Sunday, April 20, 2008

Rally Your Troops! (#5)

It's a A Western Capitol Hill 4/20-420.

Photo from a '90s era Pot Rally at the State Capitol:
Text from my fictional novel A Western Capitol Hill:

It incenses [Governor]
Gutierrez when a crowd of 1,200 gathers outside the Capitol, smoking pot openly as they listen to bands and speakers. They’re mostly underage kids, too. And no arrests are made. No Denver police – at least in uniform – are even in sight. If the police had been there as a visible presence, they’d have to arrest someone, right? Well, you’d think so. Denver voters may have legalized marijuana possession at the ballot box, but cops could still write tickets under the state law. Obviously, the beat cops had been ordered to stay away.

A tall, bulky guy with a bushy beard and thinning hair screams into a microphone on the Capitol steps. His voice thunders from a mega-watt public address system, echoing all the way downtown.

“Governor Gutierrez!” he yells, assaulting the mike with his lungs, spittle flying. “Take back your un-freedom-like stance against the hemp plant! Laws against cannabis were first passed back in the 1930s due to racism against Mexicans! One newspaper editor in Southern Colorado even wrote the following: ‘I wish I could show you what a small marihuana cigarette can do to one of our degenerate Spanish-speaking residents. That's why our problem is so great; the greatest percentage of our population is composed of Spanish-speaking persons, most of who are low mentally, because of social and racial conditions.’ As a Mexican-American, Governor Gutierrez, you ought to be ashamed of yourself to still be enforcing laws against marijuana!”

“Boo!” howls a segment of the crowd. Which is apropos, since boo was also at one time a slang term for marijuana.

Following the speaker, a creepy amalgamation of musicians begins a death-metal version of Black Sabbath’s song “Sweet Leaf.”

Among the throngs of underage tokers wanders Phillip “Philly” Gutierrez, the Governor’s fourteen-year-old-son. A black ski mask with holes for the eyes and mouth obscures most of his face. He raises it up, though, in order to puff on a spliff the size of a submarine sandwich that’s being hoisted and passed around the crowd.

A hidden videocam in the crowd records the moment.

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