Whole New Meaning to ‘Mile High’ Nickname

For many years and for obvious reasons, Denver has been known as “Mile High City.” Recent news emanating from there about enforcement of marijuana possession laws is giving a whole new meaning to that nickname.

Last week, a committee voted to send a letter to the Denver County Court urging the fine for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana to be one dollar. The total penalty for marijuana possession would be $111 once state fines and other fees are levied. (1)

While these other fines do increase the severity of the punishment, Denver will still be sending out a strong message about its lenient view regarding marijuana possession if the court accepts this recommendation. The Mile High city truly will be a place to get high.

As a former high-school teacher (I teach middle school now), I heard students talk about the safety, pleasure and healthful nature of smoking “weed.” Despite all their praise of the habit, I continued to advise them against such behavior and pointed out all the reasons they should stop, including the fact that I do not agree that marijuana is safe or healthy (as far as pleasure goes, I cannot attest to that since I have never myself indulged).

I am no expert, far from it, but I saw what marijuana did to my students. I could tell which ones were “potheads.” They were the ones with the glazed eyes, staring off into space during my class. They were the ones who never got their work in on time, if at all. They were the ones who did not have even an inkling of concern or plans for their future.

That was the effect I found most devastating about the drug — its power at creating apathy. The students who abused marijuana were the most apathetic young people I have ever met. Nothing mattered to them — not their education, not their futures, not their lives.

The only thing they cared about was getting home that afternoon so they could take some “hits.” They would joke about it, but I knew that most likely that is what they were going to do after school. While “jonesing” for another hit, they would stand there and argue how marijuana is non-addictive. I could never make them see the irony of that.

And now a committee — who knew a city had such a thing as a “marijuana policy review panel” — is recommending that Denver make a mockery of its drug laws by lowering the fine for marijuana possession to $1. This is a shame.

People actually do believe marijuana is “safe.” It is this misguided belief that makes marijuana one of the most frightening drugs of all. When something appears “safe,” we are more free to partake in it. It is like the wolf in sheep’s clothing — once we realize the danger, it is far too late. And, here is Denver potentially providing the wolf with the innocuous costume.

Not only do I not agree with the contents of this letter, I also do not understand how this committee was appointed or how its members were chosen. How does an activist who heads an organization dedicated to the legalization of marijuana — Mason Tvert, the executive director of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER, more irony) — end up on an official marijuana policy committee in the first place? He does not seem like the most impartial choice to me for such a group.

No wonder this committee agreed to send such a ludicrous letter to the presiding county judge. With members such as Tvert, this group is busy blowing smoke, obscuring the facts as they take one more step in their quest for legal marijuana.

(1) http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_13212872

4 responses to “Whole New Meaning to ‘Mile High’ Nickname

  1. Like you I have seen the “potheads” come and go, they are pretty much slackers, all they want to do is to get high “from a little help from their friends.” I have noticed a trend in recent years that it is more acceptable though. People would get arrested and they would admit they had a problem with smoking pot. Now, they are upset by it, they say it is no worse than smoking a cigarette and do not understand why they should have to go to jail, besides they use it for medicinal purposes. I do not believe there is enough room for me to comment on how strongly I disagree with that. I do not know if it is the media’s portrail of it being used for medicinal purposes or movies like knocked up- there are about a hundred other movies I could name but that is the most recent that show marijuana use not only as harmless, but cool. After all in knocked up, the main character smokes marijuana and does not have a job, and gets a girl pregnant. He eventually does the right thing and gets a job, and cares for his child, but that is really not reality. In reality he would still be jobless, he would not care about any thing but his next high. The irony is that you could take out the whole pot smoking part of the movie and it would be a good movie. I do not believe in censorship, but I think the media has a responsibility to not show certain things. I could list hundred different movies where they have influenced people, but I will just leave off with the too fast, too furious, where people are getting killed because of the trend of street racing, something that is portrayed throughout the movie. I firmly believe the media should be responsible for what they do, and how they influence people lives. When people’s influence people’s lives by creating terror or causing death, we call them terrorists. When the media does it we do not say anything. With that said I do believe in what thomas jefferson said: when asked if he would rather have a government without news papers or have no government but have news, he said he would rather have news, in other words they should be here to inform us.

    • Vantage Point Productions


      All I have to say is it never ceases to amaze me how Hollywood makes it all work out in the end, no matter how bad it is the rest of the time. I only wish that were true. Take care.


  2. You nailed it. OTOH, I keep hearing how the War On Drugs is just filling up our prisons and costing a fortune.. We as a society desperately need to rethink a lot of things, including how we got to the point that so many think pot is safe, and how we get away from here.

    • Vantage Point Productions


      Thanks for commenting. I agree the “War on Drugs” needs to be reevaluated. I believe there are other approaches that need to be explored. I do not necessarily think prison is the answer for all drug offenders. I do think marijuana is more hazardous than people realize.

      Have a great holiday weekend, Miles. Take care.


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