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Forest rangers crack down on marijuana "smoke shacks" near Crested Butte

Howard Pankratz
The Denver Post

Rangers are cracking down on illegal and inappropriate uses of the Gunnison National Forest, including taking down “smoke shacks” near Crested Butte they say are used by pot smokers.

Gunnison District Ranger John Murphy said the “smoke shacks” are a continuing problem within the forest at Crested Butte Ski area.

Rangers take down the makeshift shelters as they find them and prosecute the people using them, Murphy said in a statement.



In December, two local college students were issued citations, fined $850 each for building the shacks and damaging natural resources, and barred from the ski area, Murphy said.

Gunnison Nation Forest spokeswoman Lee Ann Loupe said those building the smoke shacks use a hodge-podge of materials to contruct the shelters and use them primarily for smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol.



In April, Murphy said U.S. Forest Service officers ticketed two snowmobilers riding snowmachines in the posted West Elk Wilderness Area. The citations, Murphy said, can result in fines ranging from $500 to $5,000.

For more of this Denver Post story: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_15039885


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