"Lori Story," Chris Utterback, June 26
Appreciate your writing and reflections on Denver's comedy scene via "Lori's Story." Just want to share that there was an active comedy scene before her time and Roseanne Barr's.
In the '70s, George McKelvey and partner held comedy nights in music clubs one night a week in Denver, Aurora, Boulder and sometimes Fort Collins. In that time frame, Marilyn Martinez and I did standup and played other clubs on both coasts. We were Martinez and Blair; I was the straight man. We did improv, sketches, had a short-lived radio show. We did sendups, like a television exercise show. Marilyn was quite overweight and was remarkably inactive during the mock show. I was slender and did all the working out. We created satire of everything from Ford's Pinto blowing up to multiculturalism to feminism and female sexuality. Not saying we were great, but we worked it.
Marilyn moved to L.A. and performed as a single until her death a few years ago. Funny lady: raunchy and a heart of gold.
"Cannabis Business Summit Takes Debate Over Pot Edibles Safety Seriously," Amber Taufen, June 25
Amber Taufen's recent propaganda piece on the Cannabis Business Summit on the Latest Word was offensively inaccurate and misleading. Does Westword represent the interests of those who use cannabis and pay substantial taxes on it, or those of the greedy and shameless cannabis industry?
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I put it to you that the combined forces of the Establishment, its media and the industry have created a stupendous, yawning gulf between our mass psychology and beliefs about cannabis — that it is essentially legal under state law — and the cold, hard legal reality of five kinds of felonies up to a Class 1 for cannabis. Growing enough for whole-plant extracts or juicing is a felony; selling any in most of Colorado is a felony — Coloradans continue to be branded felons over cannabis, and I would attribute at least two deaths to our criminal laws against cannabis within the past year (those of Alicia and Pritchard Garrett).
If you see this issue solely in terms of its prominence as perceived by others, you lack journalistic discernment. The existence of these felonies is prima facie evidence that the severe criminal strictures against cannabis have not been (adequately) mitigated. Llt Art Way, Wanda James, Brian Vicente, Mason Tvert, et alia, one or all, assert that despite having five kinds of felonies for cannabis, no one or hardly anyone is being charged or convicted of them: The burden of proof is on them, but the issue that these laws were passed after Amendment 64 is not so insignificant that it should have been ignored for over a year! The media have been remiss (to employ the grossest understatement) in failing to confront supposed reformers and Colorado's pathetic excuse for political leadership with the antinomy of five kinds of felony for cannabis in the state that legalized marijuana — is it something in the water?
Please do better in covering news of interest to those who use cannabis and place no more stories representing interests antithetical to those of people who use cannabis.