Palisade sign language

There’s no question emotions are intense in the town of Palisade this month over a municipal ballot measure that would ban medical marijuana dispensaries there and thus close the only such dispensary currently operating in Mesa County.

Intensity over a hotly contested political issue is understandable. Vandalizing or removing political signs related to that issue is something else, entirely.

Those are criminal acts, violations of people’s right to express their political views. Ultimately, they are also juvenile acts, childish means of attempting to win an argument — or an election — by seeking to silence the other side.

As The Daily Sentinel’s Paul Shockley reported Thursday, there has been an increasing number of complaints to the Palisade Police Department of vandalism or theft of yard signs regarding Referred Measure 2B, which would prohibit the dispensaries. Last week, readers may have noticed some of those complaints appeared in the Sentinel’s “Blotter” section.

The complaints began, according to Palisade Police Chief Carroll Quarles, with reports from people who support Measure 2B and want dispensaries banned in Palisade. They involved accounts of “Yes on 2B” signs being knocked down or obscured, he said.

Soon thereafter, folks from the “Vote No on 2B” side reported some of their yard signs had been stolen. There have also been complaints from both sides to this newspaper, stories of people allegedly trying to intimidate or harass campaign volunteers.

All this is truly unfortunate for a town that is normally quiet and friendly. And it is an unnecessary burden for a small police force that has more important issues to deal with.

With just a few days to go until the election ballots are counted — and most mail-in ballots already sent — we hope the sign feuds have ended in Palisade and townsfolk can return to their good-neighbor attitude, no matter the outcome of the vote.


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