Marijuana

Colorado Teapot Party: Willie Nelson's legalized-pot movement finds a home here

Move over, Sarah Palin, there's a new grassroots movement afoot: the Teapot Party, a legalization movement founded after everybody's favorite midnight rider, Willie Nelson, was busted in Texas in November for pot possession. In an interview after the arrest, the songwriter noted, "There's the Tea Party. How about the Teapot Party? Our motto: 'We lean a little to the left.'"

Whether or not Willie was serious about launching a new political machine, his devoted fans wasted no time in making his vision come to fruition. The Teapot Party, which is all about supporting candidates who are for legalization and opposing those who are for pot arrests, has tens of thousands of fans on Facebook, and chapters have popped up across the nation.

Not surprisingly, Colorado is quickly becoming a Teapot Party hotbed -- but then, Willie lived here part-time back in the '70s. A Colorado Teapot Party Facebook page, started two months ago, already boasts more than 400 supporters. And there will be a Colorado Teapot Party meetup at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 18, at the Gypsy House Cafe, 1279 Marion Street in Denver.

"We are sick of seeing Willie busted," says Michelle LaMay, owner of Cannabis University, the meet-up organizer. "Maybe we will bring some people out of the closet."

People who may already support the movement, which already has many active members. "I am not out to undermine any of the great activist organizations in the state, only to lend support to them," LaMay notes. In fact, there is no set agenda yet for the Teapot Party meeting: no political strategy, no massive organizing plan.

Instead, consider this more of a chill-out session. "We re going to meet up, see what happens, see what people say," says LaMay.

Willie wouldn't want it any other way.

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner