Today marks the fifth anniversary of the still-unsolved murder of Ken Gorman, a man many consider the forefather of Colorado cannabis activism.
Gorman, a Denver native, became active in the marijuana community in the early 1990s and quickly became known for his open advertising for marijuana on Westword's back page and political events at the State Capitol. To this day, cannabis activists rally at the Capitol on the last Saturday of every month in his honor.
In addition, Gorman helped pioneer the caregiver system after voters approved medical marijuana in Colorado in 2000. A caregiver himself, Gorman was known for his devotion to medical marijuana and helping patients. But he never lost sight of full legalization for everyone.
In February 2007, after getting robbed several times and being the focus of a CBS4 investigation, intruders broke into Gorman's home yet again. As former Westword writer J. David McSwane chronicled in his 2010 feature on the murder, Gorman had bought a shotgun to protect himself and his plants -- but he couldn't get to it in time. The intruders shot and killed him, leaving behind stacks of money and bags of cannabis but few clues as to their identities or motives. Some say it was a calculated hit, others that it was a botched heist.
Five years later, Gorman's unsolved killing is still fresh in the minds of activists. As longtime Colorado cannabis personality Jessica "Cheesecake Lady" LaRoux says: "Some of us can never forget [his legacy]. It's my mission to get the people in this industry to do their homework and learn the history of the movement in this state, and have respect for those that paved the way."
In Gorman's memory today, we've pulled together samples of our coverage over the years. Click to read more about this unique Coloradan.
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Also be sure to check out this classic 9News video of an ornery Gorman talking about a 1995 measure that would have legalized hemp in Colorado:
Please feel free to share your memories about Ken in the comments below.
William Breathes is the pot pen name for Westword's medical marijuana dispensary critic. Read more of his reviews over at Mile Highs and Lows and catch up with all your marijuana news here at The Latest Word.