Fake Medical Marijuana Advertisement Used To Promote Anti-Cannabis Mayor’s Brewery In Denver

In what has to be one of the more unique advertising campaigns currently found in the United States, a notable Denver brewery takes great advantage of the changing mores and values in Colorado that have ushered in hundreds of medical cannabis dispensaries throughout the state.

Kudos to the Wynkoop Brewery (and their ad firm) for seizing upon the current cannabis reform zeitgeist in the country, and for not necessarily being threatened by the presence (and competition) of commercially available retail cannabis sales in the greater Denver-area.

BTW, ironically, Wynkoop Brewery was founded by Denver’s anti-cannabis mayor, John Hickenlooper, who, after Denver’s voters overwhelmingly approved a 2005 voter initiative that would have reduced the penalty for possessing one ounce of cannabis from a $100 fine to zero, decided to stiff the voters and not implement their will. Mr. Hickenlooper is no longer an owner of the Wynkoop Brewery.

Currently, however, Mr. Hickenlooper is running to be the next governor of Colorado. Voters there should remind Mr. Hickenlooper (and the media) of his supreme arrogance towards the will of voters and hypocrisy regarding his parochial views of alcohol use vs. cannabis use. Apparently, in his mind, it is ‘OK’ to own and operate a drug-making business regarding a dangerous and addictive product like alcohol–but not cannabis (which, unlike alcohol products, cannabis can’t deliver lethal overdoses and does not cause any where near the same degree of physical and mental impairment, addiction, cravings and withdrawals).


72 thoughts

  1. Just goes to show the ignorance running rampant about the effects of marijuana. 50 some odd years ago and gov’t and establishments still using the good ol’ scare tactics. Classic!

  2. the fact that he screwed the will of the ppl should bar him from ever holding any form of public office

    i wanna see a big campaign against this swine

  3. Mr Hickenlooper as a former owner of a brewery seems to have a serious conflict of interest and should have abstained from using his one powerful vote to override the will of the people. Pity something legal cannot be done to thwart this abuse of power before he enters the upcoming election. The brewery was clever, yes, but is beer really an “alternative healing”, or are they attempting to make a mockery of herb’s true healing properties by saying it is the altered consciousness that is healed? This smacks of deceptive advertising, and prescribing without a license. Cute, but not right, IMHO.

  4. I actually feel this is a sort of good point, not just a silly joke on the mayor’s behalf: alcohol has medicinal value. Indeed, alcohol is addictive and potentially dangerous but it isn’t just ‘goofing’ to treat it as medicine: morphine and opium are, like alcohol, potentially useful pain killers in some cases. All modern ‘recreational’ drugs have at least some sort of reasonable medicinal value; I’m skeptical about giving amphetamines to kids, like doctors today so often do, but I can’t deny that there is some small medicinal value to the drug itself in adults (I don’t wish amphetamine addiction for my ‘worst enemy’ and I don’t recommend the drug).
    The mayor was trying to offer serious critique in a funny way (SNL-style) except, I actually feel it can be taking without the irony: if your heart is aching (the muscles are aching) then a small amount of alcohol really does the trick… it depresses the CNS and allows the heart to relax and that is totally acceptable modern medicine. Alcohol for every ailment is not ok, but in small doses it has benefits. In closing, cannabis has many more benefits than alcohol, alcohol has many more down-sides but both should be sold legally without prescription and regulated by a responsible governmental body… warning labels & education is called for, not prohibition.

  5. I’m sorry is their something here that I’ve missed. The people voted on referendum and passed something into law. I didn’t know the Mayor somehow had the ability to outright disenfranchise voters. In a state where HST was almost elected county sheriff on the Freak Power ticket, if this man somehow becomes governor I suggest colorado succeeds from the union with texas and arizona.

  6. Denver and Colorado voters should take note and REMEMBER COME NOVEMEBER the IDIOT that disregarded the will and voice of the people. He would do on a much larger scale as Governor what he did as Mayor, implement his own will instead of that of the people.

  7. Mr. Hickenlooper needs to go the way of the dinosaurs! I salute the Wynkoop Brewery for showing that they are in touch with their customers and know the difference between right and wrong. Cool Ad!

  8. ………..and who do you think bombed the medical Marijuana dispnsaries in Montana recently ? Drunks , promoters of Alcohol or perhaps those tied to the Pharmaceutical business .

