Weirdest Marijuana Stories of 2015

When perusing our Marijuana archives, we made a simple yet profound discovery:

A lot of the cannabis-related posts we published in 2015 were, for want of a better word, weird.

And definitely worth sharing again.

Below, find excerpts five of the strangest pot stories from last year, complete with photos and links to the rest of the story. Enjoy.

January 28, 2015

Nederland was considered one of Colorado's most pot-friendly places long before Amendment 64 passed. Growers have found solace in the hills around the tiny town for decades, and people burning bowls outside of acoustic jams and coffeehouses was commonplace for years. So it was no surprise that 73 percent of the voters there approved Amendment 64 in November 2012.

Now some Nederland residents want to take it a step further by making their town a cannabis sanctuary.

Closer to the Heart Cannabis Ministry, founded by well-known pot activist Kathleen Chippi, has begun collecting signatures to get an initiative on the April ballot that would prevent the town from enforcing any laws regarding cannabis if the herb is being used medically or spiritually. According to Chippi, the law is modeled after sanctuary-city laws passed in the 1980s that protected Central and South American refugees in the United States from deportation. Like those immigrants, cannabis users need protection, Chippi says, because cannabis isn't as legal in Colorado as the general public thinks.

For the rest of the post, click here.

February 20, 2015

Update below: When we previewed the announcement of new lawsuits targeted Colorado's pot laws(filed by Safe Streets Alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based group that misspelled "marijuana" in its press release), we noted that one of the challenges for the plaintiffs would be establishing standing in court — in other words, demonstrating that the state's legalization of limited recreational cannabis sales had caused injury.

To address this issue, the two SSA lawsuits were filed on behalf of others, with the first naming a pair of landowners who say a nearby grow has made riding horses on their property less pleasant, among other things, and the second listing owners of a hotel who say they've had a couple of cancellations due to a nearby business that isn't even operating yet.

The Safe Streets Alliance announcement of the suits, on the steps of the State Capitol, didn't exactly attract a throng. Aside from the media, the largest group of onlookers listening to attorney David Thompson argue that federal drug law supersedes regulations established by states represented organizations such as the Marijuana Policy Project, which had staged an earlier press event to decry the SSA efforts.

As for the lawsuits themselves, they're a curious pair of documents. The first names as plaintiffs the SSA and the married couple of Phillis Windy Hope Reilly and Michael P. Reilly — but it doesn't get around to talking about the pair's situation until page 25 of the document.

The Reillys own three lots in a development called the Meadows at Legacy Ranch — "approximately 105 acres of beautiful rolling pasture with sweeping mountain vistas that include views of Pike's Peak," the suit notes. And while they don't actually live on the land, they like to visit there on the weekends so that their kids can ride horses and hike.

A marijuana grow is adjacent to the Reillys' property, at 6480 Pickney Road — and that's a problem, the suit maintains, because "growing recreational marijuana is 'noxious, annoying or offensive activity' by virtually any definition because marijuana plants are highly odorous, and their offense smell travels long distances." Hence, the suit maintains that the grow violates assorted covenants governing Meadows at Legacy Ranch, thereby impinging on their ability to enjoy their land as they'd like.

For the rest of the post, click here.

February 27, 2015

Over the past couple of years, we've shared plenty of stories about drivers who feel they've been pot-profiled in other states because their vehicle had Colorado license plates.

Most recently, we shared the story of Gabriel Campbell, who was pulled over in Texas for an extremely minor infraction — after which law-enforcers found five pounds of cannabis in the trunk of his Colorado car.

Plenty of Colorado drivers haven't had this experience, though — including one reader who was actually hoping it would happen and seems disappointed it didn't. Here's his humorous account, shared with us via e-mail.

So I just went on a road trip and thought I would travel the dreaded I-76 to I-80 corridor from Denver to Toledo, Ohio — as much as I would have loved to get pulled over to allow a brow-beating over my thoughts of Nebraska's lawsuit and Colorado plate-profiling reports.

I left on my journey in a vehicle I thought they would hopefully profile: pickup, dark-tint windows, bed cover and looking heavily loaded (actually empty), and me with long beard and mustache, long hair, greasy-looking.

I swerved and drove at erratic speeds — everything that here at home would get me instantly flagged and looked into. BUT not a damn thing. Not a look, not a "Slow down, wake up" or an "I am here behind you watching you" attention-getter. Matter of fact, I was very depressed that short of cutting off a state trooper, I wasn't drawing enough interest.

Don't get me wrong: My wife and I counted no less than 32 troopers racing up and down the highway, lights flashing, siren blaring. But NO: I had CO plates, looked like a suspicious driver hiding something in my truck, but all we saw ere cars with Nebraska tags getting the treatment. Same for Iowa, Ohio and back through Iowa and Nebraska to home.

Guess they just lost interest in us Colorado legal hippies bringing all that top-grade weed into THEIR overworked, over-budget, over-taxed, non-drug state — or maybe they have no more room in their "full of CO druggies" jails.

Oh well, maybe I'll try to sneak in some education material next time. Who knows?

For the rest of the post, click here.

May 29, 2015

People perusing Craiglist are typically looking for love or searching for bargains.

This ad one of our readers stumbled upon certainly appears to offer the latter. It features a 1979 Volkswagen Bus — the kind of vehicle that generations of free spirits have transformed into hippie vans — selling for the incredibly low price of $35.

Really. That's what it says. And even if you get bad vibes by the vehicle being located in Crook (it's a town in Logan County), perhaps the owner's flexibility will reassure you.

After all, he isn't insisting on cash: He's willing to trade.

But not for marijuana.

The text of the ad reads:

1979 VW Bay Window Bus — $35 (Crook)

Pretty clean, nearly rust free body, has an auto trans in the back with unknown condition, no motor.
Has a title. has some bondo but it has been on long enough that rust would have come through if
there was any. What you see is what you get.
Delivery available.
Make an offer or trade 
no dope please

For the rest of the post, click here.


June 19, 2015

To our knowledge, Westword has never before published a post about cannibalistic rats.

But that's appropriate, because we're guessing the officers who discovered hundreds of rats, both dead and alive, in the garage attached to a marijuana grow house hadn't seen anything quite like what they discovered Wednesday, either.

About 10 a.m. on June 17, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, dispatchers received an anonymous tip about "a large number of rodents living in poor conditions in the garage of a home."

Inside, the JCSO notes, officers found what are described as "a large number of homemade 'cages' containing both live and dead rats," as well as a large supply of additional creatures apparently being bred for sale to pet stores.

The final count: 116 dead rats, 123 live rats, four dead mice, six live mice, 96 live Geckos and sixty live exotic snakes.

By the way, the aforementioned "cages" were actually large, black, plastic containers that weren't exposed to light and had little ventilation. In addition, a number of them were filled with water in which some of the dead rats were found floating.

But while water was plentiful, food apparently wasn't. As a result, the rats resorted to what the JCSO dubs "cannibalistic behavior."

For the rest of the post, click here.

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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