While casino power players in Las Vegas continue opposing cannabis in Sin City every chance they get, the rest of the town appears earnest to embrace the plant. In fact, Las Vegas is home to Cannabition, an immersive marijuana-themed art museum touted as the first of its kind. The Las Vegas art museum unveiled its first major exhibit this week and it doesn’t disappoint, though, it might inspire some old-school fear and loathing.
Hunter S. Thompson’s iconic 1973 Chevrolet Caprice “Red Shark” convertible has arrived in Vegas ahead of Cannabition’s opening later this month. Referenced in Thompson’s landmark book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas he’d “rented off a lot on the Sunset Strip,” the car became a symbol of the gonzo journalist’s rebellious spirit and brash attitude.
Two decades following the release of the book, Thompson’s close friend bought him his own “Red Shark” to cruise around in. Before being donated to Cannabition by Thompson’s widow, Anita Thompson, the car had been parked at Owl Farm, his gonzo compound in Woody Creek, Colorado where the journalist lived from 1969 until his death. Thompson’s personal “Red Shark” also appeared in the film adaption of Fear and Loathing, which starred Johnny Depp as Thompson.
“I continue Hunter’s work by bringing awareness of marijuana laws that target minorities and destroy families all over this country for possession of this plant,” Anita told Forbes. “The ‘Red Shark’ is a symbol of our journey together as active citizens to stop putting responsible smokers in jail. Cannabition is also doing this work in a way that is fun and informative for guests.”
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Never-before-seen photos and home videos will also appear alongside the exhibit. The “Red Shark” will be just one of the more than 20 “unique monumental art pieces” displayed in Cannabition. Visitors to the art museum will also witness “the world’s largest bong, a nine-foot-tall 420 installation and a slide that ends into a pool of foam ‘nugs’,” according to Forbes.
“Cannabition was born out of a natural progression of dedicated work to become an innovator of socialized cannabis. But since that’s not a reality yet, this idea was the next best opportunity to give visitors to the tourism capital of the world,” Cannabition Founder JJ Walker told Forbes. “We want to open the minds of the curious and pay homage to the plant and people who have redefined its role in society. Our hope is to inspire a new era of cannabis enthusiasts and experiences.”