Email letters, April 22, 2014

Federal, state pronouncements on pot laws seem meaningless

This is is how it works. The federal government declares that drugs, including pot, are illegal and it is firm on that. Colorado voters (mostly from the eastern side of the mountains) decided to vote in recreational marijuana and the feds do nothing … they are firm on that. Members of the Colorado Legislature decide to pass some controls on illegal drugs, outlawing them in public places for which people can be arrested. They are firm on that.

Along comes the two-day smoke-out in a Denver public park where thousands do their thing. Out of these thousands, only 92 or so are arrested for smoking publicly. (Remember that it is illegal to smoke or take any kind of illegal drugs in public places. Colorado law is firm on that.) javascript:nullo()

The one bright and clean-air spot during Easter weekend was learning about the thousands who attended Red Rocks Sunrise, along with all the thousands in small towns and communities across Colorado. I wonder, if religious public meetings became illegal, what the law would do?

Like illegal pot smokers in public, there is strength in numbers. One wonders if this would hold true for public religious gatherings?  You say impossible? Don’t be too sure.
For now, each to his or her own in Colorado and in the USA, and pray that it will continue to be so.

BEVERLY DUZENACK

BLM’s increasing restrictions threaten Americans’ birthrights

I was dismayed to read in Monday’s paper that the BLM is being pushed by yet more special interest groups into even more restrictive management of our public lands.

The so-called “wildlife management emphasis area” is just another step toward keeping citizens off their public lands. Proposed protections “include stipulations on surface-disturbing activities, travel closures, [and] seasonal and recreational restrictions.” Once areas are designated, you can bet rules will evolve into very severe restrictions.
   
This concept is a bad idea and will continue to push us in the dangerous direction of eventually losing our public lands.

The main reason I moved here was the abundance of BLM and Forest Service lands. I have lived on the Western Slope for only 14 years, but in that short span I have seen BLM land chopped up into numerous national conservation areas, where one’s freedom is so restricted that one is even afraid to pee in the woods.
   
The recent uprising in Nevada may be the canary in the coal mine. More and more, I hear the call for divestiture of BLM land and national forests.

I have a great fear that one day, if we continue down this road of overly restrictive management, we will lose our birthright, these millions of acres of wonderful wildlands. 

ROBERT HOOPER

Wildlife Biologist
U.S. Forest Service, retired
Montrose

City Council must challenge ACLU’s heavy-handed tactics

As a long-time resident of western Colorado and a past holder of public office, I am continually amazed that the response to a threatened lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union has brought more than one community or commission to its knees. “Do as we say, or face a costly lawsuit.” How is this right?

Just the mention of its name sends us running. Are not the taxpayers of this country entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Why must we continually be controlled by groups who put perceived entitlements  of others before the rights of its citizens?

I, for one, would like to see the ACLU’s practices challenged. It has cost this country millions of dollars in wasted opportunities and resources.

I support making a stand. Let’s send the bullies in suits packing.

SAM SKRAMSTAD
Grand Junction


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