Having lived in the North Fork Valley since 1971, I'd like to address the question of whether or not recreational marijuana sales are appropriate for Paonia.
Acknowledging that, in fact, in the State of Colorado the use of recreational marijuana is now legal and that marijuana is readily available in Paonia, I'm reminded of something my parents used to say, "Two wrongs don't make it right."
Just because marijuana is legal and available doesn't mean it's beneficial.
I recognize that there may be legitimate uses for medical marijuana, but I think that allowing the sale, etc. of recreational marijuana will have unintended consequences. Could the influx of people who have no commitment to this community be damaging to the character of our town? Would our young people be sufficiently protected? Could a changed reputation cause families to shy away from wanting to live here, vacation here, or bring in new businesses? Would the town incur unexpected expenses to oversee, regulate and guard marijuana businesses?
Sales would bring money into the town. Money can buy sidewalks but it cannot buy good character. The Heart and Soul Project, which has been active in the North Fork lately, has identified several values held by the people of our community. They have listed these in their survey currently being circulated by them. These values describe a safe and healthy place to live. This quote is on the Heart and Soul website: "It's not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are." (Ray E. Disney).
Council members have been chosen with the hope that their wise decisions will reflect their loving care of the Town of Paonia, assuring all of us a safe and healthy place to live.
Please ban marijuana sales in Paonia.