Jim Redmond: Both sides should be heard
October 3, 2017
I just wanted to thank John Pogline for his response to my letter to the editor regarding the wave pool in Craig and the legalization of recreational marijuana. The point I was trying to make is that voices on both sides need to be heard. You certainly made your feelings known.
I am concerned about your comment about "coke," or cocaine, and "heroin" being legalized for "recreational use" anywhere. It's plain that you consider marijuana the same as the two drugs you mentioned. I understand how you may feel as you do, but I certainly don't agree with the placement in the same category. In fact, according to the best information I can find, there hasn't been one death attributed to an overdose of marijuana, but the deaths related to heroin and cocaine are staggering.
I need to correct some things you made reference to. First, I was clear in my letter that I was in Arizona this past season, and the reference was to Arizona Proposition 205, not Texas. My reference was to ads distorted by the anti-legalization campaign that were aired in Arizona approximately 10 to 1, not voter response. In fact, when the votes were counted, the results were 51.3 percent "no" and 48.7 percent "yes," hardly 10 to 1!
In fact, three Colorado state legislators and others contacted opponents of legalization in Arizona and asked that they stop running misleading and inaccurate ads with reference to Colorado. One such ad made false claims that teen use and traffic deaths in Colorado had increased dramatically since legalization.
Another ad that aired out of Phoenix that we saw regularly was of Hershey Corp. products being represented as edible marijuana products; this was totally false, yet they ran day after day. Another ad stated that none of the tax revenue went to Colorado schools. In fact, between 2015 and 2017, the Colorado Department of Education received $138 million of the $221 million in tax revenue collected from the sale of marijuana.
The bottom line is that I was neither supporting nor opposing the issue of legalized pot in my letter. I believe I was just stating facts. There has been too much sensationalizing without facts on both sides of the issue. Get educated and get involved.
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One more thing before I go; I didn't want to downplay the concern for the wave pool. This issue is very close to the hearts of many Craig and surrounding community residents. My granddaughter and many other kids from Steamboat would really be upset about losing the wave pool.
As I understand it, the closing of the wave pool brought far more folks to the Craig City Council than any other recent issue. I'm pretty sure that's a fact. My comments about the lack of signage directing people to the "Pool Complex and City Park" came from my travels in past years.
My wife and I have been through many towns where there were city-run campgrounds, pools lakes and other attractions that we would have never known about, let alone utilized, without a sign. Maybe it's just a dream, John, but I do think more attendance to a beautiful facility like the wave pool and park may just keep it in operation.
Also, for those that don't know, "pickleball" is played at the City Park in the summer and at the Boys & Girls Club in the fall and winter. By having this sport in Craig, those facilities receive free advertising as to their location and times of play at the "places to play" USAPA site on the internet.
I lived, worked and played in Craig for nearly 40 years. I ran for City Council many years ago. I still have many friends and family in the area; that's why we keep coming back to visit. As I write this, there is snow falling, and the front yard is covered in white. Please, John, tell me I'm hallucinating!