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Medical Marijuana Convention Ads on Denver Buses Prompt Public Outrage

DENVER – Drivers are about to start seeing ads for what is being billed as the largest-ever cannabis convention on RTD buses.

“This is merely an ad about an event being held at the Colorado Convention Center. There is nothing specific in that which is illegal per se,” RTD spokesman Scott Reed said.

After some discussion, RTD decided to allow the ads on some of the vehicles in its fleet.

The event is called KushCon.

“[It will be] 300,000 square feet of marijuana lifestyle events,” Wanda James, the KushCon II organizer, said.

James says it is the country’s largest cannabis convention ever, and it will be at the Colorado Convention Center on Dec. 17 through Dec. 19. More than 400 vendors have signed up.

James says Kush is a strain of marijuana.

“This is a legitimate industry. This is a legitimate business. This is a legitimate ad,” she said.

To James, RTD’s decision to allow the ads on 33 of its buses represents a big deal.

“The fact that RTD now has ads on the sides of its buses goes to the legitimacy of that piece and to the social acceptance here in Colorado of the marijuana industry,” she said.

Reed says hold on, downplaying the ads.

“This does not violate our advertising policy. It merely advertises an event being held at the Colorado Convention Center,” he said.

RTD still does not allow ads for medical marijuana centers on its buses.

“We have a policy in place that allows us to control things that would be extremely controversial or wouldn’t be in the best interest for RTD to advertise,” Reed said.

While some newspapers, including The Denver Post, accept ads for medical marijuana centers, many TV stations, including 9NEWS, do not.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)