Getting stoned with Wheelchair Sports Camp
A week ago today, our homeland, the fine state of Colorado, made history by voting to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In honor of this momentous occasion -- and while the specific legalities are being ironed out with the feds -- we thought we'd take a few minutes to catch up with various members of our musical community, the known imbibers, and get their thoughts on the whole issue. Shortly after one of their recent gigs, we retired to the alley with members of Wheelchair Sports Camp to smoke a joint and talk about their first time getting high, getting busted in Texas and why Colorado's potheads are more zealous than Washington's. Predictably, our conversation was full of passion and forgetfulness.
Westword: When looking at your voting ballot, how big an issue for you was Amendment 64?
Isaac McGaha Miller: That's what I was most excited to vote for. Since I voted for a third-party [presidential candidate], it wasn't really to vote for a candidate that was going to win. But I voted for 64 because a) It amounts to a shitload of money for the city, and b) It's pretty cool that Colorado was the first to legalize it. I don't think people quite understand how many money-making opportunities we have now.
Kalyn Heffernan: I was more surprised about the weed thing than I was about Obama. I didn't know if it was going to pass. For a while I didn't even know if Obama would win. Mitt Romney had Karl Rove, the mastermind of stealing elections.
Isaac McGaha Miller: One of the beautiful things that came out of this election was not just the pot thing, but the Republicans, in losing, have to look at themselves and say: "We need to stop being involved with women's bodies, with gay marriage." The Republican Party is going to have to modernize.
Kalyn Heffernan: Wouldn't it be great if we never elected a Republican again? And then we could just have Democrats versus real parties. Democrats verses real progressives.
Do you remember the first time you got high?
Isaac McGaha Miller: I was seventeen, living in Fort Collins. We were all stupid privileged white kids. We didn't have a bowl. We didn't know how to roll a joint...so we ate it.
Did that even get you high?
Isaac McGaha Miller: I basically got the comedown of the high. I got really tired and fell asleep watching the Gameshow network. It was so stupid. The next time I smoked pot, it was a lot better.
Kalyn Heffernan: I moved back to Colorado when I was ten. Before that, I was living in Burbank, California, and weed wasn't part of the culture. I knew more about meth -- because of my mom -- than I did about weed. So I came to Denver, public elementary, and in the first week, kids were like, "You smoke weed?"
This was when you were ten?
Kalyn Heffernan: Yeah. My cousins were twelve, and they were drinking, smoking pot. I was the good kid, and they would blow it in my face, in my ears. And finally, on my sixteenth birthday...
Kalyn Heffernan: That's how it felt to me. It was six years of me being surrounded by weed. All my friends were stoners; I even had a 4:20 sticker on my wheelchair. It was my culture. And I finally did it on my sixteenth birthday. I smoked a blunt, and then kept thinking "I'm not high, I'm not high." Then I ate a plate of spaghetti. I was really shoveling it in -- and when I looked down, my whole shirt was covered in spaghetti and sauce. That was when I thought, "Oh, I must be high."
Kalyn Heffernan of Wheelchair Sports Camp.
Jason Paul Roberts
Do you guys get high before you record or go on stage?
Kalyn Heffernan: Before, during, after.
Isaac McGaha Miller: But it's not like, "Oh, we're going on stage in five minutes; better get high."
Abi McGaha Miller: I don't like to get high before I go on stage, to be honest.
Can it hinder your performance? Or does it help?
Abi McGaha Miller: I don't like to before I perform live, because it takes me out of the moment. But that's just me -- it's a brain-chemistry thing. I would rather smoke when I have nothing to do. This is all new to me, since I just got off probation from being busted in Texas.
I understand a lot of musicians have been busted down there.
Abi McGaha Miller: Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg -- so many people have been busted in Texas.
Kalyn Heffernan: The cops were like, "Fuck you, Colorado. Where's the weed?" Once they saw what state we were from, it was all over.
Isaac McGaha Miller: It was very, You ain't from around here, are ya, boy?
Kalyn Heffernan: Jenna had a baggie under her seat that had been there for years. We didn't even know about it. All it had left in it was some keef. On me they found an unloaded one-hitter, so I got a paraphernalia ticket. Luckily they didn't find the half-ounce I was sitting on.
Kalyn Heffernan: Yeah, it was in my wheelchair. I thought for sure they were going to find it.
Do you find that a lot of Denver musicians smoke weed?
Isaac McGaha Miller: A lot of Denver smokes weed.
Kalyn Heffernan: Even up in Washington, where they also legalized weed, it doesn't feel so in your face. Here it's like: Smoke weed or die. I mean, when I moved here from L.A. at ten, I was already getting sweated about smoking weed.
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