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Published on September 23rd, 2014 | by Thompson

Aaron Abeyta Digs Denver’s Pot Laws, Primus Disappoints, Weezer Rocks Riot Fest

Day 1 of RiotFest in Denver wasn’t exactly a riot, as Mike Burkett of NOFX pointed out during their set. “When I think of riots, I think of Chicago. Has there even been a riot here?” Fat Mike nearly stirred up a riot with that one, but NOFX still ended up being responsible for the closest thing to a riot at Riot Fest’s first day. They played the entire Punk in Drublic album, “not in order,” including a rousing opening rendition of “Perfect Government” shown above.

I wasn’t at Riot Fest for a riot. In fact, I really just wanted to hear some great live music and, like NOFX guitarist and Coloradan Aaron Abeyta, I appreciate the area’s policies regarding marijuana. “You know, your violent crime went down, and you don’t have an economic crisis anymore. Why can’t we get the rest of the country onboard with this?”

My Riot Fest Medicine

My Riot Fest Medicine

I was most certainly onboard. I picked up a bottle of Swedish Weed Fish (Red Fish) for $20 and a gram of Casey Jones at Live Green in Edgewater. It was the cheapest they had at $20 a gram, and frankly, I bought it because of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reference. I didn’t end up being very good, but it’s Casey Jones!

I then went about 40 feet to Bud Med Health Center, where Vince recommended a chocolate bar and a strain of weed for my back pain that is like “smoking aspirin.” Apparently you don’t get high at all. It just delivers pain relief to problem areas. It was intriguing, but I didn’t want just pain relief, so I got 1.75 grams of Grape Ape on sale for $25. The chocolate bar was $20.

After tax, I had spent a little more than I would have on the black market in my home state of Montana, but I didn’t have to deal with any drug dealers, I got great customer service, and I didn’t get mugged on the way back to my friend’s place.

The only thing that bugged me was the bag they make you take with you, which is supposed to be child safe. What about my safety? Don’t you think every criminal in Denver knows what’s in those bags and how easy it would be to take? It’s nearly as dumb as legal marijuana dispensaries taking bags of cash to pay their taxes to the state and federal government because the federal government won’t let them take debit cards or have a bank account.

Joyride Brewery is just another couple of feet from Bud Med Health Center, exactly where every brewery should be located – footsteps from the pharmacy. I had two of their double IPAs and made my way through Sloan Lake Park, chewing on Red Fish on the way to my buddy’s. The Red Fish were pretty mild – just 10 milligrams – so I ate two in the park and two more about an hour later. I didn’t feel too high, so I smoked a bowl when I got back to the house.

I was a little worried about security the first day, so I didn’t bring my camera or any of the edibles. The email I received specifically said cameras with interchangeable lenses, all drugs without legitimate prescriptions, and all outside food and drink would not be allowed. So I rolled four spliffs, tucked them deep into my tobacco pouch, and left the edibles.

I took the light rail to Decatur Street where I discovered Brooklyn’s, my safe haven for the weekend. It’s a lovely bar right outside Sports Authority Field at Mile High, with a nice patio and parking lot in which to smoke weed. I met Pat, “my bar friend” as he called me. I joked when we met that we already had three things in common by the time we shook hands – we drink, we smoke, and we love NOFX. I thought I’d hang with him and his friend, Matt, who would arrive later. We had a few drinks and chatted with Becka, another friend of his, about smoking weed and roof racks mostly, until Becka had to leave, and we all went to the parking lot to smoke Pat’s portable vaporizer. It was cheap plastic and didn’t work very well, but when Matt arrived I got a massive hit before we left for the festival. I coughed for half a block on our way to the entrance.

When we got through the turnstiles, I was a little pissed to learn that Matt’s backpack wasn’t searched. The lady searching me was curious when she felt my tobacco pouch, so I took it out only to be waved through almost immediately. I was shocked. I could have brought so much more, but it ended up being alright because I needed to pace myself.

The first day was like a half day, but my legs and lower back were killing me when Weezer finally played “Undone (The Sweater Song).” I’d been standing on hard asphalt for six hours and moved a lot during the NOFX show, which was understandably awesome. Fat Mike may not have played to the crowd, but when they snuck “The Decline” into a 15-minute window, the crowd and I went insane.

Weezer also played a great show, but a few too many slow tunes in a row wiped me and my new friends out. I was all out of spliffs having shared with two others when Pat’s portable vaporizer went to hell. I stuck around for “Undone” and hit the road with Matt and Pat enjoying “Surf Wax America” on the way out. Pat drove home since Primus and Weezer were a bit sobering for him, and Matt and I both caught the Golden line west.

It was a successful day. I had seen a band I’d wanted to see for years and another one I’d wanted to see for a decade. Not surprisingly, the band I’d wanted to see for years was the better of the two. NOFX stole the show at Riot Fest Denver Day 1, but I would hear from a new friend the next day that I missed a hell of a show by The Flaming Lips. At least now I wasn’t afraid to bring all my drugs and equipment, so I’d have great coverage of the next two days of Riot Fest.

Check back for coverage of Day 2.

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About the Author

When Thompson isn't busy writing for Go Gonzo Journal, you may find him drunk at the movie theater with Professor Heinous or stirring up trouble in a bar with his attorney. Thompson also enjoys skiing, hiking, camping, and watching and betting on baseball and football.

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