Published: July 27, 2013
Showed a 'reefer madness' mentality
With the backing of Mayor Steve Bach, the majority of Colorado Springs City Council, in its decision to bar retail sales of marijuana in Colorado Springs, showed its "reefer madness" mentality. That is an irrational fear of something that is not fully understood.
By voting to opt out and ignore the wishes of Colorado voters, council members Merv Bennett, Don Knight, Joel Miller, Andy Pico and Val Snider have deprived this community of needed tax revenues. They should listen to our younger citizens, who want to make Colorado Springs a vibrant place to live, instead of its being perceived as a reactionary cowtown.
David J. Baker, Colorado Springs
A chance to increase tax revenues
Global canna-tourists will have one less stop on their route when retail stores begin popping up next year. The ban on retail stores selling marijuana will be just one more reason to skip Colorado Springs and head straight to Denver. On the cusp of our mayor's initiative to spend millions on his grand downtown stadium, Olympic museum, etc., we need all the tax revenue we can get.
Instead, the conservative do-gooders have lied to the public and propagandized retail marijuana as "reefer madness." Mayor Bach argues that opening retail stores (aka small businesses) would be a job killer. The last time that I checked, small businesses are the backbone of our still-struggling economy and the No. 1 way to create jobs.
As reported recently in The Gazette, the Pikes Peak region has not recovered from the Great Recession as well as the rest of the state. Now, presented with a chance to increase tax revenues by millions each year, our City Council declined the extra income with a bold statement to voters.
The votes of hundreds of thousands of residents just became null and void in a single afternoon. Nine people deciding that they know better than the citizens who voted this law into effect? I love the smell of democracy in the morning.
The bottom line is that the mayor is seeking ways to increase tourism. What better way than to offer legal pot to tourists who will flock to Colorado from around the globe in the coming years? They will buy, smoke, eat, drink and return home to spread the word of how amazing the marijuana culture is in Colorado. Like it or not, people will come here to smoke. They just won't be spending their money in Colorado Springs.
Rather than increasing tax revenues and tourism by letting the will of the voters go into effect, our city would rather bank on the fact that a downtown stadium with a hefty price tag will bring more people to our region. I've met many people passionate about legalizing cannabis. Yet, moving forward, the mayor is hoping just as many people are passionate about the Sky Sox.
Joseph Morin, Colorado Springs
We could afford things we need
Re: Furloughed defense workers eligible for discounts at several Colorado Springs businesses (July 11).
I hope Congress takes note of private sector efforts to help defense workers furloughed by sequestration and resolves to stop these across-the-board cuts immediately. By slashing essential programs along with waste, they make spending cuts much more painful than necessary.
For instance, sequestration is also furloughing National Guard members that we need to deal with natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires. And sequestration has reduced critical programs for veterans like civilian job training.
Congress should replace sequestration with cuts to real government waste: pork barrel spending and projects that don't work or we don't need. For example, Congress should consider what military equipment we really need as the war in Afghanistan draws to a close.
We should cut unnecessary equipment. For instance, do we really need to spend $1 trillion on a new fighter jet (the F-35) given that we haven't even used our last new fighter (the F-22) in combat? Moreover, the F-35 is way over budget, behind schedule and has nagging performance problems.
We could afford things we need like our civilian defense workforce and the National Guard by cutting government waste.
Capt. George Autobee (Ret.), Pueblo
The Boulder gun buyback and Obamacare: What do they have in common? Liberal thinking! They are each poorly conceived, but that they do not work is not important. What is important is that "we" spend other people's money on projects that make us feel good about ourselves but help no one and are generally counter productive.
Dan Farmer, Colorado Springs
Sanity takes a vacation
Rich "the Hammer" Lowry nailed the phony rhetoric of the George Zimmerman bashers in his piece about those who want a "conversation about race" in America, particularly Eric Holder (July 21). This discredited government official has no moral stance to engage in any dialogue of such import, except perhaps conversations with his own lawyer. Enter the drum-beating agitators who waited in the wings for a verdict but one which angered them. Spurred on by top level race-baiting leaders, the unthinking and uninformed are being whipped into a froth over a non-existent "injustice." Facts don't matter, evidence is ignored, sanity takes a vacation by those who have an agenda of promoting racial discord. Some wisdom from Pope Leo XIII: "Nothing is more useful than to see things as they really are."
Marcia A. Fields, Colorado Springs