So I talked about the average smokers perception of Colorado and the smoking laws associated with the legalization of marijuana. This post will be more directed towards the rest of the United States’ idea of what Colorado does and how “WE” act now that marijuana is now legal.
Recently, I was in Breckenridge (currently work there), and was informed of a travesty that had occurred because of other states’ perception of marijuana smokers in Colorado. A New York based news broadcasting company recently did a special report on “smoke shacks” in Colorado, ski resorts, and Colorado in general. How it’s believed they were even informed about these structures was by a third party, not affiliated with the broadcast company, U.S. Forest Service, or Vail Resorts. This party contacted the news company informing them of the use of small to medium structures, typically made from excess trees and branches, as well as lumber and per-fabricated windows and other features. These structure were and are usually used by the more local scene of skiers and riders who choose to sit down somewhere to relax, rest, and sometimes even have a drink or snack. As well as, on occasion, smoke or drink. Once the third party person informed the company about these establishments, the company was shown where one particular structure still was standing (named Leonardo’s) and used on occasion by visitors and locals alike.
They proceeded to place a hidden camera, (potentially illegal to tape private matters of people without permission), and then waited for some skiers to visit Leo’s and chill. And some skiers did just that, smoking what the news company said looked like a marijuana pipe, then videoing these skiers leaving the shack and skiing and riding out of control and potentially under the influence. This resulted in a backlash effort by the local ski patrol, USFS, and Vail Resorts staff at Breckenridge. The ski patrol then proceeded, under the command from USFS and Vail Resorts, to destroy this beloved shack (by the local skiing community). Once this happened, a huge backlash was directed at both Vail Resorts and the company that put the shack on the resorts radar. You can read some of the comments at https://www.facebook.com/Leosrebuild. Other local Colorado news affiliates have also done reports on this topic, which could be considered heated to some.
My concern with this is, the USFS and Vail Resorts may have gone too far too quickly to irradiate this shack. For one, they didn’t clean out the shack before destroying it, which means all the debris and trash, before blowing up the structure. The area this shack stood on was a part of the ski resort, but was on a section on the mountain that for the most part, did not have a lot of traffic. This means that there was a lot of wildlife, all be it small wildlife, use and live in that area. Now that it has been destroyed, which means there is trash all over the land out there, affecting the wildlife way more than if the structure still stood undisturbed. A second concern I share with you is the implication of this shack to begin with and the mis-direction of it’s use. This shack was originally built to provide a more local scene of people a place where they could hang out and not have to be immersed in the flocks of crowds of visitors at mountain restaurants and warming huts. A place to get out of the dumping snow storm or raging sunshine on a hot spring day. For the news broadcasting company to negatively show how the shack was used at times, gave way to the loss of a place most came to love and like to go to get away from the long lift lines at times.
I’ll let you think what you want about the report, but what I ask of you is to think of what preceptions people have about marijuana smokers and how they really feel about us as a whole. Also give thought to how we, as a smoking culture, think of those states that are radically against the smoking of a plant and all the related affiliations with this culture. Do they really have power to persuade companies and organizations to make decisions based on how they want their image as a organization to be seen? In this case, I would have to say yes.
What do you think?