  9. I only hope that the residence of Colorado have enough sense to know ANYTHING about who they vote for as Governor.

  10. Hundreds of alcohol overdose deaths occur annually. There has never been a single recorded marijuana OD fatality.

    According to the American Public Health Association, excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of death in this country. APHA pegs the negative economic impact of extreme drinking at $150 billion a year.

    There have been no documented cases of lung cancer in a marijuana-only smoker, nor has pot been scientifically linked to any type of cancer. (Don’t trust an advocate’s take on this? Try the fair and balanced coverage over at Fox.) Alcohol abuse contributes to a multitude of long-term negative health consequences, notably cirrhosis of the liver and a variety of cancers.

    While a small quantity, taken daily, is being touted for its salutary health effects, alcohol is one of the worst drugs one can take for pain management, marijuana one of the best.

    Alcohol contributes to acts of violence; marijuana reduces aggression. In approximately three million cases of reported violent crimes last year, the offender had been drinking. This is particularly true in cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, and date rape. Marijuana use, in and of itself, is absent from both crime reports and the scientific literature. There is simply no link to be made .
    I rest my case .

    THE TRUTH DOCTOR / California

  11. Hops is a cannabinoid. I’m beginning to see what’s going on here: How is it that one cannabinoid is perfectly legal to grow and use in beer while one cannabinoid has been illegal for 73 years? I think this ad is trying to point out a certain hypocrisy.

  12. NORML…I saw this posted on facebook today using your name and SSDP.This can’t be a real commercial made by NORML…please check it out…

    [Editor’s note: Thanks for your concern re the video, which was not produced or placed online by either SSDP or NORML. The video, like so many others online, appears to be just a random person placing a random YouTube video online, while misappropriating trademarks, as neither organization would sanction a video like that…well intended as it maybe.]

  13. for real i dont see anything wrong here. i think its funny, and shows how mainstream medical cannabis is becoming.

  14. Holy Smokes. Remember today those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

    The Rev.

  15. Sorry to say, profits,greed and ignroance over ride a government of the people,by the people and for the people every time.

  16. I’m glad politicians can just disregard VOTING. It’s not like hundreds of thousands of soldiers gave their lives for that right.
    I’m not even that mad about the cannabis thing, I’m pissed off that people voted in this initiative and he didn’t implement it.

  17. That Mayor in Colorado is a POS and Im sure hes getting monies from any company that will dog Cannabis !!! this is how people in office have always worked, give’em money and they will work for you…!!!
    Count on me dogging this beer company…
    Their gasping for straws to keep Cannabis illegal…
    If they don’t wannt smoke it, leys use cannabis plants to produce gas, metals, fabric’s, paper…etc
    and don’t even think about a possible cure for cancer with hemp…!!! and the tax that can benefit Americans… GOOD GOD, when will this end??? vote YES for cannabis and get the hell all these anti anti cannabis pricks outta office…ASAP, 54 % Americans want it & its gonna happen…SOON…!!! wanna be the ext president? make pot legal !!!

  18. 54% in favor of cannabis, Im running for the next president & will win easy…!!! this is the only reason obama was elected as president lair, he will not be our pres next term !!! But you watch, obama will start talking in favor of cannabis in hopes of a 2nd term…

  19. All of you prohibitionist scum weasels need to understand one thing. Marijunana is of the people, by the people, and FOR the people.

    Any idiot politician that attempts to stop the surge towards outright legalization NATIONALLY by 2012 will be voted out of office. NOTHING will stop us – we’re tired of the bullshit.

    If you want to terrorize families and kill pets, you’d best join the military and head to the Middle East because it ain’t happening here anymore.

  20. Ron, I totally agree with you. When it comes time for President Obama’s reelection, he will start talking in favor of Cannabis, just as he wasn’t shy to say he “inhaled frequently” because “that was the point” on his campaign trail. He got elected over a bunch of lies, some 500+ lies. While not all of the promises he made may have turned out to be lies, the majority did and will continue to do so.

    If he doesn’t quit favoring Cannabis only come election year, I do not see him winning a second term either!

  21. All that this shows is that cannabis has become more mainstream in Denver Colorado. I hope more outside businesses promote cannabis acceptance. Denver and Boulder are well on their way to becoming legal cannabis cultures!

