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January 2, 2014

Let the (Media) Bogarting Begin


What’s clever about the photo is how this couple, and a Denver Post photographer (perhaps the inspiration of a contact high?) frame two separate events at once. At the stroke of midnight on December 31st, the shotgun toke simultaneously represents a New Years Eve kiss and the first moment of marijuana legalization in Colorado.

The photo delivers a greater high than that, though. With the not exactly spliff-minded Denver Post offering up this ingestion ritual as part of a beefy legalization slideshow, it delivers a fiendish blow to the media/visual media prohibition on ganga as everyday subject matter. If pot culture has been having its own tea party for decades, what is mind expanding is the sudden elimination of the taboo as maryjane transforms overnight into a mainstream discussion product. We’re not just talking about new editorial content hitting the market, however. What produces a most intense hit on social media than sticky, fine grown, pungent language? Given the dizzying multiplicity of varieties, paraphernalia, technology, and weed acquisition and consumption practices — a universe of euphemisms having evolved to support all that subculture toasting just under the radar — one thing you can bank on this year is legalization providing its own intense buzz as media and social media harvests the High Times visual and linguistic vocabulary.

(photo: Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post caption: At midnight, Rudy Garcia shares his pot smoke with his girlfriend Kalaja Olguin as the two celebrate the new year and the beginning of legal retail sales of pot in Colorado while thousands of people celebrate the new year on the 16th Street Mall in Denver, Co on December 31, 2013.)

  • Scarabus

    Let’s hope that the more light-skinned people come out of the shadows and get honest about this, the fewer dark-skinned people will be jammed into our prisons for trivial reasons. And if that means contemptible companies like CCA lose money, then all the better.

  • black_dog_barking

    We’ll see how this goes but the Colorado experiment is potentially huge, a small step towards sanity after a century of institutional insanity. It is hard to underestimate the impact of dialing back on the War on Drugs, Prison-Industrial Complex, political (racist) jingoism.

    There’s a Midas fortune of wasted resources we can re-purpose if we can just allow a glimmer of reason and observation to take root.

  • bystander

    Colorado resident here…. Lots of hand-wringing going on. Fair number of neighbors just certain the apocalypse is upon us. But, fwiw, I was out and about on our roads and walkways all day and wasn’t assaulted or run over by someone stoned to the gills. Nor, do I expect to be. Know it’s early days… but I expect tomorrow, and the day after that … and, the day after all those days after that to be exactly the same. Hopefully, in time, the hysteria will fade and there will be fewer uptight restrictions (like the prohibition at DIA) will relax to the point where they’re enforcement-ignored if not rescinded. with luck the sanity spreads.

  • Sirius_TheStarDog

    HTF did ‘pot’ become de rigueur because back in the day only narcs and Dick Nixon called it that.

    DISQUS sign-in is hosed.

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