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Marijuana, guns, William Breathes in the New York Times and our place in the cultural divide

william breathes at pattys desk for daily show small.jpg
Breathes.
Is Colorado at the center of the U.S. cultural divide? Or does it just seem that way because the national media would rather capture America's pulse in Denver than Dayton. Would a little beauty queen's murder have gotten as much coverage if it had happened in Biloxi, not Boulder? But then came Columbine, and the Aurora shootings, and the legalization of recreational pot, which led to William Breathes's latest New York Times appearance.

Colorado crimes aside, the media comes here because it's an interesting place...and it's an interesting place because while Coloradans like to consider themselves independent, and often moved here (or stayed here) so they could be independent, they're also willing to work together for a common good -- if they can agree on the definition of "good."

And when it comes to both guns and pot, those definitions can be tricky.

The New York Times has been covering Colorado like a blanket lately. On Sunday, in a story headlined "U.S. Debate on Gun Laws Is Put to a Test in Colorado," the Times depicted Colorado as "a reluctant crucible for the battle over guns."

"This state, one of hunters and sport shooters, has endured two of the most horrific mass shootings in American history, and this year for the first time in more than a decade it could pass major gun-control legislation," report Jack Healy and Dan Frosch, in a piece that quotes both Governor John Hickenlooper and lawmaker Greg Brophy, from both sides of the cultural divide.

And yesterday, columnist Frank Bruni outlined "Colorado's Marijuana Muddle" in a piece that name-checks Hickenlooper (while shadowing him, Bruni discovered that dealing with Amendment 64 tops many municipalities' lists of challenges), William Breathes and, yes, me. And after spending a few days here, he concludes:

Presidential candidates have felt free to allude or own up to past marijuana use. So why all the hand wringing over pot's legalization, when its illegality isn't always taken seriously? If we have a problem with pot, we sure haven't behaved that way.

Colorado and Washington aren't being experimental so much as honest. They're acknowledging reality, and giving people the same chance with pot as with alcohol: to use it responsibly -- or not. They'll also pick up some tax revenue in the process.

That doesn't explain Columbine, or Aurora, or even JonBenet Ramsey. But after his visit to Colorado, Bruni comes out on the smart side of the cultural divide.

From our archives: "William Breathes looks back on three years as the country's first pot critic."



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20 comments
CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

¨and the legalization of recreational poT.¨

Where? Colorado? No.  

As Steve Fox and the state title board said, ¨to call it legalization would be confusing and misleading to the voters, what we are doing is regulating marijuana.¨ 

But you know that, right? Because Patti your a real editor and not a propagandist.  

Important things are happing with the constitution and you are using your possion to write a preteen newspaper saying how cool you are, becasue you have a pot critic.  

Please step aside we need real journilism.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Common sense for a common plant, and for common self-defense.

Freedom isn't always pretty, and it isn't always safe, but it's our best chance for prosperity.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Ask a Stupid Stoner ...

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@CoreyDonahue I think you can find your kind "real journalism" in the Denver Compost. Sadly, it lacks more than Westword.

ccapra
ccapra

@DonkeyHotay Maybe they'll get you your own column....Ask a Bitter Asshole.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident About which a lush would know nothing. Why do you hate freedom?

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

You should use your freedom of armed self-defense, while it still exists.

Monkey
Monkey

@Poiu  That's not freedom, that's fear of an un-likley event. Do you also want the freedom to not be struck by lightning?

bongsucker
bongsucker

@ccapra Keep your tongue out of Donkey's asshole and it won't taste so bitter.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ccapra ... shouldn't you be out smoking your pathetic ounce ... or tending to your 3-plant farm ?

LOL!

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay

1) Your term is typically used in regard to leftist bomb-throwers. I'm not a leftist, or a bomb-thrower.

2) Where did you see me advocate "armed resistance against the Government?" This is one reason I separate myself from the leftist bomb-throwers you keep trying to align me with--I'm NOT one of those.

3) Who said I just had pistols? Besides, several times as many crimes have been stopped with those "worthless pistols" as they've been used to commit. If they're so "worthless," why do the bureaucrats and military have them?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... as if a spineless closeted anarchist like you would ever have the courage to engage in armed resistance against the Government.

Your precious pistols = worthless paperweights

ccapra
ccapra

@bongsucker You seem to know a lot about the tasting of assholes, maybe they can give you a column too.

ccapra
ccapra

@bongsucker If you're going to come up with fake names to support yourself, I would hope you could be more creative going forward. 

ccapra
ccapra

@DonkeyHotay @ccapra Same lame, tired response.  You need to go away and refresh your material.  Do you keep them all hot-key'd so you can roll out the same 5 responses?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ccapra ... only a brain-dead bong-sucking stoner like you would think that surrendering total control of marijuana over to BigGovernment Regulators and the insatiable Dept. of Revenue -- all for a pathetic ounce and 3 plants -- is a good thing.

Keep sucking, stoner ... it's what you do best.

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