Bruce Barcott "Weed the People" Book Discussion

Author Bruce Barcott was living in Washington when that state legalized marijuana — but the journalist has ties to Colorado, too, which makes him uniquely qualified to pen a work like Weed the People. “I’m living in a legal state, and the rest of the country will actually want to know what it’s like to live here,” says the onetime Boulder resident. “The opportunity was too good to pass up, and the project sort of took on a life of its own from there.”

Barcott didn’t initially consider himself a cannabis supporter, but a friend pointed out that his personal preferences didn’t justify sending people to prison. “I was ultimately swayed by her argument,” he says. “She told me that this vote was about the War on Drugs and generation after generation of black men being put in prison for a substance that’s no worse than alcohol. It was a convincing argument.”

After the Washington vote, Barcott found himself wondering about the ramifications. “I realized that I was a writer in the position of being a canary in a coal mine,” he says. “This is a historic vote and moment, but is it going to be good history or bad history?”

Hear Barcott’s answer when he discusses Weed the People tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Place. Admission is free; call 303-571-5260 for more information.

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