Homicide at former Special Kinds, sketchiest pot shop William Breathes has reviewed (11)
Reports about a homicide at the site of Special Kinds, an Arvada medical marijuana dispensary that officially shut down last year, remain sketchy -- much like the MMC itself.
In the wake of the incident, medical marijuana critic William Breathes's Special Kinds review is even more vivid and memorable.
According to the Arvada Police Department, officers arrived at the onetime home of Special Kinds -- a duplex at 4804 West 60th Avenue -- around 10 p.m. on Monday night to find an injured man who later died at an area hospital. Thus far, department releases have identified neither the victim nor the cause of death. We've placed interview requests with APD spokeswoman Susan Medina; when and if she replies, we'll update this post.
Special Kinds' website was once a slick and impressive destination, Breathes recalls. But at this writing, it consists of a single white page and the following text: "Effective July 29, 2010 Special Kinds has been shut down by the City of Arvada. Any questions, comments or concerns should be directed to Christopher K. Daly, the City Attorney."
Why? Dunno. But news reports suggest that the duplex's residents (Special Kinds' owners were identified by Breathes as SK and Tim Walker) may not have retired from the weed-slinging business. The Denver Post quotes neighbors as saying a neon "OPEN" sign could frequently be seen in the residence's front window, while one local told 7News the volume of traffic to the home was so high that she made her grandchildren play in the backyard. She added that, in her view, violence there was inevitable.
Breathes's experience? In his review, which ran on June 3, 2010, less than two months before the City of Arvada pulled Special Kinds' plug, he describes ringing the doorbell at the duplex and being "greeted by a tattooed woman with a young Rottweiler" and told to take a seat. He did so on a "stained La-Z-Boy across from the dusty television with a pellet gun propped against it." Also in view: framed pictures from an M.C. Escher calendar and a busted trampoline out back, plus a girl tapping a cell phone who appeared to be someone who lived there rather than a patient.
"The tiny, cramped living room was trashed and the bud bar was actually just the pantry of the tiny galley kitchen," Breathes wrote. Tinctures and edibles were stashed on a cabinet by the refrigerator, while ganja was stored in "opaque, plastic cereal containers" on a shelf near a menu scribbled on a white board.
Notable among the items for sale was what's commonly referred to as brick weed -- low-quality cannabis of the type associated with smugglers, not members of a legal profession struggling for mainstream acceptance. When Breathes asked a manager why Special Kinds stocked such product, even though it was "pretty clear the pot isn't grown in Colorado (or even the United States for that matter)," he was told that "once the dispensary's in possession of it... it becomes legal medical marijuana."
The manager added, "If you're buying brick weed, you aren't going to buy it from someone who is legal. They are breaking the law, but legally we can do it. I figure there are people who request it, so we might as well get it for those people so they can get it from somewhere safe instead of off the street."
This logic was lost on Breathes, who concluded with the following:
I'm sure there are patients who get some benefit from the meds Special Kinds is selling -- and it's staffed by extremely friendly people. But there was very little about this 'dispensary' that seemed medical to me. Patients in Arvada: I know you are hurting for dispensaries, but do yourself a favor and drive an extra ten minutes if it means avoiding places like this.
Given what apparently happened there on Monday night, this advice seems spot-on.
More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana critic William Breathes's sublime & ridiculous global media blitz (AUDIO, VIDEO)."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.