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Thursday, January 13,2011

Letters | Double standards for pot



Double standards for pot

Before starting, I would like to clarify two things. First, I am the owner of a medical marijuana center located in east Boulder and in operation since August of 2009. Second, I want it to be clearly understood that there has not been one day that I take for granted the enormous growth in acceptance of medical marijuana.

That said, I have two major bones to pick with the Boulder City Council over recent comments (I also have a bone the size of a killer whale to pick, concerning the obese fees we have been forced to pay, but that’s for another letter). My first complaint is concerning the attempt of the City Council to regulate the way our industry advertises. The first thing my lawyer told me when I had the idea to open up a center was that we should advertise as if this was a medicine (which I hope everyone in the industry agrees with). He pointed out that we don’t see ads in the Boulder Weekly from Walgreen’s or Safeway bragging about how potent their Vicodin is, so we should not brag about the strength of our cannabis. From day one, we have had one small ad in the Boulder Weekly and nothing else. I also disagree with the centers who use sex or lies (what exactly is a 4 gram 1/8th? Is it like a 3,000lb. ton?) to sell their product, and therefore I do not use these methods.

Despite all of this, I do not think it is in the rights of the City Council to take offense and decide what we can and cannot say (unless of course, our ads are directed at underage children or non-patients). When I look at the Boulder Weekly and turn past the pages upon pages of ads for liquor and other products that have the potential to kill, I find ads in the back for prostitution. Sure, they call themselves masseuse, but look at the terminology they use. One “California Blonde” promises “NY style in and out.” What could this possibly mean? Why is the City Council not concerned with an industry that is illegal on the local, state and federal level?

My second complaint has to do with the smell of the Cannabis plant. While I think that it is one of the most pleasurable odors to ever grace my nose passage, I understand that not all people feel this way (although I can’t say that I’ve met more than a handful of people in my life). We personally do everything in our power — for security reasons — to cover up the smell, but who would it hurt if we didn’t?

When I walk out the door of my center I am greeted twice a week by the smell of roasting coffee. I personally find this smell disgusting, like burning plastic. What can I do about it? If I call the police, will they shut down the coffee brewery? If the smell of burning plastic isn’t in the air, I can smell the burning flesh (if real meat is even being used) at the Wendy’s directly next door. While I am not offended by this smell, I know dozens of people who are. There are also tens of thousands of people who die from over-consuming this product every year, yet I never see a city-backed campaign to rid the city of the smell of death. Finally, when I look to the east, I see a giant smoke stack producing poisonous toxins being breathed in by all of us, against our will. Has Xcel ever been fined for this? Where are the front-page articles and city council meetings to rid this cancer from our community?

I could probably write a book about all the unfair regulations and fees that are being passed our way (such as having to offset 100 percent of our electricity use, not being allowed to stay open past 7 p.m., having to get sales tax licenses for buildings not selling anything, and etc.), but the above two issues are what concern me most today. I’m sure that not everyone in the industry is here to help humanity, but I can personally guarantee that most of the people I have met are, indeed.

Unfortunately, with these hastily thought-up regulations, only the rich will survive. Then again, maybe this was the plan from the beginning; after all, four or five big corporations will produce more for the ruling class than 100 or 200 small businesses.

Ryan Hartman, Boulder Wellness Center/Boulder

Danish is medieval

(Re: “A Nobel Prize for Assange?” Danish Plan, Dec. 16.) Sometimes I think Paul Danish is a medieval cardinal raging against the damned who kneel not to those whom God hath appointed over us.

When he rages he disregards facts.

Julian Assange cannot be a “traitor,” as he is not an agent, citizen or resident of the United States. WikiLeaks turned their documents over to five newspapers, then posted the fraction they printed with their redactions. Private First Class Bradley Manning might be the source because privates have access to such documents, as they are at the lowest level of classification. Nobody went to jail for exposing Valeri Plame as a CIA case officer, although that exposed the network she had built. The Espionage Act being invoked is the law enacted in 1917 that criminalized opposition to war.

The documents reveal little that has not been previously reported, but it is now undeniable that the generals and the White House all lie all the time and that their lying is to protect themselves from us.

As for the “insane” START treaty (Danish Plan, Dec. 30), it reduces nothing, but changes the counting. Now a B-52H with two 3.5 megaton bombs in the bomb bays and 10 cruise missiles slung under wing counts as one nuclear weapon. The treaty is important because it reestablishes an inspection regime.

The countries buying Russian reactors are parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The International Atomic Energy Agency inspects their facilities. The U.S. is selling reactor fuel to India illegally. This frees India’s enrichment plants to produce bomb-quality U-235.

On Nov. 28, 1998, the world was within four minutes of nuclear omnicide because a clerk misplaced a piece of paper. The document was notice of a satellite launch in the North Sea. On radar it looked like a D-5 missile, the missile deployed to destroy Russia’s forces quicker than they could launch. Until the U.S. and Russia step back from launch-onwarning alert, the most trivial thing can kill everyone on earth. Instead, we are ringing Russia with interceptor missile batteries to take out what the D-5s leave.

Gary Erb/Boulder

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