From the week of November 19, 2009

"Independence Instituters Are Still Shooting From the Lip," Kenny Be, November 12

Comic Relief

Kenny Be gave the Independence Institute exactly what that batch of blowhards deserved for a 25th anniversary present! But what did Colorado do to deserve the Independence Institute?

Jill Hoover


I have to admit I was disappointed with the new Westword. It was good to see Jared Jacang Maher's "Building a Case," the followup on the One Lincoln Park story, but annoying to have your cover be Kenny Be's cartoon. A real article on the 25th anniversary of the Independence Institute would have been more interesting.

Alex Teitz


Colorado Democrats will be eternally grateful for the Independence Institute. After Jon Caldara ran the RTD into the ground, John Andrews ran his midnight redistricting plan and Tom Tancredo just kept running his mouth, the state has switched completely from a dependable Republican state to a very active Democratic state.

Doug Hubka


Trust Westword to make fun of the only reason Colorado hasn't gone the way of California. We should all be thanking the Independence Institute for its work pushing free-market economics and fighting government intrusion in our lives. Here's to 25 more years!

Larry Arthur


"Bugging Out," Off Limits, November 5

down and dirty

Denver Public Schools is losing a fight with filthy conditions inside its "educational" facilities, conditions that are causing an explosion of pestilence? Of course, under the yoke of repressive political correctness, one may not identify a kinetic soil displacement implement as a kinetic soil displacement implement. So one must also not speak the name of that which causes problems such as this. Even a "news" paper such as Westword, charged with keeping the public faith by reporting the who, what, when, where and (key term) why of events, wets her (oops!) panties over the very prospect of even speculating. If you can unscrew your head from your ass for just a moment, you can figure it out here, without any studies, legions of CSU extension undergrads or hand-wringing by "concerned" officials.

Let's call a spade a spade: It's the illegals, stupid.

J.M. Schell


"Higher Law," Patricia Calhoun, October 29

The Ganja's All Here

As a 43-year self-medicator, I have some insight into the substance and spirit of the drug and attendant social history – although only in the last twenty years have I taken personal dosage into account, like any drug, in order to attain a balanced high, an elevated mood, enhanced sensory perception and expanded consciousness without becoming zonked, blasted, baked or otherwise rendered useless for social and/or artistic activity (or even, on occasion, basic motor skills).

The current climate brings to mind my gang's certainty in 1967 that legalization was imminent, at least by the end of that decade, even though in Texas at the time, many longhairs and minorities were getting twenty-year sentences for giving a narc as little as one joint. But we believed in sanity and the evolution of social awareness, and the harmlessness of marijuana use compared to alcohol and many of the other illegal and controlled substances we were experimenting with. This belief was well bolstered by my personal attendance at a "Smoke-In" in Tompkins Square Park in New York City in the summer of '67, at which beat cops strolled among the tokers and trippers while Country Joe and the Fish psychedelicized the gathering. While it was hard to picture Houston's redneck boys in blue exhibiting such laissez-faire, we were sure it had to come. Sooner rather than four decades later.

In the '80s, The Emperor Wears No Clothes opened my eyes to the real powers behind the 1937 prohibition (Hearst, Rockefeller, DuPont) and the demonization of the killer weed, when it was really the industrial uses of hemp that were the threat to established corporate power. I subsequently wrote the newly inaugurated Clinton & Gore, asking them to read the book and consider not only the impact to American agriculture and business, but the traditional medicinal qualities of the leaf and flower. I received a nice mass-produced facsimile-signed postcard thanking me for my input.

Now, at age 62, I still find it a powerful ally (in the Don Juan sense of the term) for relaxation and the enhanced enjoyment of art and sensual and intellectual pursuits. As a painkiller, which is the primary issue behind the current pot controversy, I've never found it to be very efficacious, certainly not compared to the poppy and the coca, which have been fully developed by pharmaceutical science over the last 150 years. This "dispensary" thing is almost laughable if it wasn't what I hope is the last gasp of the seventy-year prohibition of a benign and, indeed, therapeutic god-given herb. Sure, the government will step in to regulate, standardize, tax, distribute and subsidize the green gold, just as we expected them to do forty years ago. As long as they don't take away the right to grow and cure my own.

Jimi Bernath


Based on the vast number of marijuana dispensary ads in Westword, you should change the name to Westweed.



Westword should have a small pullout section just for medical marijuana. Being an MMJ patient myself, the only resources I have are the Denver Post, Westword, TV and the Internet. But everyone barely touches the story in depth, and we are all left in the dark with a feeling like we are still walking around on eggshells with the law. I already got arrested this year for marijuana cultivation, and even with the best medical marijuana attorney on my side, the law changes monthly, and it's a pain in the ass to keep up so I won't get busted again. I'm trying to do the right thing, and it's impossible to keep up!

Name withheld on request

We noticed that Cannabis Medical was featured in your new blog, Mile Highs and Lows. The information was mis-representative of our efforts.

We are the owners of two separately licensed and taxed businesses, Digital Impact Communications and Cannabis Medical Technology, that are housed in a building that we own. Ten years ago, we started working with a group that was determined to get legal medical marijuana access for the people of Colorado. We were a part of the process of getting enough signatures collected to place Amendment 20 on the ballot. After Amendment 20 became law, we started to legally grow medical marijuana for ourselves as patients. Requests began to come in from people we knew for Andy to be their caregiver and grow medication on their behalf. We became known for producing the finest quality of all organic medical marijuana.

In April 2006, we received our city and state tax licenses to open the first medical marijuana dispensary in Denver. Our purpose was to build relationships with our patients, understand their medical needs and explain how medical marijuana could help them. This was long before the rapid expansion of the medical marijuana industry that brought "retail medical marijuana" to Denver. We meet with our potential patients, determine how we can help them and ask to become their primary caregiver, which is in keeping with state law. If your blogger had chosen to become our patient, then he would have had access to the dispensary, our products and our support. The unregulated industry has forced us to keep a small supply to sell to those who have the state Medical Marijuana Registry Certificate but choose not to be our patients. However, we have quickly learned that not all who visit have the best intentions, and it is important to be vigilant for security reasons and operate within the law.

We support the regulation of the medical marijuana industry. There are many dispensaries that have recently opened to take advantage of the non-regulated industry and make quick, hefty profits. We are not one of those dispensaries. We care about our patients. Cannabis Medical is a place where patients can find love, compassion, care and relief.

Lori and Andy Cookston

Cannabis Medical, Denver

Editor's note: We've been waiting to exhale, but next week we'll finally reveal the results of our search for a medical marijuana dispensary reviewer. And in the December 3 issue, you'll find the inaugural issue of The Chronicle, complete with a handy guide to medical marijuana dispensaries in the metro area. If you know of one that should be included, e-mail [email protected].

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