  22. Posing alcohol as medecine is not funny, especially in the present context.

    Once again let us be reminded:


    “Another interesting provision to prohibition was that alcohol was available via a physician’s prescription. For centuries liquor had been used for medicinal purposes, in fact many of the liqueurs we know today were first developed as miracle cures for various ailments. Despite the fact that in 1916 whiskey and brandy were removed from The Pharmacopeia of the United States of America and in 1917 the American Medical Association stated that alcohol “…use in therapeutics as a tonic or stimulant or for food has no scientific value…” and voted in support of prohibition, there was still a belief in liquor’s medicinal benefits among many.

    Because of this established belief that liquor could cure and prevent a variety of ailments, doctors were still able to prescribe liquor to patients on a specially designed government prescription form that could be filled at any pharmacy. When medicinal whiskey stocks were low the government would increase its production. A significant amount of the prescription alcohol supplies were diverted from their intended destinations by bootleggers and corrupt individuals during prohibition.

    Churches and clergy had a provision as well, which allowed them to receive wine for sacrament. This also led to corruption, as there are many accounts of people certifying themselves as ministers and rabbis in order to obtain and distribute large quantities of sacramental wine.”

    Obviously, the new owner of the brewery is sympathetic to the use of cannabis, but should have taken a more thoughtful view of the issue in their ad campaign.

    The history of medicine in this country includes the selling of quack remedies, potions that were claimed to heal you when all they did was make you high. Alcohol was frequently an ingredient.

    Coca Cola started out being sold as quack medicine, it then became a tonic and after they took the active ingredients out of the coca extract, it became soda pop. Ironically, soda pop was sold as healthy alternatives to alcohol during prohibition.

  23. I AGREE with UMCC Look if you think its going to be cheaper cuase its so called leagle your crazy .. The so called sin taxes will over time get bigger and bigger . and the under ground market will go on and on .. In response tougher laws against folks growing pot will OVER time get tougher and tougher . You think its bad now try taking money from the government and see how far you get !!!

    .Right now ANY ONE can get medical Pot see a doc and your good to go . I say so called leagle because it will be just that .. You better not smoke and drive within at least 48 hours or guess what your busted … Better not smoke in a public place .. or you will be busted .. Better not have a party and a 20 year old smokes it even if you didnt know or your busted …The list will go on and on …There will THC check points . Second hand smoke laws passed ..ETC.

    We ALL have stress see a doc , get your script and your done ..I did and it was soooo easy ..

  24. #24 i wouldnt doubt it,come time to get revoted then its ok to start talkin cannabis

  25. Mexico = “This is an outrage”
    Emery = “Who does our country think they are?”
    Jamaica = “………………….”

    [Editor’s note: What does a longtime Jamaican drug kingpin being sought by Jamaican police and the DEA have to do with cannabis laws of any notable import? What apparently causes political and general public concerns about Mexico and Emery is the former’s volume of public shootings/murders, along with its immediate proximity to the US is alarming and the latter’s is an actual pro-cannabis political activist and pro-reform philanthropist being punished outside of his country for non-crimes in his country (i.e., selling cannabis seeds).

    From all media accounts, the folks in Jamaica in question are longtime (20-30 years) violent criminal syndicates.]

  26. the fact is, “medical alcohol” did exist during the prohibition of that drug. You have to love people who speak without knowing the roots of their livelihood.

  27. While some of these points are valid, we are all forgetting it’s apples and oranges. The two should not even be compared. While most recreational users do use marijuana to alter their perceptions, we are free from the benefits of processing. Unlike alcohol which needs brewing and buying ingredients to make the desired “cocktail”. Looking at legalization from a consumers perspective, I would like to see a proliferation in homegrown cultivation. I would prefer to be allowed to grow my own, thus controlling my own costs. I do not think I would need to exceed certain California and Oregon current cultivation guidelines. But I was thinking, why should we be limited in the amounts we can grow? If everyone with a greenthumb decided to grow, competition would drive prices down. Theoretically, not everyone would like to grow, but those that did could make a small living. I know I could supply at least 20 people year round from an outdoor greenhouse. How many posters would grow? I’m #1, who’s #2?

  28. Guys, You really need to understand something. Medical healing of alcohol is going back to their roots. We are using the same type of advertising as alcohol did (and apparently are going to do again) by saying that it is medically usable. I was watching PawnStars just last night and a guy brough in a bottle of whiskey from 1920s and it had MEDICAL USE ONLY on the bottle. Its all the same fights, just defferent product.

