Reader: Why Would the Denver Airport Censor Weed Products?

Banned at Denver International Airport?
Banned at Denver International Airport?
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From 420 Extra Pale Ale to strain-specific IPAs to an annual 420 Fest, SweetWater Brewing has made a name for itself over the past twenty years through its connection to cannabis and the marijuana lifestyle. But the Georgia-based SweetWater, which is opening a second brewery in Colorado as well as a branded taproom at Denver International Airport, may not be able to serve its flagship 420 ale at the airport.

That's because the airport has a longtime policy prohibiting marijuana-adjacent souvenirs and other products. "It all has to be family-friendly," says DIA spokeswoman Stacey Stegman. "SweetWater won’t be able to promote their 420 or pot-themed materials or products."

This came as news to SweetWater, which just announced its expansion into Colorado this week. "As of now, we intend to [sell it]," SweetWater co-founder and CEO Freddy Bensch says of the marijuana-branded beer. "In this day and age, with legalization [in so many states], we feel like we will be serving some 420."

In their comments on the Westword Facebook post of the SweetWater story, readers were quick to criticize airport policy, as well as the double standard in this state regarding alcohol-related sponsorship and sales. Says David:

Why would Denver censor weed stuff? Weed is everywhere!!

Adds Zakary:

What a bitch move, Denver. Censorship much?

Replies Dustin:

Try federal law.

Wonders Tyler:

So the state can auction of weed references on license plates but won't sell this beer at DIA? It has nothing to do with weed.

Notes Byron:

It's mostly a reference to the interstate 420 in Georgia, where SweetWater is from.

Concludes Dom:

I'm so sick of this double standard. Can name a damn stadium after beer, can brand anything and everything with alcohol logos and slogans, but heaven forbid any reference to the much safer alternative. Tired of this reefer madness bullshit. 

The airport's no-pot-policy was implemented in late 2014, after a businesswoman complained that DIA officials were preventing her from selling pot-leaf-imprinted flip-flops and boxer shorts to a souvenir store. The rule makes it off-limits to "sell, display, or advertise any product bearing the image, likeness, description, or name of Marijuana or Marijuana-themed paraphernalia; and advertise a Marijuana-related business or establishment" at the airport.

What do you think of the "family-friendly" policy at Denver International Airport? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com.

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