Photos: Free joint giveaway on Pearl Street Mall a mellow event

The second free-joint giveaway sponsored by opponents to Proposition AA, the marijuana taxation measure on November's ballot, took place beginning at 11 a.m. today on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall. And according to photographer Brandon Marshall, who snapped the images on view below, it was hardly a mob scene. While he estimates that as many as 300 people eventually took advantage of the offer, only about twenty folks or so were on hand at the start of the rally, when co-organizers Miguel Lopez and Rob Corry spoke about why they're against Prop AA.

As we've reported, the main problem with Proposition AA from the perspective of Lopez, Corry and company is not the concept of marijuana taxation but its size and scope. They argue that the Prop AA-set 15 percent excise tax and a special sales tax of 10 percent, which can be increased to 15 percent without an additional vote, would result in an overall tax burden of 30-40 percent when combined with regular state and local sales taxes. They don't see this taxation level as fair, particularly when compared to that of alcohol, the target of a special tax they say is usually in the 1 percent range.

Once this pitch was delivered from an area across from the Boulder County Courthouse, people began lining up to get their free joint. Marshall notes that there were two identification checkpoints, intended to make sure everyone present was age 21 or over, as required by Amendment 64. One person eyeballed IDs in line, and Lopez did so again at the table from which he dispensed the bonus for attending.

The average age of attendees was in the thirty-forty range, Marshall believes, with patients, some in wheelchairs, plus a number of elderly people, the homeless and current or post-college students part of a wide-ranging blend of humanity.

Four police officers -- two on the east side of the gathering, two on the west -- kept on eye on things, but they didn't need to interfere, in part because those on hand appeared to heed the warnings of Lopez and Corry and resisted the temptation to light up on site. (Smoking marijuana in public remains illegal in Colorado.)

Look below to see more photos from today's rally.

Continue for more photos of the No on Proposition AA rally and free-joint giveaway on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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

Latest Stories