Today, there's a dwindling number of journalists (or at least journalists getting paid for practicing their profession). But there are still plenty of journalism prizes -- although none quite like the one to be awarded to Westword at Sunday's Caregivers' Cup: a "press vape" award for the best medical marijuana coverage of last year.
We're speechless -- but Timothy Tipton, owner of the Rocky Mountain Caregivers Cooperative and organizer of the Cup, has plenty to say. He praises our coverage of "the medical marijuana community from a political standpoint, as well as making extra efforts to do reviews" -- check out our Mile Highs and Lows archive here -- "and provide service to the community" via features like our MMJ dispensary directory.
Still, the Cannabis Cup is about a lot more than little ol' us. Tipton provides the lowdown.
The Cup operates under the umbrella of "One Love, People Get Ready" events that got their start "six, almost seven years ago," he says. "They quickly grew to theater size -- and the Oriental Theatre became their home. They're open to patients and caregivers and free for the community, and always involved a pot luck, as it were, of members coming together with a variety of edibles, drinkables and vapables. It's a blending of art and music and education and advocacy all coming together for the common purpose of developing community."
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The popularity of the "One Love" get-togethers "reached the point where we've had as many as 600 or 700 people," Tipton notes, "and any financials that are derived go back to the event itself or for our indigent patients. We bring indigent patients from group homes and nursing homes, and they really look forward to getting out of their institutions for an evening and meeting with the rest of the community."
Beginning last year, these bashes were supplemented with quarterly Caregiverss Cup competitions, at which growers compete for recognition from their peers. "We give awards for most photogenic, best aroma, most potent," Tipton says. "We normally have about four vaporizers in the theater and also one-hitters available -- and it's a community judging situation. There's normally a $25 donation to become a judge, and in the past, they've judged upwards of 34 different strains in competition."
Attendees at the event, taking place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Oriental, 4335 W. 44th Avenue, must be legal patients or caregivers age 21 and over, with music provided by a live DJ. Tipton promises that a good time will be had by all and suggests that Westworders treat the press vape like the Stanley Cup, with each staff member getting the chance to spend a day with it.
Expect some serious publishing delays next week.