Henry Rollins writes about his visit to Denver on 4/20: "Damn, that was a great day."
[The one and only Henry Rollins writes a weekly column for our sister paper, LA Weekly. You can find it every Thursday on their music blog, West Coast Sound. This week, he wrote about his trip to Denver for 4/20.]
4-19-14 Denver: 2250 hrs. In Denver to cover tomorrow's Cannabis Cup event. I got in from Houston a few hours ago.
I was in Texas almost two weeks and it was great, but I welcome the change in scenery. Before we went to the airport, we ate in a restaurant along the way. Christian rock -- that strange, neither-fish-nor-flesh music genre -- filled the establishment. The servings were enormous. Diners labored through their meals with grim determination. Entire families overweight, shrinking the diameters of their arteries with every rapidly congealing mouthful. On my way out, I saw a man about to eat a chicken-fried steak, covered in gravy, almost the size of the plate. One of the bumper stickers on a car outside had a gun with the caption "I don't call 911!" I bet you don't. You roll into the ER uninsured and stick me with the bill for your heart attack.
In Denver, I walked around for quite a while, looking for signs of a city disintegrating from the legalization of cannabis. I could not find any. I did see a lot of young people out on dates; none of them seemed to be stoned. The restaurants were filled with sleek, good-looking people who didn't seem to be at all perturbed that, in several locations in their very snazzy city, one can purchase cannabis products. In fact, I could not detect any signs of chaos or unrest anywhere. The end didn't seem to be nigh.
Tomorrow, I am heading to the Cannabis Cup to see what's happening. The site says CC events are scheduled in cities all over the country. If America can handle a few hundred assholes with guns strapped to them gathered at tea party rallies, I think the several thousand expected to show up tomorrow -- armed with, I don't know, clothes, cell phones and car keys -- shouldn't be a problem. I'll find out.
04-20-14 Denver: 2130 hrs. Damn, that was a great day. We arrived at "The Cup" a little before the 1100 hrs. opening. The line stretched around the parking lot. Thanks to a media pass, I was one of the first ones in. I stood facing the doors, watching people stream past me. Mostly young, white and very excited. Lots of happy noise. People yelled "Happy 4-20, Henry!" at me as they poured into the massive Denver Mart for day two of this epic event. I read on CNN.com that "tens of thousands of visitors -- by some estimates 80,000 -- [have] come to Denver to mark 4-20 (April 20), a date that's emerged as a holiday among those steeped in cannabis culture."
That's a lot of people, but that's missing the point. I don't think there is a "cannabis culture," any more than there is a "tobacco culture." Cannabis consumption is not a fringe-element interest. Some might like to think it is, but that's just prejudicial bullshit, intended to prolong the myth that only deviants and other undesirables seek out the weed.
Taking laps around the place, checking out the myriad booths, I wasn't surprised at how accessorized the consumption of cannabis has become. Every possible aspect of utilization seemed to have multiple companies competing for your dollar.