Editor's note: This is a copy of a letter sent to the Bayfield Town Board.For many years, I had an office on Mill Street and children in the Bayfield schools. I intend to re-open an office on Mill Street in the future. I will not do so if you allow marijuana sales in town.
I am opposed to the sale of marijuana in Bayfield, as I always have been. The shops will degrade the character of the town, whether you remember it (as I do) as the Heart of the Pine River Valley or if you admire it as the little town where the Stars Shine Bright.
Marijuana shops are typically shabby, no matter how carefully you design your ordinances. They typically stink and the smells pollute the whole building and neighborhood. While some of our fine residents would shop there, the shops will also attract dangerous characters as well - I believe those Bayfield residents who wish to buy pot can certainly make the trip to Durango for their purchases just as they do to buy groceries, clothing, etc.
Increased violent crime can be expected - I am aware that some would argue to the contrary, but the studies that support the lack of increased crime all come from jurisdictions that could afford additional law enforcement resources.
So, how many panhandlings, robberies, knifings, and gunshots are you willing to accept just to increase the town's tax rolls?
The sale of pot will negatively impact our local festivals and farmer's markets in a negative manner, as well.
Does Bayfield need an infusion of quality retail, food establishments and entertainment opportunities? Of course.
The great work started by the Piner River Valley Heritage Society and the various booster organizations should be supported by the town. Giving up and hoping that pot sales will boost the town revenues is a sign of taking the easy way out.
Bayfield is a beautiful jewel of a town, please don't sell it out to the pot sellers. Thank you.
Marian A. Tone