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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Saving ASARCO's smokestack to create “superjoint” to cost $14M

The Chicago Green

Above, American Smelting and Refining Company smokestack

. Photo Juan Garas

Saving ASARCO's smokestack to create “superjoint” to cost $14M; Superfund to fund superjoint
Indian ditchweed, Bobo bush, and Wacky terbacky not in city's budget says Mayor
by Mary Weaver/The Chicago Green
Posted: 10/12/2010 07:43:01 AM MDT

Preserving ASARCO's smokestack to make a giant marijuana joint to the benefit of UT El Paso (UTEP) students would cost $14 million a new study says.

Last year, the City of El Paso held public meetings regarding the fate of the old American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) smelter. City Council later passed a resolution to burn marijuana in the giant incinerator within the smelter using the old smokestack as a literal "superjoint."

The city council reasoned that this would help alleviate the pain caused by lead and arsenic poisonings, depression, cancer, and back pain. It would assist in alleviating all sorts of what the American Medical Association calls 'chingaderas' the smelter bestowed on El Paso's population over the last 100 years. 

These ailments have especially plagued the population living around the old smelter, including the over 17,000 students who attend UTEP daily as well as Sunset Heights residents.

"I'm depressed," says Alice B. Toklas, a Sunset Heights' resident. "La cuidad nomas quere darnos vaporub pero necesitamos una visita de Doña Juanita!"

“Getting our students to be more laid back is something we have had in mind for a long time,” says UTEP Public Relations director, Kata Muchies. “The university did not know how to do this on a campus-wide scale. For this reason, we are fully in support of what we on campus call 'the giant bong'.”

However, rising and unanticipated costs could extinguish any plan the city has for lighting up.

“The main problem is not the preservation of the smokestack's physical structure,” says El Paso Mayor John Cook, “it's the going price for marijuana these days due to the Drug War across the border."

In the city's budget, the city only anticipated the quantity of mota needed to satisfy the student population. The city did not factor in the immense quantity needed to satisfy the Sunset Height's residents, which El Paso City Manager Joyce Wilson says has tripled the cost.

Grifa Gungeon, CEO of Acapulco Gold, the corporation in charge of the demolition of the old smelter held a press conference today near the old smelter. She was joined by representatives from the city and the university.

"Students are already stressed out due to high tuition, first tier, second tier, research institution, and insane parking fees," says Gungeon. “The need for these students to get baked and to get our university to first tier is our top priority,“ says Munchies, "We need to get UTEP as high as possible."

Nevertheless, the city's plan has its critics. One issue involves international implications regarding the colonias  across the border in Mexico just across the Rio Grande or as Gungeon call is a "hop, skip, and smoke" from the old smelter.

"We already have high malnutrition in the San Juan and Felipe Angeles colonias," says Mexican Secretary of Comida, Justo Lonches y Senas. "Having thousands of Mexicans who live in these colonias with munchies on a daily basis would only make things much worse."

Above, artist's depiction of future ASARCO smokestack renovation

Other detractors come from within El Paso.

"I'm not sure the taxpayers are going to take this sitting down," says Johnson Grass, of Citizens Against the Big Bong. "But it might work in the back of a van, especially one of those 1970s custom vans with all the windows rolled up."

Citizens Against the Big Bong believes El Paso should not be blazing a trail to be at the forefront of marijuana legalization.

"I think the mayor just wants to get the stuff they did in Vietnam," says Grass, "but that Buddah, Cambodian Red, Thai Sticks come pricey these days, and taxpayers shouldn't have to carry the burden."

Stack facts
  • The main stack is 826 feet tall, so the giant joint would be a 826-long reefer.
  • The outside shell is 62 feet in diameter and 3 feet thick at the base and tapers to about 31 feet in diameter and 9 inches thick at the top. Replacing this with tons of Zig Zags would add immense cost to the preservation.
  • The volume of concrete used in the stack would require about 862 standard cement mixer loads.
  • Construction began on the stack in 1965.
  • Outdoor speakers that will play Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" have already been installed at both the smelter and at UTEP
  • Considerations for a second giant joint are the Weed Towns of Mesquite or Chaparral, or the Sparks Colonia in East El Paso County.

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Rock The said...

Nice. Loved this one!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Beto would support this project as part of his campaign.