Another point of view on the drug raid
Dear Editor:Without listing specific quotes on specific days in specific local and Denver newspapers, I would like to point out a major rift in the population of Aspen and Pitkin County.On one side there are the “users,” “snorters,” “tokers” and “smokers” who are as happy as little pigs wallowing in their “lifestyle” here in Aspen. They and their “suppliers” and the “mules” who supply them just love “the status quo,” and wouldn’t, or won’t, change a thing. I find the quotes by our sheriff, our city manager, local columnists, even some on City Council and the BOCC (you all know who you are), and of course, our vehement, virulent letter-writers, to be reprehensible, outrageous, self-serving and even sad.They see no harm in drugs being readily available in almost all of our restaurants as stated by one columnist. They ignore the potential drug use in our schools as can be confirmed by our police department, teachers, parents and any student willing to tell the truth. They are outraged when a few “poor immigrant busboys and dishwashers” are arrested for “dealing” in the restaurants and alleys. Yet, when women are accosted, beaten and raped in those same alleys, where is their outrage? Is there no connection?We all remember, a few years ago, the outbreak of crime, when a number of our school kids (some of whom are still in jail) held up and robbed the supermarket, pistol-whipped an employee, robbed other stores, stole cars and burglarized homes, and a pregnant employee at the Aspen Alps was held up while the hotel was robbed. Do we believe that this was just happenstance? Kids being kids? Kids having fun? A girl was almost clubbed to death on Independence Pass last year. Does anybody seriously believe that drugs (those wonderful, social recreational drugs that are harmless and victimless) weren’t involved? Where is their comparable outrage?Police Chief Ryerson must be allowed to clean up this trough, not as City Manager Steve Barwick stated along the line of: There will never be another drug raid in this town. Maybe he should have added, “or I will resign.” Not with Sheriff Braudis being more concerned with “hospitalizing drug offenders, not jailing them.” What about the “mules” and “traffiker”? No wonder he was “accidentally” left out of the loop!On the other side, there are those of us who have sat by silently and accepted all of this crap for years. The silent majority? Maybe the silent minority? Is that good enough?My answer is a resounding NO! We have to back up those who are trying to do something to correct this insanity. We have to congratulate and support Police Chief Ryerson and his officers and everyone else who is trying to do the right thing. We have to show up on Jan. 17 at City Manager Steve Barwick’s “hearing” and let our voices be heard. You voted Nov. 1, you voted Dec. 13. Now come to the most important meeting of all on Jan. 17, 2006. Come and support our police chief, Loren Ryerson!And a happy New Year to all.P. NicklinAspen
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