The Daily Show blows some smoke with Westword's pot critic

A crew from The Daily Show is in town this week to report on Denver's booming medical marijuana industry, and they stopped by the Westword office on Monday, where correspondent Jason Jones interviewed pot critic William Breathes — and took a hit off a gas mask bong.

That was the brainstorm of producer Miles Kahn, who previewed the trip on Twitter. "Off to Denver in the morning," he tweeted Sunday. "Let's see, packed my underwear, my computer, my custom gas mask bong. All good." So good, in fact, that ten hours later, he followed up with this: "Not for nothing but I just breezed thru airport security with a prop homemade gas mask bong. Really, TSA? Nothing odd about that to you?"

Although 4/20 would seem a natural air date, the segment hasn't yet been scheduled.

4/20 will be a big day in Denver, however. In fact, Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of NORML, the nation's best-known marijuana-reform advocacy organization, plans to spend the "holiday" in Civic Center Park. "This is the biggest political rally being done under the guise of 4/20," he tells Westword's Michael Roberts. "And it is being held in the part of the country that has no peer when it comes to the acceptance of medical cannabis and, I think, cannabis as a whole."

The 4/20 festival will also draw a police presence, but the Denver Police Department's Commander Deborah Dilley says officers will mainly be there to make sure people feel safe — as they would with any major event.

Horsin' around: A pair of Clydesdales will be hoofing through downtown Denver on Friday, pulling a wagon full of beer — but they won't be delivering Budweiser. Instead, the team will be dropping off kegs and cases of beer brewed by the Wynkoop Brewing Company, which plans to start servicing some of its downtown accounts old-school style, the way suds sellers used to do it before Prohibition. "These are Budweiser rejects. They have to work for a living," says Dennis Holzrichter, who has owned D&D Featherfoot Clydesdales & Carriages for twelve years and will be driving the cart when it begins its delivery route at around 7 p.m.

Although the beer will be heavier than the passengers that Holzrichter typically carts along down the 16th Street Mall, he doesn't foresee any problems. "I have discussed it in depth with the Denver Police mounted patrol," he explains, "and they said we're committing no crime as long as we are not opening containers."

Wynkoop founder John Hickenlooper has been touring Colorado like crazy over the past few weeks as he campaigns for governor, and managed a visit to the Trinity Brewing Company in Colorado Springs last Saturday.

Hick finally has his campaign website up and running, only a couple of months after announcing his intentions for the job — and the primary image is, well, monumental. A large photo of the mayor's head is arrayed alongside several Colorado mountain peaks in what can only be described as a Mount Rushmoric fashion. According to Hickenlooper spokesman George Merritt, the mountains are the San Juans.

Which at least makes the image more appropriate than the Canadian mountain range that GOP frontrunner Scott McInnis used when he kicked off his own gubernatorial campaign last year. That photo was quickly replaced by one of the Boulder Flatirons.