Ken Gorman’s Murder 7th Anniversary

Folks, today is the 7th year since marijuana activist Ken Gorman was murdered in his home in Denver. Please smoke a bowl to celebrate Ken’s life even if you didn’t know him personally.

I worked closely with Ken on several projects, including his “It’s a Cannabis Christmas” comedy CD which he produced and attended many 420 rallies with him where he threw out joints. He had a fire about him – one time I was with him at fast food burger joint Wendy’s when Ken told the youth group teenagers in front of us their burgers would taste better after a joint, and that cannabis was in the bible. They laughed and smiled but only said they were with their church right now. Later while Ken and I were eating, a Holy Bible slammed down on the table, disrupting my fries. A pissed off youth group leader had heard the comment about cannabis in the bible and demanded Ken “Show Me Where.” Ken calmly opened the first page to Genesis, read the verse about “Seed bearing plants” and asked the gentleman, “Now then, does the cannabis plant have seeds?” I would have laughed out loud had I not feared the Christian would have gone devil on us in a rage, but he didn’t. He said a few more words about not appreciating Ken talking about drugs to his youth group and walked away – maybe with a new respect for the plant. That’s just the kind of guy Ken was – he was a riot to be around, always causing “trouble” but he genuinely cared for the people in his life, and those he just met that he could help.

Ken always told his close friends he would be killed in a “drug deal gone bad” and the police would never solve it, but it would lead to marijuana being legalized world-wide. I never believed him, until 7 years ago he was murdered – shot in the chest – in a “drug deal gone bad.” At the ensuing 420 rally after his death, the formation of the movement that would legalize marijuana in Colorado was founded; set in stone and ready to mobilize. What we accomplished together has made history here, and now we are seeing pot laws changing the world over. All because of a movement that was made so strong by one event. One man’s death – his sacrifice – made all of us here realize just how important it was that cannabis laws be changed and now, no more waiting and BS’ing around. The simple fact is big money came in at the last second to help Colorado legalize. The groundswell was growing already, through grassroots efforts led by brave men, brave truth tellers, like Ken Gorman.

Ken exemplifies George Carlin’s quote, “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” Gorman was a revolutionary act his whole life. He told the truth, even to those that weren’t willing to listen yet. Now they hear the 420 music, Ken :-)

Miguel Lopez, the bearer of the torch for the Mile High City’s 420 rally, wrote and released a nice press piece about Ken. I have included it for you to read here. Please take a toke to Governor Pothead, the KG1, Ken Gorman. Rest in Peace, my friend, knowing the people you taught the game saw victory in your state first. Viva~ Capn Cannabis Feb 17th 2014

 

The following is the press release from Miguel Lopez:

 

FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE

Ken Gorman murdered seven years ago today. Legacy lives on while murder remains unsolved.

February 17, 2014 – Denver, CO – Seven years ago today, gunmen in masks walked into renowned marijuana activist Ken Gorman’s home and shot him in the chest. The murderers left cash and marijuana behind, and Ken’s death left behind grieving marijuana activists. His murder remains unsolved.

Ken’s lasting legacy is one that touched members of the marijuana community of all walks, but primarily the poor and disadvantaged. His charisma attracted a large following and he had an almost cult like following of young urban adults of whom many were homeless or poor. He taught of the injustices of marijuana prohibition and how it impacted minority and poorer communities the most. In 1993 he started the Denver 420 Rally at Civic Center Park, which through time gathered hundreds of attendees.

Many people in the marijuana scene today never knew Ken. Acting as though they were the ones to bring about the drug policy reform Ken launched in Colorado, they forget that there were people who literally made the ultimate sacrifice for them to be able to capitalize on the growing marijuana industry. It is the explicit desire of the Denver 420 Rally to remind the marijuana community of the history of one of its founders. The Denver 420 Rally also strives to keep his memory alive and see his murderers brought to justice.

Tragically, the fact that Ken’s murder has never been solved highlights an issue that is largely ignored by the general public, and that is the reality that law enforcement rarely serves justice for the poor.

The Denver 420 Rally experienced this recently with last year’s shooting. The Denver Police and Denver City Council want to nag the organizers of the rally about security, yet even with cameras and witnesses, they still haven’t found the shooter. Federal agents nabbed the Boston bomber and he wasn’t even at the scene! This goes to show the level of priority being given to two different communities. To add insult to injury, cops this year plan to write citations in spite of the $11,000 that the Denver 420 Rally paid for the permit. They don’t write citations for The Taste of Denver, which also draws a wealthier crowd.

This year will be the Denver 420 Rally’s biggest event yet. Historically a rally, the Denver 420 Rally is evolving into a festival. Yet, that does not mean that the organization will stop being a political organization and promoting human and civil rights. There have been a lot of positive changes in drug policy reform, but until everyone is free and marijuana is decriminalized, the Denver 420 Rally will still be championing for social justice.

We hope to see you there and in the famous words of the late Ken Gorman, “Keep on smoking them joints!”