The Home Front: With legal weed in the crosshairs, behold Colorado’s beard industry

Your morning roundup of stories from the newspaper front pages across Colorado

The Home Front: With legal weed in the crosshairs, behold Colorado’s beard industry

“States where recreational marijuana is legal will be subject to ‘greater enforcement’ under the Trump administration, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday,” according to The Denver Post’s marijuana vertical The Cannabist. “But watchers of Colorado’s billion-dollar weed industry are waiting to see whether Spicer’s statements during his daily briefing actually yield a real shift in enforcement policy.” “There’s a big difference between (medical marijuana) and recreational marijuana, and I think when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people,” Spicer said, “giving the first glimpse of the new administration’s views of the growing legal cannabis industry.” “There is still a federal law that we need to abide by in terms of recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature,” the paper quotes him saying.

So if worse comes to worse and Colorado loses out on its recreational pot industry, what might fill that counter-culture industry void? How about being the Beard State? The Gazette reports how beards are back and Colorado is kind of ground zero in the industry.The paper profiles a local couple who work in the beard industry. They moved here when the husband wanted to “free his follicles” and go “full mountain man.” His wife “didn’t bristle at the announcement, per se, so long as her husband promised to keep things tidy and fragrant – not the raggedy whiskers he’d sported after getting out of the Army or while touring the East Coast with his reggae band.” Now they run Vintage Grooming Co. The paper quotes a local barber saying, “I would say Colorado is one of the driving forces in beards.”

“A key witness in a longstanding Greeley murder case died this week,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Jesse Martinez, 52, died Tuesday in Greeley. Martinez was the cousin of John Sandoval, 52, who was convicted in 2010 of murdering his estranged wife, Tina Tournai Sandoval, 15 years prior. She disappeared Oct. 19, 1995, just three months after they had separated. She was going to his house for one last visit to settle a debt, and she was never seen again.”

“Help is on the way for animals and small children locked in overheated cars under a bill that won unanimous approval in a House committee Thursday,” The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports. “Good Samaritans who come across pets or children locked in cars would have a means to help and not get into trouble for doing so, said Reps. Lori Saine, R-Firestone, and Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, the two sponsors of HB1179. “I wish I could say that we thought of it first, but many states have these laws to cover unfortunate situations where a young child or pet is forgotten in a locked car,” Saine said. “Folks don’t realize how quickly a metal car turns in to a oven chamber, often within minutes, even with cloud cover, with shade, with windows cracked. Killing temperature can arrive quickly.” Under the bill, “which now heads to the full House for more debate, a Good Samaritan would have to take a few steps to earn immunity from civil or criminal prosecution before taking action,” the paper reports.

“Longmont’s City Council is to consider the human services needs during its annual retreat on Friday,” reports The Times-Call. “Another topic on the retreat agenda: job growth and economic vitality. This year’s daylong council retreat is being held at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center. It is open to the general public, and the agenda includes an opportunity for public comment at the end of the retreat.”

“Undocumented immigrants in Steamboat Springs say they are now living in fear following the announcement of changes to federal deportation policies,” The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports. “I’m just afraid for everyone,” said a 39-year-old undocumented Steamboat Springs woman who moved to the United States from Mexico in 2007. “I see a police car, and to me, it looks like five, so I don’t want to drive anywhere.” The woman, “who spoke through a Spanish language interpreter, was one of several undocumented immigrants, identified by nonprofit Integrated Community, who agreed to speak to Steamboat Today under conditions of anonymity in order to share their feelings about announcements this week regarding a federal rewrite of national immigration policies.”

“Larimer County faces a widening labor shortage over the next decade,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “That is unless steps are taken to shrink the gap between the number of jobs created and workers available to fill them, according to a new report. Over the past five years, the Fort Collins-Loveland area has added almost 20,000 jobs but only 11,000 workers. The result is a chasm that threatens the county’s economic health as employers that can’t find the workers and skills they need go elsewhere.”

“Boulder Valley Superintendent Bruce Messinger sent a reminder Thursday morning to the school district’s leadership team that the district will continue to support and advocate for transgender students,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The reaffirmation of the district’s support came after President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday rescinded Obama-era federal transgender student guidance. The guidance carried no force of law. Without the Obama directive, it will be up to states and school districts to interpret federal anti-discrimination law and determine whether students should have access to restrooms in accordance with their expressed gender identity and not just their biological sex.”

The Durango Herald reports how warmer winters are shortening Colorado’s ice fishing season. “It has been quite a bit shorter of a season the last several years compared to what it used to be,” Jared Hansen, president of Vallecito Conservation and Sporting Association, told the paper. “It just hasn’t stayed cold enough to build that safe ice.” Last week, “Hansen canceled this year’s Vallecito Lake Ice Fishing Tournament, marking the second time in five years the event was impacted by an unsound base of ice,” the paper reported. It quotes him saying, “It just wasn’t worth the challenge of trying to keep everyone safe.”


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About the Author

Corey Hutchins

is a journalist in Colorado, and Columbia Journalism Review's Rocky Mountain correspondent for the United States Project. Follow him on Twitter @CoreyHutchins and email him at CoreyHutchins [at] gmail [dot] com.

1 Comment

  1. Will Morrison on said:

    There are SO many things wrong with Spicer’s statement that it’s hard to know where to begin. First off, I thought that republcians were for state’s rights? What about OUR right as a state NOT to join in the stupidity of prohibition? We’ve proven that it’s a lost cause, that it does FAR more harm than good, and that it’s essentiallhy unAmerican. Why are the republicans FOR something that takes away our freedom? Because they are hypocrites.

    As to the complaint about opioids, the two things are first off, Not the same things, and weed does NOT lead to opioid use or dependence. He and the republicans are STILL thinking that opioid use is all about “getting high”, when it’s about avoiding withdrawal after MEDICAL use. They need a fundamental shift away from that idea, as it’s wrong.

    Not to mention, cannabis is a good way to get OFF of opioids, so limiting it’s availability is just goign to make the very situation he’s complaining about worse.

    Then there is the jobs issue. CO has one of the best rates of employment in the country, and it’s largely because of cannabis. Not just that industry, but at least a dozen others. We’ve put more people to work in the last few years in SIDE industries than you can imagine, and all because of legal weed.

    Now, add in the DROP in crime rates, NOT the increase, and you can see why this is SUCH a losing proposition in this state. We’re NOT screwing with people’s lives when they AREN’T a problem. We AREN’T giving cops excuses to mess with people for no reason. We’re NOT costing the state untold millions to lock up people for what is at worst a bad habit.

    And finally, let’s add in the fact that we’ve sold nearly a BILLION dollars worth of the stuff. A few more years like this and we will have made some REAL money. WHO wants to give that back?

    And especially because Jeffery Beauregard Sessions doesn’t like weed? He’s a freaking RACIST who LOVES drug laws because he KNOWS their big use is really to oppress minorities. And before yo utell me I’m wrong, look up the congressional records, and tell me how many times racist words were used for the people mentioned in their discussions. It’s a racist policy, and that’s why HE is for it.

    If Rump thinks this is going to go away easily, he’s in for a good fight. We in this state have a lot at stake, here, not the least of shich is freedom. We’ve had a taste of it, and it’s good. People aren’t dying, violence isn’t up, money is good, and we’re more relaxed as a state. These are NOT things we need to be giving up because of Rump. He’ll be gone soon enough, God willing. This country does NOT need more authoritarianism. Especially with that IGNORANT MORON as the authority.

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