Marijuana Backer Lauds Boulder for Rejecting "Racist" Anti-Pot Cages, Asks Hick to Apologize

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Noting a study showing that teen marijuana use in Colorado has actually declined by 4 percent since 2009, Coleman argues that the state health department should "talk about the things that are already working -- like how no one got caught selling to anyone underage when there was an attempted sting of marijuana businesses. But instead of doing that, and instead of talking to people in the drug policy movement, they created these rat cages, which have some serious racial overtones.

"One of the reasons the War on Drugs is starting to end is because people are tired of black and brown people being thrown in jail for marijuana," he continues. "And these rat cages are the exact same size as a human prison cell. How can they believe people won't make that connection immediately? It's terrible that we incarcerate black and Latino men in outrageous numbers for marijuana use -- and then they come out with a campaign with cages?"

The lab rat concept rubs Coleman the wrong way on another front, too. "We've got people who are taking medical cannabis for epilepsy and the results have been incredible. We've got people whose kids were dying, but now their lives are being saved because of medical cannabis. A lot of these people moved from across the country in order to save their kids, and now we have the state telling them they're nothing but an experiment.

"People like John Hickenlooper clearly didn't think about these things," Coleman continues. "But now, the governor should say, 'We just botched this. We didn't do our homework. Next time, we'll do better.' And they need to apologize -- release a statement saying they're sorry and they didn't realize how many people they would offend."

In addition, Coleman feels the medical cannabis community should be consulted about future educational campaigns. "We've had people from our industry doing fundraisers for the governor, and yet we've got his administration saying Colorado is nothing but a bunch of guinea pigs in this experiment, and that's not right. Hickenlooper wants to be the governor of a state where 55 percent of the people think marijuana should legal. He should either get on board or not be governor anymore."

Look below to see one of the "Don't Be a Lab Rat" movie-theater ads, a public-service announcement and the aforementioned CBS4 report.

Don't Be a Lab Rat's Anti-Pot Theater Ad from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

Don't Be a Lab Rat's Anti-Pot TV Ad from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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