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Thursday, May 15,2014

In case you missed it

CLASSICAL CONCERT AND CANNABIS TO MIX — ONLY IN PRIVATE 

It may be a very Colorado idea to get high while enjoying some live classical music, and officials in Denver, including police, have failed to shut down a series of cannabis-friendly fundraiser gigs. The three concerts violate state and city laws banning the consumption of marijuana in public, officials had argued, prompting some changes by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at its “Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series.” CSO reviewed myriad issues raised by officials with a legal team and has recast the event as a private, “invite only” affair to address authorities’ concerns.

“When the Colorado Symphony accepted support from the legal cannabis industry — as a means of supporting our financial operations and connecting with a culturally diverse audience — we believed we did so in full compliance with the law,” the CSO says.

It’s easy to see why the CSO, which in recent years has faced financial uncertainty, is looking to the industry. The first three months of legal marijuana sales in Colorado have brought in about $7.3 million in taxes, according to PolicyMic. That number rises to $12.6 million when medical marijuana and cannabis licenses are added.

SO MUCH FOR REHABILITATION 

Rene Lima-Marin got a long, tantalizing taste of the good life that he could have had if he’d never turned to armed robbery and faced the gavel of a judge. Lima-Marin’s story begins in 2000 when he was just 20 years old and convicted of using a gun to rob two Aurora video stores along with an accomplice. A judge sentenced Lima- Marin to serve 98 years consecutively on eight convictions, but a clerk made a mistake and wrote in his file that the sentences were to be served at the same time, according to CBS News and The Associated Press. So Lima-Marin was released in 2008 on parole — 90 years too early. Once out, Lima-Marin worked to turn his life around, finding work and getting back together with his former girlfriend. He even married her in July to celebrate his fifth anniversary of parole. He “definitely was not the same person” he was years ago, his wife Jasmine says. But the reformed inmate story didn’t sway authorities. A sentence is a sentence and apparently the state’s prison system aims to punish offenders first and reform them second. Thus Lima-Marin was sent back to prison against his family’s pleas.

“He was given an opportunity to live again and it was taken away from him,” Jasmine says.

NOW THAT YOU’VE GRADUATED, THERE ARE SOME GOOD OPPORTUNITES RIGHT HERE 

So, you just threw your pointy hat into the air and have, as they say, commenced amid much pomp and circumstance. Congratulations, esteemed college graduate. Now what? Don’t dilly-dally. As WalletHub notes, “mobility is a key component to future success and opportunities” at the start of a career. In other words, find the right place and situation and you’re on your way to the whole two kids, minivan, paying off student loans and a buying a house thing. However, with unemployment for Americans 18-29 hovering around 15 percent, you have an advantage if you know where to look. Washington, D.C. tops WalletHub’s list for great opportunities for grads, but the Denver-metro area, including Boulder, comes in second. It’s like humidity versus cool mountain air; dry cleaning bills versus casual Fridays.

Average starting salaries vary. Here’s your range: The best average starting salaries are in San Jose, Calif.: $4,759 a month (that’s $57,000 a year). From there, they fall fast. Jersey City, which is fifth best, has averages that are $1,000 less a month (that’s about $44,000 a year). The worst salaries are in Brownsville, Texas, at $1,733 a month (averaging about $21,000 a year). Remember, money isn’t everything, so choose wisely, grads!

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.

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