Planned 'Bong-a-Thon' Marijuana Smoke-out Causes Local Panic

An upcoming “competitive pot toking” event called the 32nd Annual Colorado Invitational Bong-a-Thon is turning heads across Colorado, but not all of them are smiling dreamily.


For the last 30 or so years, Bong-a-Thon wasn’t much more than a clandestine meet-up of a few dedicated potheads. Since the state became cannabis-legal in 2012, the event has taken place aboveboard, and anticipates 1,000 or more attendees between July 31 and August 2. Traditionally, Bong-a-Thon is held in treelined Park County, but permits were getting pricier than event organizer Chris Jetter preferred. So, he cleverly sniffed out 52 acres of private property about six driving hours away, in a tiny two-person town aptly named Stoner. The property’s owner, Frank McDonald (he goes by “Ol’ McDonald”) told the Colorado Independent he plans to get married during the event, and eventually wants to open up a cannabis-friendly resort in Stoner.

As reported by the Colorado Independent

“A place named Stoner with an owner who loves the idea of Bong-a-Thon made it too good to pass up as a new home for the weed fest, Jetter said.

"Bong-a-Thon had been under the radar this year because Jetter had been referring to the event using the truncated name Colorado Invitational. He had not included the Bong-a-Thon part when he applied for an amplified noise permit from Montezuma County. He never mentioned the event is a carnival of competitive cannabis consumption with contests that include tokers racing to ingest a quarter ounce of pot. Last year’s record: 5 minutes, 18 seconds.”

Montezuma County, where Stoner is located, isn’t taking kindly to Jetter’s locale change. When they discovered the true nature of the “Invitational,” they responded in a manner à la Reefer Madness.

According to the Colorado Independent, residents are organizing against the event. One neighbor, Doreen Garlid, is leading the charge against the Bong-a-Thon, and told the Independent she is disappointed and concerned that the “extreme stoners,” would be hard to contain. Officials are up in arms as well, and the County Commissioners voted this week to seek a court injunction preventing the bonanza. The likelihood of success is slim, however, since it would entail interrupting a wedding on private property. So, the county’s concerned citizens are petitioning other authorities to take action against the impending plume of smoke, including the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Colorado State Patrol, the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office, and others.

The Independent reports that “if the Bong-a-Thon organizers go forward with the event — as Jetter promises they will — the county couldn’t do more than impose up to $1,000 in fines.”

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