NORML director salutes Wynkoop for advertising beer like weed

It's not often that a representative of NORML salutes beer.

But that's precisely what executive director Allen St. Pierre does, sort of, in a piece celebrating Denver's own Wynkoop Brewery for an ad that makes the watering hole seem like a medical marijuana center via a very green advertisement boasting that the joint's between "Dispensing Alternative Healing Since 1988."

But the plant at the center of the ad (on view below) isn't pot: It's hops.

In "Fake Medical Marijuana Ad Promotes Denver Brewery," St. Pierre, who spoke to Westword in advance of his keynote speech at Denver's 4/20 celebration, offers "kudos... for seizing upon the current cannabis reform zeitgeist in the country, and for not necessarily being threatened by the presence (and competition) of commercially available retail cannabis sales in the greater Denver-area."

Not that St. Pierre is exclusively peddling joy and camaraderie. He also takes the opportunity to knock Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, who co-owned the Wynkoop before his foray into politics. He writes:

BTW, ironically, Wynkoop Brewery was founded by Denver's anti-cannabis mayor, John Hickenlooper, who, after Denver's voters overwhelmingly approved a 2005 voter initiative that would have reduced the penalty for possessing one ounce of cannabis from a $100 fine to zero, decided to stiff the voters and not implement their will. Mr. Hickenlooper is no longer an owner of the Wynkoop Brewery.

Currently, however, Mr. Hickenlooper is running to be the next governor of Colorado. Voters there should remind Mr. Hickenlooper (and the media) of his supreme arrogance towards the will of voters and hypocrisy regarding his parochial views of alcohol use vs. cannabis use. Apparently, in his mind, it is 'OK' to own and operate a drug-making business regarding a dangerous and addictive product like alcohol -- but not cannabis (which, unlike alcohol products, cannabis can't deliver lethal overdoses and does not cause any where near the same degree of physical and mental impairment, addiction, cravings and withdrawals).

But if beer isn't as wonderful as weed, at least the Wynkoop has found a way to make it seem a little more appealing...

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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