Letter: Pot clubs are not right for the community

A recent editorial in The Aspen Times (“Marijuana clubs belong in Aspen,” Commentary, July 25) suggests that the City Council approve pot clubs.

While I do support the current marijuana laws at this time, the pot-club idea is foolish and shortsighted.

Most shocking in the editorial is the call to create Aspen’s identity as one of a pot culture. The identity of Aspen has evolved over the years from the history of its people, culture, environment, architecture and outdoor activities.

We didn’t create these criteria; it is from the evolution of these elements over the years. So to blatantly put a rubber-stamped identity from a small segment on our community is patently absurd and rather selfish.

It’s obvious, with less than a year of legal recreational marijuana behind us, that this premature idea is fraught with problems.

The city of Amsterdam, which is foremost in the world in public pot usage, has made it clear that it is thinking of eliminating pot clubs due to the many problems they have created.

Does The Aspen Times want these pot clubs to have tables on the mall to partake in this new endeavor like the Bull Dog Club in Amsterdam?

Just what does The Aspen Times have in mind for the demographics it wants to attract to our community?

What kind of tourist dollars will be invested in our city from this group?

Where will our current tourist base go once something like this is approved?

Where will the young families go that we are seeing in town this summer?

We need to continue to attract young families that will create a sustainable economy for future years, and pot clubs would only be a catalyst for sending our current tourist base to other resort communities.

The City Council should not rush to make a decision like this until we have the experience with the current law in place.

The City Council needs to forbid pot candies that could accidentally be consumed by children, and also it needs to create a potency limit or disclosure. It should not wait for state laws to address this.

The Aspen Times is confident this will succeed, but it’s no skin off the Times’ back if it doesn’t. We have too much invested in our community to take a chance at this time.

I strongly urge the City Council to deny pot clubs at this time and to wait several years before reviewing this again.

LJ Erspamer