NORML fundraiser riding high on the crown

Carolyn Sackariason
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – The timing couldn’t be better for a medical marijuana fundraiser being held today as thousands of pot smokers will be in Aspen for what’s being dubbed the “Western Slope Cannabis Crown.”

Held from 5-9 p.m. today at the Mountain Chalet, the Colorado division of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) will be raising money for the Hunter S. Thompson Scholarship Fund.

Alongside it is a two-day medicinal marijuana conference organized by Damien Horgan, co-owner of Aspen-based Alternative Medical Solutions and NugSource Magazine, based in Eagle.

The fundraiser, organized by local attorney Lauren Maytin, will feature live music, silent auction items, munchies, libations and a local doctor, Wendy Zaharko, who will provide medical marijuana recommendations for qualifying patients. The examination costs $135, and medical records are suggested.

“We support Lauren and all of her endeavors,” Horgan said.

Donations at the door cost $30, and proceeds from the entire event will go toward paying for an activist or a patient to attend the national NORML event in June, which attempts to further the efforts of medicinal marijuana, Maytin said.

The scholarship is in its third year and the fundraiser is the second annual event. Maytin said about 200 people came last year, which was deemed a success.

“This year should be bigger because of the crown,” Maytin said. “It should be a ton of fun and a huge weekend for medical marijuana. Go marijuana!”

Barton Gunderson, publisher and co-owner of NugSource, said the timing of the two events is serendipitous.

“I want to thank NORML for leading the way for future legislation of medical marijuana and marijuana around the country,” he said. “We are happy and proud to be running the events side by side, and spreading the views of medical marijuana.

“We thank them for their powerful advocacy, and we thank the city of Aspen for its support.”