Letter: Grow pot without being a criminal
This is an open letter to all of the Roaring Fork Valley residents who are exercising their constitutional rights under Amendment 64 and are about to harvest (within the next few weeks) this year’s local homegrown marijuana crop. In the interests of full disclosure, last year I also exercised my constitutional rights, and from seed to harvest (with expert help), I harvested six cannabis plants for personal consumption.
Therefore, after reading in The Aspen Times of the Glenwood Springs City Council’s latest setback strategy for retail marijuana establishments (“Council gives final OK to new pot business rules,” Aug. 22), as an economic developer it became evident their policy is unaware of the potential homegrown supply-and-demand impact upon the dollar volume of Glenwood Springs tax collecting from the retail and medical cannabis market over the next several weeks.
But just as importantly, as a sociologist, this letter is to remind you that freedom is not free and the freedom to grow your own stash is also not free. Instead of personal consumption, if your stash ends up on the streets of Glenwood Springs and in market competition with the local retail tax-collecting establishments, then you are tearing down Amendment 64 by your irresponsible and illegal behavior. Beyond that, if your homegrown grass is smoked by any Glenwood Springs teenagers (including out-of-state teenagers), then you should go to jail.
That said, I am now developing a “whistleblower’s app” for the Glenwood Springs tourism industry and Glenwood Springs-licensed marijuana businesses that harnesses a teenager’s greed and social media to target any drug dealers attempting to sell to teenagers pot and whiskey and other street drugs such as meth. This whistleblower’s app uses social media and a handheld electronic device that protects local and out-of-state teenagers from any Glenwood Springs street dealers by using the app to blow the whistle. The teenager’s reward for Internet (social media) information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone attempting to sell drugs and booze to minors is $5,000 in gift certificates from Glenwood Springs merchants for things like mountain bikes, skateboards and snowboards, etc. The funding for this “teenager’s reward” will be private capital, not city of Glenwood Springs public money.
The whistleblower’s app will be launched before next year’s pot-harvest season, and it will not bode well if any of your homegrown grass ends up on the streets of Glenwood Springs then. If you keep your stash off the streets of Glenwood Springs, then we have no problem. Be an adult, act responsibly, and protect the very fragile Amendment 64’s freedom to grow pot without being a criminal.
Carl L. McWilliams