Our Favorite Colorado Facts That Aren’t Facts (And One That Is)
Colorado is a unique place filled with more than a few very unique individuals. That's one reason that sometimes it's easy for people to say things about our beloved state and people from other parts of the country will believe it even if it isn't true. And, yes, there are a few times the weird stuff is actually true. Here are some of our favorites.
One of the ancillary effects of the inclusion of the term 420 as an accepted part of drug world argot has been a fascination with — and desire to possess — objects bearing those numbers, making them a frequent target of thieves who cart them off as souvenirs. One such object is the marker indicating the 420th mile of Interstate 70 in Colorado, situated along a desolate stretch of road just east of the small prairie town (pop. 658) of Stratton:
A sign that used to mark the 420th mile, that is. After "sticky-fingered stoners repeatedly swiped the marker," the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) got tired of replacing it and sometime in 2013 installed an unusual fractional marker indicating Mile 419.99 in its place:
2. Many people died from accidental marijuana overdoses the first day it was legal in some parts of Colorado. FALSE. Snopes "clears the air" about this one.
On 2 January 2014, the Daily Currant published an article positing that over three dozen people had died of marijuana overdoses on 1 January 2014, the day recreational use became legal in Colorado.
By the end of the day links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered it mistaking it for a genuine news item. However, the article was just a bit of political humor from the Daily Currant spoofing the controversy over the issue of the legalized recreational marijuana use. (A "marijuana overdose" is virtually a medical impossibility.)
As noted in the Daily Currant's "About" page, that web site deals strictly in satire:
3. KFC has obtained a license to sell marijuana in it's Colorado restaurants. FALSE. Sorry, no weed with a side a mashed potatoes. Snopes documents how this one started.
In March 2015, the disreputable web site The Racket Report published an article claiming that KFC had received a license to start selling marijuana in their Colorado restaurants:
Of course, the biggest nail in this rumor's coffin is its source. According to a disclaimer on the Racket Report, that web site frequently publishes stories "inspired" by real news events "for entertainment purposes only"
4. The US Government ordered the firing of half the cattle guards in Colorado. FALSE. Long story short? Cattle guards aren't people, they're the obstacles you sometimes see keeping livestock from crossing roadways. It's an old gag. Here's the Snopes link if you care and a "helpful" video.