The Durango Herald article of a Loveland resident who was killed in the fatal car on Dec. 14, 2017 seven miles west of Pagosa Springs, reported, "Icy road conditions and exceeding a safe speed limit were first thought to have caused the accident. But a toxicology tests on the driver showed he had 9.2 nanograms per milliliter of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, nearly double the limit of 5 nanograms allowed while driving in Colorado."
His two passengers, a woman and a one-year-old boy, were seriously injured along with passengers in two other oncoming vehicles that he collided with, resulting in more serious injuries. Without a roadside test that can detect above limit THC in a driver, more innocent travelers on our busy highways will be at risk.
Roadblocks are used during holidays to catch DUI's, why not spot-checking for marijuana? Winter driving conditions will get worse as more snow and cold continues.
A Denver Post December article reported an eye opening story on "looping," a means of returning to the same store frequently in one day to buy more than the one ounce of recreational marijuana allowed. The police followed a tip by sending a couple of detectives to conduct surveillance on the Sweet Leaf pot shop. "One man made 35 trips to the Sweet Leaf dispensary within five hours! Another man spent $4,300 in one day and bought three pounds of marijuana from a Sweet Leaf pot shop." He drove a rental car with Oregon plates. Others arrested in this investigation were from other states along with local residents. The article further reported, " Sweet Leaf employees Christmas bonuses disappeared from bank accounts after police raid 13 Sweet Leaf budtenders swept up in the Denver raids. Police raid 8 Sweet Leaf Marijuana Center locations in Denver and Aurora."
Bayfield's town Manager, Chris LaMay already knows about the "looping" problem in the Denver area, but will this be something our law enforcement guys have to supervise at our pot shops if the Bayfield Town Board makes the decision to allow it here?
Is this how we want our historic friendly town to be known as and appear in newspaper stories? Without honest pot shop businesses reporting each sale electronically to a statewide database where purchases can be tracked by other pot shops, greed will rule! How much of the "looping" is already happening in our area and finding the excess marijuana getting into the hands of under-aged kids?
A smart step would be to continue to explore getting a major chain grocery store in Bayfield.
How many thousands of dollars do we spend in Durango each month?
A small motel would help to keep visitors here to explore the many natural wonders we have at our doorstep. We don't have to become a big town, just add a few businesses that enhance our little town and bring in enough revenue to avoid going to pot.
The end of the rainbow doesn't have a pot of gold. It will be Pandora's Box. Come to the next Town Hall meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 16 with constructive ideas.
Tony and Anne Schrier