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Vail Valley Voices: Just say no to for-profit pot shops

Kraige Kinney
Vail, CO, Colorado

For-profit pot a mistake

In 2000, I voted for the constitutional amendment that allowed marijuana to be used, with a physician’s advice, as a treatment option.

Like many people in Colorado, I felt that those people who had a debilitating disease such as M.S., Lou Gehrig’s disease, HIV-AIDS or the like should be allowed to use any treatment option that would help to alleviate the effects of those diseases.



I was confident in the knowledge that should a loved one or friend or any other Coloradoan truly need marijuana as a treatment option, they could obtain it by growing their own or through not for-profit care-givers as envisioned in Amendment 20. For seven years that model of not for-profit care-givers and growing your own marijuana worked.

Up until 2007, the Colorado Medical Marijuana registry had approximately 1,700 patients who were well served by the system in place.

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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



Since 2008, when for-profit marijuana dispensaries started to open, the Colorado Marijuana registry has swelled to 159,559 “patients” today.

According to the Colorado Department of Health Medical Marijuana Registry, the majority (68 percent) of “patients” are male with an average age of 41, and the fastest growing age group for debilitating disease is the 22 to 35 year age group.

Over 83,000 “patients” have received cards for severe pain, followed by 15,518 for muscle spasms, and 10,804 for nausea. All three of these numbers are significantly higher than the total medical marijuana patient count up until 2008.



Over the last 16 months there have been two instances where local students were found in possession of marijuana that had originally been purchased at the local Eagle dispensary.

Since a for-profit marijuana dispensary opened in Eagle, the number of marijuana related police contacts has increased each year at both area middle schools and Eagle Valley High School.

Adolescent use of drugs increases as acceptability and access increase. I didn’t and I don’t believe most people envisioned a for-profit dispensary system to deliver medical marijuana.

If the dispensary in Eagle is voted down on Jan. 3, patients in and around Eagle will still be able to receive marijuana from not-for-profit caregivers or to grow their own. I don’t believe a for-profit marijuana dispensary makes Eagle a better place.

I urge Eagle citizens to vote “no” on Jan. 3.

Kraige Kinney

Eagle


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