‘Cannabis Crown’ is not about medicine

Getting stoned is not the same thing as getting medicated.

Medical testing is generally conducted in sterile circumstances under careful controls designed to ensure that experiments are unaffected by outside factors, especially when dealing with human test subjects.

In those experiments, participants are given treatments and their reactions monitored. Some, of course, are given placebos so their reactions, or lack thereof, can be monitored.

Which brings us to that world-famous medical laboratory known as Aspen, Colorado.

Aspen’s cannabis fest has more in common with a wine festival than it does with serious medical research.

Contestants — think of them as aspirants to become Big Weed — are whipping up marijuana-infused brownies in hopes of capturing the Western Slope Cannabis Crown in what can only now be described as Potkin County.

The Western Slope Cannabis Crown doesn’t appear to be designed to determine what strain of marijuana might best be used to treat debilitating conditions related to cancer, glaucoma or HIV/AIDS, or symptoms of multiple sclerosis. That’s what voters were told was in Amendment 20 when they voted for it in 2000.

Knowing that background, someone unfamiliar with the West Slope in general or Aspen in particular might reasonably infer that Aspen must be filled with rest homes and the offices of physicians best known for ameliorating cancer-related pain, as opposed to the gathering place for the young and beautiful whose proclivity for injuries related to skiing or snowboarding has spawned world-renowned orthopedic practices aimed at fixing joints unrelated to the ravages of age or rheumatism.

Organizers of the Western Slope Cannabis Crown of course are quite serious about the venture and insist it’s nothing frivolous.

Tickets for the event in April are $25 and almost all 1,500 have been sold. “This is not about potheads running around the streets,” organizer Bobby Scurlock said.

Perhaps.

But whatever it is, the festival is not about medicine, which is bad enough. Worse, it trivializes and undermines the very real symptoms with which Colorado voters sympathized when they voted to legalize medical marijuana.

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