In recent years, people have been waking up to how weed benefits the community even beyond the general health attributes of the plant as a medicine. You can connect the dots easily enough from marijuana taxes to community programs but some cannabis clubs in Colorado Springs are taking a more direct approach in illustrating how the 420 community can give back to their neighborhoods. On Sunday, these clubs hosted a trash clean-up initiative with the promise of free joints on the other end. This gesture waves in the face of a ban on cannabis clubs proposed by the Colorado Springs city council; a ban which has since passed.
The Pothole Cannabis Club Cleanup
Steve Pacheco runs the Pothole
cannabis club in Colorado Springs. The Pothole is a members-only collective that offers a haven for herb smokers that crave a more social smoking experience. On Sunday, Pacheco set out with 300 joints in tow in hopes of inspiring volunteers to work for a cleaner community. The deal was simple: one bag filled with trash plucked from public space earned you a joint and a free lunch. Other area cannabis clubs got in on the act in a variety of locations spanning across Colorado Springs. Considering the annual LA River cleanup
gets a huge turnout offering free T-shirts and granola bars, you can easily guess that Pacheco returned to the Pothole Sunday night 300 joints lighter.
Pacheco’s group of volunteers were relegated to the area between Colorado Avenue and Cimarron Street in downtown Colorado Springs. While the area was said to be long overdue for a deep cleaning, it’s certain to be looking nicer with 300 bags of garbage removed from its surfaces, quickly accomplished within the brief window of noon until 2:00pm.
The Ban on Cannabis Clubs in Colorado Springs
Bill Murray (the Colorado Springs councilman, not the weed-advocating actor) was one of the volunteers claiming his free joint at the end of the 2-hour cleanup. Known for fighting against the majority of City Council members in favor of cannabis clubs, Murray told Colorado Springs’ News 5
that he was collecting his joint for his wife, who suffers from cancer. “I’m here to support my community, support the voters, and assist my wife as she needs it,” he explained. Murray tried in vain to block a ban against cannabis clubs instituted by the City Council members. The ban was initiated by Councilman Don Knight and officially in effect as of Tuesday, despite impassioned pleas from the clubs, Murray, and Councilwoman Jill Gaebler.
Carrying On for the Community
Yet, if Pacheco serves as any indicator, the clubs seem undeterred. He is vowing to keep the grass-for-garbage drive going on a monthly basis. The details of the club ban show that, while no new clubs can be created, existing clubs still have 8 years left before they need to dissolve. Perhaps Pacheco realizes that a lot can change in 8 years and feels a lot of goodwill could push some of those changes in the favor of the cannabis clubs.
Or perhaps it’s for the community to recognize that someone’s choice to smoke weed doesn’t mean s/he wants to live in a landfill. As Murray put it, “In the end, we’re not going to be defined by the marijuana, we’re going to be defined by the community, and if we don’t remember that, we’ve lost sight of what a real great city can be.” Now take Murray’s message for a “great city” and apply it to a great country or a great world and we may find ourselves even closer to the impression left by Pacheco’s cleanup: that the stoner at the cannabis club up the street wants a better world as much as anyone else and is just as capable of delivering it.
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