though I loathe ingesting pot and thrive on beer, I have some respect for 
functional potheads. The vast majority of potheads I know are productive 
members of society, and several have made fortunes from their drug-inspired 
books and creations. Some of Boulder's top civic and business leaders are 
potheads and will remain as such until they die of old age.

Though I believe pot unnecessary in a world that offers beer, I also 
believe the revered words of the late philosopher Martin Niemoller. He 
said: "When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out because 
I was not a trade unionist. When they came for the Catholics I did not 
speak out because I was not a Catholic. When they came for the Jews, I did 
not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was 
no one left to speak for me."

Get it, drunkards? If we don't speak out for the potheads right now, in 
their time of great need, there will be nobody left to speak for us when 
they come for our drink.

At the University of Colorado, potheads have suddenly become a convenient 
scapegoat for administrators-the people who've turned the school into a 
joke with their inconceivable hiring and firing practices, date-rape 
football parties, million-dollar slush funds and half-million-dollar booze 

Every year potheads and their friends gather at 4:20 p.m., on April 20, for 
a pot party at CU's Farrand Field. Cops, typically outnumbered by thousands 
of potheads, stand peacefully by and no one gets hurt. Unlike a booze 
party, people don't puke and fights don't break out.

This year, however, city and CU officials warn of an unprecedented 
crackdown on the freedom-promoting event. Undoubtedly, they'll shut it down 
just as they did the annual Mall Crawl that once made Halloween special. 
Maybe they'll foment a riot, as they did by interrupting an innocent 
University Hill block party last fall.

Now that Hunter Thompson's dead, journalists need a new spokesman of 
inebriation in an increasingly prohibitionist world. I turned to the 
articulate Frank Rich, editor and publisher of Modern Drunkard. He didn't 

"If they crack down on potheads, they'll drive off all the students," Rich 
said. "That's why people enroll at CU, because it's known as a good place 
to smoke pot. Isn't that what Boulder's all about?"

Modern Drunkard was featured this month in Time magazine, because it's 
growing by leaps and bounds. It is the hippest coffee table accoutrement of 
the new millennium, mainly because Frank's a genius.

"There are a lot of drunks out there, Wayne," Rich told me, when I asked 
about his success. "We have road blocks in this country and they aren't 
there to catch terrorists and rapists, but to snag some guy who had a few 
beers after work. The good news for Modern Drunkard is that a lot of our 
subscribers are cops. We also have a lot of doctors and lawyers. Our 
subscriber base consists of people in high-stress careers. These people are 
concerned about growing threats to drinking, and we're defending them."

Rich observes that crackdowns on drunks and potheads seem to emanate from 
politically and socially liberal environments, like Boulder.

"They want cradle-to-grave government control over our lives," Rich said. 
"Just compare Boulder, which is controlled by the left, to Colorado 
Springs, which leans to the right. Boulder has a much more intense war 
against drunks than you find in Colorado Springs. It won't be long before 
the government in Boulder outlaws happy hour. Then they'll tell bar owners 
they can serve only three drinks a day to any given customer. I assure you 
it's coming."

So go to the pot party, whether you toke or not, take a stand and make a 
difference. Just be careful what you eat!
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom