Cannabis Time Capsule, 1937-1949: The Ballad of Steamboat's Frank Valdez

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

We haven't come upon continuing local coverage of old pot events while going through our stash of musty, vintage Colorado news. At least, none as intriguing as the tale of Frank Valdez as told through the local news briefs section from the Steamboat Pilot from 1937 through 1949.

Basically, what started as a $50 state fine moved on to federal charges (and presumably jail time, if the state went to all that trouble).

That clearly didn't bode well for the rest of Valdez's life.

We'll let the clips do the talking. Here's the first one, from November 4, 1937:

Next is an update from November 11 of that same year.... ...and one more, from December 2, 1937. More than a decade later, the news was worse for Valdez. From April 1949: And that's it. You could write a folk ballad filling in the holes here and probably have a hit in some indie circles.

More from our Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule archive: "Cannabis Time Capsule, 1908: What were they smoking?"

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.