Lum: Ballot questions, yes and no
October 30, 2013
I am voting "yes" for Amendment 66: funding for public schools. I have never been a fan of America's public educational system in general, but it is what it is, and I am willing to contribute to any improvement.
The Aspen attitude about this amendment seems to be, "Yeah, but what will it do for us?" which I consider unenlightened, narrow-minded and more than a little bit selfish. It will be good for the state overall and has the potential, down the road, for considerable benefit to Aspen, as well.
Also, it's a state income tax, spreading the wealth more fairly than a sales tax or a property tax.
On the other hand, Proposition AA, regarding retail marijuana taxes, which probably will pass easily, deserves a resounding defeat for several reasons.
Let me clarify from the outset that grass has never been my drug of choice. Maybe I just didn't practice enough, but I choked the few times I tried to smoke it and couldn't move for several hours after tasting it in marinara sauce (talk about stoned!). Not for me.
As much as I love the irony of some of the money going for school construction, it is a sin tax, and I'm very much opposed to sin taxes. Furthermore, the proposal calls for a 10 percent tax to enforce the industry. Hey, it's marijuana. It's a dangerous drug. Tax the hell out of the addicts, and monitor the hell out of the program.
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Folks, with all this squabbling about cannabis-farm regulations and retail licensing, who can sell what and where and to whom, we've lost sight of the very simple way to go around all of these self-imposed obstacles.
Under Colorado law, every adult older than 21 is legally allowed to grow six marijuana plants per year.
Like, duh, grow your own.
Marijuana is a weed. Growing it isn't rocket science. Though professional growers might argue the point, it's not like nurturing delicate, exotic orchids or raising baby pandas. You don't need a PhD in agriculture to be successful — you just need a big pot to grow your pot in.
Even one healthy marijuana plant yields a lot of buds — I've seen them with my own eyes and have heard about many people growing robust plants in their gardens and on their decks in the summer and inside in the winter, without special lights. You have to cover them up on a regular basis so they don't get too much sun, but altogether they're a lot less trouble than owning a pet or even an African violet.
If we're going to have pot farms in the valley, it's a small step in logic to thinking, "Hey, I can do it myself."
You need not grow all six plants at once if you have space constraints; you can stagger them, one or two at a time. Try it; you'll like it. Hey, Mikey!
Su Lum is a longtime local who thinks there's a market for marijuana-growing tutors. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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