|Law enforcement groups are complaining about these marijuana convention ads found on Denver city buses, but the transportation district says the ads will stay.
Colorado law enforcement groups are complaining about ads for a marijuana convention that are on city buses in Denver.
The Colorado Drug Investigators Association — an extremist group already infamous for claiming it was funded by Starbucks, which hastily denied any connection to the group — wrote in a letter last week to the Regional Transportation District (RTD) board of directors that it worries that the ads, promoting the KushCon cannabis convention, “send the wrong message.”
“Advertising a marijuana conference, on the sides of Colorado’s main source of public transportation, will do anything but prevent further drug abuse,” sniffed Jerry Peters, CDIA’s vice president and, surprise-surprise, an investigator with the North Metro Drug Task Force, reports John Ingold at The Denver Post.
|Graphic: KushCon II
Peters asked RTD to remove the KushCon ads from city buses.
On Friday, another state law enforcement group joined the unseemly chorus. Daniel Brennan, president of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, said his organization was working on a letter to RTD about the ads.
“We’re sending mixed messages, I think, to the public and to the youth on this,” said Brennan, who is also chief of police at Wheat Ridge.
But RTD spokesman Scott Reed said on Friday that the marijuana convention ads would stay on buses — although the transportation district did ask KushCon to modify them slightly to make it clearer that they are paid advertisements.
“It’s an ad for an event that is being legally held at the Colorado Convention Center,” Reed reasonably said. “There should be no implication of support or endorsement for that event.”
RTD policy bans ads for illegal products of services. Because cannabis distribution is illegal for any purpose under federal law, RTD does not allow ads for medical marijuana dispensaries, even though medicinal pot is legal in Colorado.
But KushCon, billed as a “cannabis lifestyle” convention with appeal to marijuana enthusiasts, is a legal event that will not include marijuana on-site.
The event’s main purpose is to provide information to medical marijuana patients and other curious people, according to Bob Selan, CEO of Dbdotcom, which publishes Kush Magazine and is sponsoring the convention.
“I think the signs on the buses are pretty harmless,” Selan said. “They’re saying, ‘Have a Kush Day!’ They’re not saying, ‘Go smoke marijuana.’ “
The convention runs from Friday, December 17 through Sunday, December 19. It will feature classes on growing and cooking marijuana, speeches, booths, a skateboarding demonstration and live music.
Law enforcement officers claim that what they see as promotion of marijuana will lead to bad things like more stoned driving or increased teen drug use.
According to cops, the KushCon ads are evidence that anti-marijuana groups are losing the message battle. “From a prevention and education perspective, we have a lot of work to do,” Brennan said.