Mile High Moment

Celebrating an historic 4/20 weekend in Denver.

When something ain’t broke, don’t fix it — and since our first Medical Cannabis Cup at Denver’s EXDO Event Center ran so smoothly last spring, we returned again this year to repeat our past success. There were a few differences, however, that made this visit to the Mile High City far more memorable.

First off, on Friday night (4/20), I attended the premiere party for Hitman Glass’ new project (and accompanying art book) Chess Pieces at Illuzion Glass Galleries. Conceived by Hitman owner Dougie Fresh, the show featured an impressive array of smokable chess sets commissioned from more than 30 of the country’s top artists—most of whom were in attendance to display their work. It was by far the most unique and ambitious project of its kind ever executed.

Next, on Saturday afternoon, I moderated a panel entitled “To Dab or Not to Dab: The Pros, Cons and Possible Dangers of BHO.” Participants included a medical marijuana reviewer from the Denver alternative press (Westword’s William Breathes), two respected doctors (endocannabinoid expert Dr. Bob Melamede and Amerimed Colorado’s Dr. Alan Shackelford), and two cannabis concentrate makers (Daniel de Sailles of Top Shelf Extracts and Selecta Nikka T of Essential Extracts). We discussed the effects of butane on weed and the human body, the safety and efficacy of BHO, and the possible public relations issues associated with their use. It was a well-attended and fruitful discussion—one that I’ll be addressing in greater depth with a feature in our next issue.

Then, during the awards show on Sunday night, I hosted a mini-pageant to choose our our Miss High Times for 2012. Four of the year’s finalists were there, as well as past Miss HT winners Sarah (2007), Brittany (2010) and Clazina (2011), all of whom joined me onstage to crown our new “smokesmodel”:  Emily Aryn from Lansing, MI.

But for me, the most powerful part of the weekend was on Friday afternoon at the 4/20 rally in Civic Center Park. The event was the largest of its kind in the nation (reportedly a record attendance of almost 60,000 people) and featured a hemp fashion show, performances by rappers Hypnautic and Too Short and speeches from several activists, including Richard Eastman, Rob Corry and — I’m proud to add — yours truly. Just before 4pm, rally organizers Tiny Martinez and Miguel Lopez welcomed me to the stage and I addressed the enormous crowd.

“I’m so honored to be speaking here today, and so thrilled to look out at this sea of stoners celebrating our culture! You know, it wasn’t so long ago in this country that it was considered acceptable by society to discriminate against African-Americans — to deny them the right to vote, to segregate them, arrest them, even lynch them. But then, in 1955, a woman named Rosa Parks said, ‘No, I refuse to sit in the back of the bus — I have some dignity,’ and the civil rights movement was born. It happened again in 1969, when police in riot gear stormed into the Stonewall club and tried to arrest a bunch of homosexuals just for having fun and being part of their culture. They fought back against those cops because the law was unjust, and the gay rights movement was born.”

“When is our Rosa Parks moment? When is our Stonewall moment? When do we say, ‘Enough! We’ve had it with this discrimination! You’re oppressing a culture, and we’re sick and tired of it!’ Colorado, America is counting on you to set an example for the rest of the country to follow. So this November, all of you motherfuckers better get out there to the polls, vote for legalization in 2012, and send Washington a message they’ll never forget—that we’re pot smokers, and we vote, too!”

At that moment, as the cheers from thousands of my fellow stoners washed over me, I truly felt a mile high.

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