Vail Daily letter: Stop retail marijuana
Amendment 64 passed last November in Colorado to legalize marijuana. Every town and county government in the state now can ban or pass pot in their neighborhoods. Today we have over 1,000 Eagle County residents smoking medical marijuana and all is well except for the easy availability to our children. On Jan. 1, unlimited retail, cultivation, production, testing and social clubs can be added to our neighborhoods. This seems like not only overkill but downright “show me the money” for state and county revenue purposes.
So what is the impact on the taxpayers in Colorado with 64 and the various new marijuana laws and proposed taxes? Proposition AA is the controlling issue on the November ballot to approve 25 percent marijuana taxes. The Denver lawyers who wrote 64 have started a new political action committee called “No on Prop AA” which means if Proposition AA fails no one gets rich except the marijuana businesses. I wondered why the 64 supporters switched sides until I realized 64 is embedded in our State Constitution and must be funded out of the state general fund if Proposition AA fails. If AA fails to pass there will be no state revenue to pay for promised school construction, the additional 22 new state workers, county kickback revenue, and our local law enforcement. In this switch of supporter loyalties the marijuana businesses will have it both ways at our expense! How should we vote on Proposition AA?
A “no” vote and the price of retail marijuana without taxes will be downright cheap with no money for the greedy politicians. A “yes” vote means users could go back to the black market due to the sky-high pot prices but would result in more tax revenues. Either way you vote, our community will suffer with the new retail marijuana stores selling to the influx of new marijuana tourists from all over the world skiing and driving impaired.
Our county commissioners will approve the marijuana business zoning at an Oct. 29 meeting. By this time, the Denver lawyers will have encouraged the public to vote “no” on Proposition AA on Nov. 5 and will place taxpayers in this new world of funding pot out of our state general fund.
Whether you vote “no” or “yes” on Proposition AA is your call, but it is still not too late to stop pot in unincorporated Eagle County. Our last chance to tell the Board of Commissioners what locals and second-home owners want will be on Oct. 29 at 1:15 p.m. at the Eagle County Building. If we do not show up in mass or call your commissioners to ban retail pot, then accept our new Rocky Mountain high marijuana community!