What’s clever about the photo is how this couple, and a Denver Post photographer (perhaps the inspiration of a contact high?) frame two separate events at once. At the stroke of midnight on December 31st, the shotgun toke simultaneously represents a New Years Eve kiss and the first moment of marijuana legalization in Colorado.
The photo delivers a greater high than that, though. With the not exactly spliff-minded Denver Post offering up this ingestion ritual as part of a beefy legalization slideshow, it delivers a fiendish blow to the media/visual media prohibition on ganga as everyday subject matter. If pot culture has been having its own tea party for decades, what is mind expanding is the sudden elimination of the taboo as maryjane transforms overnight into a mainstream discussion product. We’re not just talking about new editorial content hitting the market, however. What produces a most intense hit on social media than sticky, fine grown, pungent language? Given the dizzying multiplicity of varieties, paraphernalia, technology, and weed acquisition and consumption practices — a universe of euphemisms having evolved to support all that subculture toasting just under the radar — one thing you can bank on this year is legalization providing its own intense buzz as media and social media harvests the High Times visual and linguistic vocabulary.
(photo: Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post caption: At midnight, Rudy Garcia shares his pot smoke with his girlfriend Kalaja Olguin as the two celebrate the new year and the beginning of legal retail sales of pot in Colorado while thousands of people celebrate the new year on the 16th Street Mall in Denver, Co on December 31, 2013.)