  29. This is so funny, I just woke up hung over so bad, and I have to depend on cannabis to pick up the pieces. Alcohol is such bullshit.

  30. False or misleading advertising is a crime – therefore – the mayor is a criminal – but then – he’s a politician, and he’s doin’ what comes naturally.

  31. @Dan: Sad, but true. People scream and whine about government regulation of marijuana, but fail to realize that even though it would be a GOOD thing in theory, our government would do things like alter the genes in the plants, apply insect/pesticides, add different chemicals to ‘enhance the taste and/or smell’ of the product. In the end, marijuana would carry the same stigma as tobacco — thousands upon thousands of unnatural ingredients that will cause cancer and a host of other illnesses.

    On top of that, as we have alcohol checkpoints now, we will have THC checkpoints.. If you’re driving while high (even though I have never met any single person who has had their fine motor skills degraded by THC), you’ll get a DUI and end up in jail anyways, without a car or driver’s license.

    In other words, our government would corrupt this as they have done with everything else they have regulated and/or controlled outright.

    What NEEDS to happen, is that if you can produce/grow/refine your own “CDC’s”, go right ahead and use them. Instead of controlling it completely, have the government issue permits for manufacture. If you’re going to grow marijuana, get the permit and obey the law like any other farmer. If you’re going to make meth, so be it, as long as you have a permit and have had your meth lab inspected and it’s up to code..

    Things like this will make it so ‘dirty’ drugs don’t end up on the streets, everything will be made to a higher quality since you wouldn’t have to sneak around to manufacture your product, and there will be way less instances of innocent injuries or death.

    I don’t condone the use of manufactured drugs, however as long as you don’t break my civil liberties while you’re on that drug, its fine with me. It’s not about prosecuting people that use drugs, it’s about prosecuting the people that harm others in the process.

  32. If the people of Colorado don’t check this guy as a non-starter due to his disregard of public will and public vote, then they deserve what they get. This guy sounds really messed up.

  33. wow , thats pretty low of hickenbockerwhatshisface. he used the # number selling crop in America to premote alcohol. i give him an F for creativity.

  34. Anyone who compares an industrial solvent (ethanol), to a plant, is a moron. Imagine looking at a bottle of flammable liquid and a tree and saying, “yep, they look like the same thing to me”.

  35. I can only hope that people who don’t like to read but do like to look at pictures just see this as another advertisment for pot.

  36. Editors Note!! All because of Prohibition created by the good ol U.S. of A. This country created the problems and the poverty and surprise to see people survive? Those Euro were no violent criminals at their survival when Murdering Indians!

  37. If you support whats going on in Jamaica you support Prohibition!

    If you support prohibition then you’ve helped Trigger the Worst Crime Wave in History.

    If you support prohibition you’ve a helped create a black market with massive incentives to hook both adults and children alike.

    If you support prohibition you’ve helped to make these dangerous substances available in schools and prisons.

    If you support prohibition you’ve helped Raise gang warfare to a level not seen since the days of alcohol bootlegging.

    If you support prohibition you’ve helped create the prison-for-profit synergy with drug lords.

    If you support prohibition you’ve helped remove many important civil liberties from those citizens you falsely claim to represent.

    If you support prohibition you’ve helped put previously unknown and contaminated drugs on the streets.

    If you support prohibition you’ve helped to escalate Theft, Muggings and Burglaries.

    If you support prohibition you’ve helped to divert scarce law-enforcement resources away from protecting your fellow citizens from the ever escalating violence against their person or property.

    If you support prohibition you’ve helped overcrowd the courts and prisons, thus making it increasingly impossible to curtail the people who are hurting and terrorizing others.

    If you support prohibition you’ve helped evolve local gangs into transnational enterprises with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, controlling vast swaths of territory with significant social and military resources at their disposal.

    And one last thought: The real “drug Dons” are the rich and powerful who control the government-licensed drug cartel (Big Pharma). They view people who oppose proper regulation of these unpatentable –thus at present illegal– substances, as “useful idiots”

    [Editor’s note: It is not likely that many readers of NORML’s blogs support prohibition…or Jamaican drug gangs who take advantage of prohibition laws and operate violently to enforce access to illegal succor.]

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