Readers Debate Whether Anti-Pot Rat Cages Are Racist or Just Stupid

Someone smoking in a re-messaged rat cage near the Denver Skatepark earlier this month.
Someone smoking in a re-messaged rat cage near the Denver Skatepark earlier this month.

We always appreciate it when interview subjects get involved with readers in comment sections -- and that's definitely been the case with our post about Boulder's rejection of human-sized rat cages used in the state's "Don't Be a Lab Rat" campaign -- one intended to dissuade teens from smoking pot. Marijuana lobbyist Shawn Coleman told us he believes the cages send a racist message and then eloquently and passionately defended his position, often at great length. Click here to read all of them -- but here's a representative exchange.

See also: Marijuana Backer Lauds Boulder for Rejecting "Racist" Anti-Pot Cages, Asks Hick to Apologize

Nathan Embree writes:

Good points were made until the guy said racism. Judging from the other comments posted, he came to that conclusion on his own, and now he is the one putting the racist idea in people's heads.

Shawn Coleman writes:

"Good points until the guy said racism" or that guy made a lot of sense until he got so "angry." I assure you, I have to spend a lot of time thinking about my words because my argument is always undermined if I appear angry because I'm black. As I said during the interview, I don't believe governor Hickenlooper intended to be racist, they don't understand the symbolism because they don't work in social justice and drug policy reform but those who do recognize it instantly, including by the way Boulder Valley School District. I call things as I see them, you're welcome to disagree but I ask you to consider the context.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.

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