Aspen’s permissive drug culture is unhealthy |

Aspen’s permissive drug culture is unhealthy

Dear Editor:

I’d like to comment on Michael Cleverly’s recent column “special” published in the May 29, 2011, edition of the Aspen Times Weekly, where he made light of the arrests of three long-time local men for trafficking cocaine.

Michael suggests that these men are harmless little guys in the hierarchy of the cocaine trade. But to me they are as important as the people who process this addictive drug, as they are the ones who sold it to the locals and guests of Aspen, Colo. And as these “average citizens” pocketed their tax-free profit, do you really think they gave any consideration to who they were selling to? Most of the unhappy endings that have been reported in both Aspen papers in recent years have had something to do with cocaine.

Although I appreciate the DEA’s efforts, I believe that way too much money has been spent on enforcement and not enough on helping those addicted to recover. It seems to me that our culture is OK with us engaging in limitless unhealthy activities such as cocaine use, but where is the limitless support when someone gets in too deep and needs help getting out?

I just returned from Ireland, where along with hundreds of photos, I came back with more knowledge about my ancestors. I gained new insight into the Great Famine in the last half of the 1840s. What made the potato-crop failure more devastating was that the British government practiced an economic doctrine that determined that the market should not be interfered with, and that aiding the starving people may make them dependent on aid forever.

Being addicted starves the soul. Are we in another great famine where we will allow our personal rights to outweigh our personal responsibilities? Aspen has more to gain than lose if it were to take a greater stand against drug use.

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” I Corinthians, Chapter 13, v11.

Kim Vieira

Aspen Village

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