His Life

Gorman graduated from Denver’s Lincoln High School in 1964. As his father had before him, Gorman joined the Air Force, working as an air traffic controller. He worked in Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines. He was stationed near Miyakojima in Japan at a long-range radar facility during the Vietnam War. His first wife introduced him to marijuana in Loveland, Colorado in 1969. Gorman was often quoted as saying “It has been a friend of mine ever since.” He went on to a career with the FAA as an air traffic controller. On August 5, 1981, while stationed in Hawaii, he was fired by Ronald Reagan along with 11,358 other PATCO (Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization) members who were on strike.

After that, he worked in Papua New Guinea, recruiting students for “western-style” schooling. Around 1984, he became very friendly with the natives and gave them a public voice with radio broadcasts and newspaper articles about natives rights. He was arrested and charged with many crimes. He was only convicted on possession of pornography (a Playboy Magazine). He was given a plane ticket to Manila, some spending money, and was escorted to the airport. Gorman’s good friend, Pious Wingti, took power in 1985. Wingti’s election victory was significantly due to the public outrage over Gorman’s deportation. Later, he assisted the Philippine rebels in their quest to overthrow Ferdinand Marcos. He was forcibly deported in 1985. The Philippino people succeeded in deposing Marcos the following year.

In 1992, while doing business-to-business sales for Video Professor, he read The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer. Learning about “the marijuana conspiracy” made him so angry that he dedicated his life to revealing the truth about hemp and marijuana. Gorman started a company selling hemp products. He advertised marijuana in Denver’s Westword Newspaper, on the locally famous “Back Page”. The ad read, “MARIJUANA - FREE DELIVERY - NO COPS - NO JOKE”. Later that year, Gorman started holding “smoke-ins” on the steps of the Colorado capital building. One of his 1993 rallies featured “The Emperor Of Hemp”, Jack Herer. He ran for Colorado state governor in 1994 and 1998.

In May 1999, Gorman allowed himself to be arrested for selling three pounds of marijuana to a police informant who claimed to be buying it for medicinal purposes. Gorman served six months in the Jefferson County jail, 16 months in a Cañon City minimum-security facility, 18 months in a halfway house, and two years wearing a monitoring ankle bracelet. In 2000, Colorado adopted a constitutional amendment creating a medical marijuana system. After realizing the severe lack of medical grade marijuana available for patients, Gorman worked tirelessly to sign up caregivers to increase the availability of medicinal marijuana. He supported Libertarian candidates Rick Stanley for Senate and Boulder’s Ralph Shnelvar for Governor in 2002.

The rallies continued several times a year, but Gorman had to “officially” remove his name as organizer due to the RAVE Act of 2002 and the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act of 2003. He supplied as many patients with caregivers or medicinal marijuana as he could. In 2004/2005, he was a featured speaker at meetings of the Colorado Compassion Club in Denver. In 2006, Gorman celebrated his 60th birthday with many friends and patients. On February 17, 2007, in Denver, Colorado, Gorman was murdered. He was shot in the chest in his living room.

10 comments

  1. admin says:

    tragic

    15.02.2008 at 11:09 am

  2. Eric says:

    I was a friend from Samoa.

    I was sorry to see you go out like this Ken. You deserved better than a bullet in the chest from a thug.

    RIP

    10.03.2008 at 3:10 pm

  3. Elizabeth Martinez says:

    Rip We wont let your dream die

    22.04.2008 at 3:30 am

  4. Elizabeth Martinez says:

    Love ya miss ya RIP We Wont let your DREAM die

    22.04.2008 at 3:31 am

  5. richard reinholtz says:

    Ken Taught Me So Much as a teenager I could ask ken for anything and he would do what he could. He would drive across town at 2 am to pick me up
    Ken will always be remembered as a dear friend and mentor may he rest in peace

    18.12.2008 at 6:35 pm

  6. Aaron Sousa says:

    You are truly missed Gov. RIP

    27.04.2009 at 1:02 am

  7. Lulu says:

    Yup, Richard, I was a punk kid, and he did anything to look out for ALL us street kids, he was a giving, caring, loving human.

    5.05.2010 at 9:41 am

  8. marquez says:

    i miss the messages he used to leave on his machine. three years have gone by

    20.05.2010 at 3:14 am

  9. Brian says:

    I worked with Ken on many of the rallies. When he was arrested. I made sure to hold the next rally. I still have that permit for that rally. Ken taught me alot about the government and how it worked. I became a lobbyist to help Ken in his fight for the legalization. The many uses of hemp (The Male Plant) and the benifits of using it to relieve many pains we suffer. Ken you are missed dearly.

    29.12.2010 at 3:56 pm

  10. Ray Blackmer says:

    I got to know Ken when I was at pre-relese in canon city we walked the yard together almost every day for three months talking and just hanging out he taught me a lot i now live across the country and just found out about his death all i can say is this is a great loss for us all he was a great man who deserved so much better it was probably some of the gang banging scum that have infested denver to bad it is a nice city i will miss ya ken rock on gov

    17.02.2013 at 8:42 pm

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