Weed is the New Jesus in Colorado

Michael Schaus
Posted: Apr 21, 2014 12:56 AM
Weed is the New Jesus in Colorado

Sure… Sunday was Easter Sunday (the most important day of the year for the world’s 2-3 billion Christians). But, c’mon! It was 4:20 dude! And while millions of Americans flocked to their churches and Cathedrals, the Denver Post thought the front-page story of the day ought to be Colorado’s annual “toke-out” at Civic Center Park in Denver. Heck… The 15 year anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting was even pushed back to accommodate the “high times” of Civic Center potheads.

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Living a mere handful of blocks from Denver’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, I can personally attest to the contact high received by Colorado’s largest Catholic congregation on their way to Easter Mass. (I also assume that a decent portion of the congregation took communion simply because they were starting to get the munchies.)

The Post’s decision to highlight the illegal marijuana smoke-out (getting blazed in public is still frowned upon by authorities... yeah, even the ones in Denver) underscores New-New-York’s divorce from propriety. And, no: I’m not about to rail against pot legalization… But, I’m not really going to defend it either…

Colorado’s experiment in drug legalization isn’t really the prominent issue for most traditional conservatives. After all, it’s somewhat difficult to argue with libertarians on things like marijuana prohibition. (Not because they’re right… It’s actually just frustrating because they tend to be a little high.) The big question on the minds of most marijuana skeptics, is whether or not we are applying an adequate amount of scrutiny to “Mary Jane.” After all, cigarettes come with Surgeon General Warnings. Alcohol comes with some pretty serious restrictions on consumption. Even Sudafed requires scrutiny from an administering pharmacist.

Yesterday, while millions of Christians celebrated the Resurrection of the Lord, potheads descended on Colorado’s capitol building to light up a joint. It was 10 in the morning when I caught the whiff of Colorado’s new state plant wafting from Civic Center while I walked to the Cathedral (yeah… I go to the late Mass). If I showed up with a group of drinkers in Civic Center, on any Sunday morning, to drink beer and proclaim my right to indulge in alcoholic beverages – the only news story written would be about the group of drunkards who were arrested over the weekend in front of the Capitol building. And that story would be quickly followed up by an intervention, and my first sobriety chip.

Even Saint Patrick’s Day (the drunkard’s very own 4:20 style holiday) sees a different perspective on alcohol consumption than the Post’s celebration of downtown Denver potheads. Drinking a beer on a public street? Arrested. Being visibly intoxicated in a public place? Ticketed, arrested or escorted out. Coverage of Denver’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities are generally told through the creative narration of police reports – not front page puffery.

I mean, most of us would agree: People who feel like getting wasted on 40’s and handles of tequila at 10am on a Sunday morning are usually encouraged to go to meetings. Most doctors tend to hand out pamphlets on the dangers of alcohol if you admit to having more than three alcoholic beverages each day. But potheads are invited to appear on the front page of Denver’s only hometown paper… And the rest of us are supposed to shrug our shoulders and roll our eyes as hipster yuppies “blaze one” in downtown Denver on Easter Sunday.

So, maybe we should reevaluate how we look at Colorado’s new tourist drug before getting too excited about legalization. And, maybe, a rearrangement of the Post’s priorities should be in order as well.

Happy Easter 4:20, Colorado!