Yikes! It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, but I’ve had a good reason. I was in Delray Beach, Florida almost all last week, going to the American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI)’s Fast Track to Copywriting Success, aka “Bootcamp,” to brush up on the other end of my writing business, copywriting. And while I took photos, which I’ll post and write about next week, I was flooded with information, networking and just good times all around. Yes, I admit it was a little break from reality, but we all need that now and then.
So how’s a little controversy to get the blogging ball rolling again?
I just caught this article from the website of the NPR station out on the Western Slope (the far west part of the Colorado). It details the implications of marijuana-related tourism in our state and economic impact it might have.
As you probably know, the voters here passed Amendment 64, which would essentially legalize private-party use of the drug for those 21 and older. Colorado and Washington are the only states in the country allowing this, and even though pot use is illegal at the federal level, the attorney general pretty much said he wouldn’t prosecute.
But first, a little backstory here, and a confession.
I’ve never smoked marijuana. On a high school ski trip, I got a little dizzy being next to some kids who were lighting up (is it possible to get stoned second-hand?). I’ve never eaten a brownie or other baked product with it. And I really don’t like the smell of it, and I will probably never choose to partake in a toke. Yet, I still voted in favor of Amendment 64.
Why would I, a parent of 12 and 10-year-old girls, support such as potentially morally depraved initiative? Especially when it would be even easier for them to gain access and get high? Do I really want my own kids to become potheads?
Definitely not, but I’m still unsure about the dangers and risks of marijuana. I’ve heard the two sides of the argument, and cases can be made for both. But one thing I do know. Law enforcement doesn’t need to have people clogging up the system with people who will ideally use it in their homes only, then need to scarf down a bag of Doritos later. And I still think it does have a medicinal benefit for certain individuals – those with actual ailments.
About my daughters…the time will come when they will become curious about drugs. The only thing I can do is present the risks of taking them and alcohol. I can tell them that some people can’t quit using them, and that sometimes people move on to stronger and more dangerous substances. Ultimately, I want to discourage them, and that when they are adults, they’ll have to make those decisions for themselves. I pray they will be able to use them responsibly, if they use them at all.
Enough of that aside. Back to the tourism implications…
I really don’t want my adopted home state – or Washington State – to become overrun with people only coming for the relaxed pot possession laws. I especially don’t want these visitors coming and potentially driving on the roads while they’re in an altered state, or buying it for local underage users, just like they would for those who take in too much booze. That’s the worst case scenario, which won’t likely happen. Essentially, I still want people coming to our beautiful place for the great outdoor opportunities, like skiing, camping, hiking and everything else we’ve built our rep on.
What it all comes down to is this. The only Rocky Mountain High I want Colorado to be known for is the John Denver song…and not the part about “friends around the campfire, and everybody’s high”, either.