To those who voted in favor of Amendment 64 and now complain about local bans and moratoriums: You may have assured your rights to use and abuse, but the amendment included the right of localities to place the issue of retail stores on local ballots.
The voters will now get to decide whether commercial marijuana establishments are welcome in their communities as an issue separate from their individual right to use it. Various other forms of adult "entertainment" are also legal but that doesn't mean those kinds of clubs and shows are a good fit for a small community.
I have read the online version of the letters to the editor of the DCI and comments posted on the Merchant Herald. They are complete with vicious, name calling comments from certain bloggers. Opponents of retail marijuana are said to be everything from misinformed to outright ignorant rubes who are killing property values among other insults. It is not illegal to blog while under the influence but coherence and spelling ability certainly suffer.
The Paonia Town Council did the right thing by passing a moratorium especially since one trustee and his wife have both written and/or posted comments in favor of marijuana use in the community. Several people with decades-long ties to the community submitted applications for the vacant council seat and I am certainly hoping they will stand for election next year.
One applicant was asked to state his opinion on "community values." To most of the residents I speak to, the attraction of the North Fork Valley was not only clean air, water and the beautiful views of a rural location, but the decency of the people we have met here. From the number of churches to the local ranchers, orchards and wineries, people we met were friendly and helpful to anyone. They also seemed to hold dear to the values our newer residents deem old fashioned.
Our trustees really do work hard and are to be thanked for their service, but the majority of them are new to our community. Perhaps we will be best served by balancing new residents with members more vested in the community who still hold these values.