Lack of drug enforcement not a legacy to be proud of

As an Aspen native and child of the ‘70s, I have a big problem with a lot of the recent coverage of the legacy of former Sheriff Bob Braudis.

While Bob’s approach to restorative-type justice should be lauded, his approach to drugs (particularly hard drugs) should not be. Drugs destroyed a lot of people’s lives and a lot of families in this community during Sheriff Braudis’s tenure (and Sheriff Dick Kienast’s before that).

Full stop. Adults making drug culture behavior normal made for kids who thought it was is normal. That was not and is not right. People snorting cocaine off the Jerome Bar wasn’t cool in the ‘70s and ‘80s and it damn sure isn’t any cooler through the lens of time. Bob was so far off base on enforcement of drug law that any article or obituary is dishonest in not mentioning the extremely negative second and third order effects of such a permissive (and contrary to rule of law) policies and attitudes.

At best his policies about enforcement/accountability were sad. At worst they were grotesque. RIP, Bob, but let’s be honest about our town’s past elected leaders failures. To do otherwise is nothing but revisionist history and propaganda.

Jeremie Oates