High country sees spike in medical marijuana dispenseries

John Denver would have been proud. His adopted hometown of Aspen is getting a medical marijuana dispensary –- this time right downtown.

According to the Aspen Times, a guy named “Charlie” from California is opening up the Roaring Fork Valley’s third pot dispensary (Carbondale and Basalt are already taken care of), and this one will be in the heart of Aspen proper.

Of course, Denver would have had to amend his state anthem “Rocky Mountain High” –something he was loath to do in the 70s when the FCC thought it promoted drug use –- in order to pay homage to Amendment 20, passed in 2000 to permit marijuana use for certain medical conditions.

Somehow, “Rocky Mountain Pain Relief” doesn’t have the same ring. The question, though, is what constitutes severe pain? Cancer, HIV, glaucoma — these things are clearly defined. But everyone in a ski town is in some sort of pain or another.

Whether it’s broken relationships, failing livers, torn knee ligaments or multiple fractures, virtually everyone in the high country qualifies as walking wounded.

Perhaps that’s why in addition to Frisco in Summit County, medical marijuana dispensaries have cropped up in Edwards in the Vail Valley and may soon be coming to Avon at the base Beaver Creek, where a business permit was applied for on Monday, according to the Vail Daily.

By far the most productive thing the State Legislature did in 2007 was to make “Rocky Mountain High” co-state song with “Where the Columbines Grow,” but Denver during the FCC flap pointed out “high” meant how you felt in the Rockies, not how anything grown in the Rockies made you feel.

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About the Author

David O. Williams

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail
and Real Aspen.

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