Readers Debate Whether Anti-Pot Rat Cages Are Racist or Just Stupid

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Someone smoking in a re-messaged rat cage near the Denver Skatepark earlier this month.
We always appreciate it when interview subjects get involved with readers in comment sections -- and that's definitely been the case with our post about Boulder's rejection of human-sized rat cages used in the state's "Don't Be a Lab Rat" campaign -- one intended to dissuade teens from smoking pot. Marijuana lobbyist Shawn Coleman told us he believes the cages send a racist message and then eloquently and passionately defended his position, often at great length. Click here to read all of them -- but here's a representative exchange.

See also: Marijuana Backer Lauds Boulder for Rejecting "Racist" Anti-Pot Cages, Asks Hick to Apologize

Nathan Embree writes:

Good points were made until the guy said racism. Judging from the other comments posted, he came to that conclusion on his own, and now he is the one putting the racist idea in people's heads.
Shawn Coleman writes:
"Good points until the guy said racism" or that guy made a lot of sense until he got so "angry." I assure you, I have to spend a lot of time thinking about my words because my argument is always undermined if I appear angry because I'm black. As I said during the interview, I don't believe governor Hickenlooper intended to be racist, they don't understand the symbolism because they don't work in social justice and drug policy reform but those who do recognize it instantly, including by the way Boulder Valley School District. I call things as I see them, you're welcome to disagree but I ask you to consider the context.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.

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18 comments
Lynn Stiles
Lynn Stiles

Who ever thought of this needs to be stuck in one for an afternoon. Stupid sheeple.

LivCupcake Elgethun
LivCupcake Elgethun

I used to work in social justice, I'm white & I was more than just a stoner, I was a burn out. Now I have master's. The. 'Lab rat' is offensive, but I don 't see race here.

Matt Leising
Matt Leising

They're just extremely stupid. Cannabis users are not a race...

Kathryn Rogers
Kathryn Rogers

I'd like to stick some politicians in those cages!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

For you, it is not significant that Coleman tells other African-Americans they should militate against strictures preventing former felons from immediately taking jobs in dispensaries while they are still being made felons because of cannabis, but you are disengaged.  The Establishment, its lapdog media, the national drug policy organizations, the industry, and diehards who opposed Amendment 64 (but use cannabis) -- all have found common cause in not opposing the re-imposition of felonies for cannabis on constitutional grounds, and the vast majority of people believe, falsely, that "Colorado legalized marijuana" in consequence.  While every sale of cannabis outside dispensaries remains felonious, how dare Coleman so much as intimate that lack of economic opportunity is the problem?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@LivCupcake Elgethun "I was more than just a stoner, I was a burn out."


Imagine what you could have achieved had you not been such a loser stoner -- you might have gotten a PhD or become a Brain Surgeon,

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Matt Leising <== employed by a Greedy WHITE Big $$ Dispensary pig.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase


Angry White Guy, meet Angry Black Guy.


Merge your powers, people and mania into the Angry Oreo Coalition.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @RobertChase Whites aren't supposed to use that term in reference to blacks -- or so it was suggested to me when I (correctly) called Hancock "Mayor Oreo Cookie".

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... how about ...


Angry People Effecting Socially Helpful Integration Today!



RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@Ehloehl The term originated with blacks during the 1960s to describe those who served the interests of whites, dumbass.  Hancock is the ideal mayor for Denver's Establishment; people like you afford him total impunity.

Ehloehl
Ehloehl

Last I checked, you're white you racist ass-sucker.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@Ehloehl The point is that the Mayor does not serve the interests of most of the people who live here -- people of color, poor people, people who do not own property -- he serves the interests of Downtown business interests, anonymous ignoramus.  I spend my time militating for the common good and against laws with demonstrated racist effect; Shawn Coleman, a lobbyist for the cannabis industry (who, like the Mayor, happens to be black) spoke for well over an hour to the Colorado Black Roundtable and failed even to mention the existence of all the felonies for cannabis being applied to people on the streets (many of them people of color) -- I told them, but no one was listening.  As for "racist ass-sucker", have you confused the two of us?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "I spend my time militating ..."


True, you've got the hirsute palms to prove it.

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