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In 1970, the author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ran for Sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado as the anointed candidate of the newly formed Freak Power political party. 

He promised an immediate end to marijuana arrests and abusive policing. He also promised to rip up the streets of Aspen and sod them. And that his first act as sheriff would be to “install on the courthouse lawn a platform and a set of stocks in order to punish dishonest dope dealers in a proper public fashion.”

Thompson even shaved his head bald, so he could refer to incumbent Sheriff Carroll D. Whitmire as “my longhaired opponent” during their much anticipated debate. 

Hear an excerpt from that debate in this episode, plus archival audio from the Freak Power Party’s campaign headquarters on Election Day.

Read the book Freak Power for more on Hunter S. Thompson’s run for sheriff, including his incredible artwork and campaign materials.

Watch the documentary Gonzo to celebrate the life and work of one of the 20th Century’s towering figures in journalism, politics and literature.

Watch Great Moments in Weed History co-host David Bienenstock (aka “Bean”) visit Hunter S. Thompson’s house for an incredible weed-infused dinner in this viral VICE video.

Support us by supporting our sponsors! Visit Tweedle Farms, GRAV, and Kiva Confections.

Great Moments in Weed History is a Spoke Media Original.

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