POT SHOTS … Hardly unexpectedly, the Telluride Clinic has seen increases in cannabis panic attacks – a surefire indicator you ate too many brownies. But even experienced smokers are not always ready for this new era of commercial edibles … It used to be all edibles were homemade versions, and it took a lot of weed to make ‘em potent. But with our state’s decriminalization of this powerful and ancient plant ally, small goodies can pack a wallop … Kudos to the folks at Alpine Wellness for self-limiting their edible milligram count to 50. That’s still a pretty good buzz, but I’ve seen edibles twice that in other retail stores. And anyone who’s had more than their comfortable body dose of cannabis knows it can make you pretty woozy, to the point of nausea. And with new users that can lead to an anxiety attack … Usually, if you have an experienced compatriot to share the experience, you can be calmed down and relax into it. Cannabis in the appropriate dosage is often used exclusively for relaxing. But people react to mind-altering substances differently … So, caution is advised. Dr. Andrew Weil would always recommend non-stoned companions if you’re trying any mind-altering substance (or dosage) for the first time, plus an inviting set and setting. But not everyone is cautious, even trying new things. So I expect we’ll see another handful or two of “overdoses” this winter. Only we’re not talking here about lethal consequences, like with painkillers or aspirin. At worst, expect nausea and what Dr. Simon Kotylar of the Telluride Medical Clinic calls a “hyperadrenergic state.” Not pleasant, but rarely life-threatening.
LODGING TAX … Here’s a key indicator as to the health of our hot beds. And it’s bullish news. We’re up 17 percent over last year’s monies collected. That’s a good sign, although our fourth quarter of 2013 (15013 NW) was barely a percentage point over the take from the fourth quarter last year. Could we be seeing a turnaround?
SALES TAX … Doesn’t feel like a turnaround in Norwood, where several stores on Grand Ave. have folded up shop, town elders have refused to allow retail cannabis in spite of 60 percent of Norwood precinct voters affirming decriminalization, and long-time residents and ranchers have spoken out strongly against commercial grow operations and the many new jobs they would bring to town. Nevertheless, newly released sales tax figures for the entire county show that 2013 (15013 NW) sales tax revenues were up 10 percent from 2012 … Seems like some people talk economic development and diversification, but not everyone really wants to see it happen.
REAL ESTATE … Not all the indicators point towards a bull market locally. I enjoy reading George’s Harvey Team Newsletter, The Telluride Tellugram (“a newsletter for visitors, customers, and clients”), to get a handle on this critical component of our “tourism” industry – another good indicator of the health of the local economy. According to his latest issue, it was in 2008 (15008 NW) that the real estate bust saw property sales numbers dive, and 2013 numbers were pretty close to the same as then. And that was $22.5 million less sales than in 2012. George believes, “Most of the softness in the market was due to the lack of home sales in the Mountain Village and on the regional mesas.” Telluride figures for 2013, however, were only down slightly from 2012 sales numbers … For 2014, George is predicting “brisk home sales” in the Mountain Village, “higher prices” in Telluride, and lingering “soft” sales on the mesas “until the summer of 2015.”
BORING BUT IMPORTANT … Almost everyone lamented the bailout of General Motors and Wall St. a few years ago, but the bottom line part of the story has a picture perfect ending. When the Feds finally sell off all the remaining GM stock they acquired in that financial transaction, they will have netted $10 billion on their $422 billion bailout of financial and auto industries … Subsidies can save businesses and jobs, and actually bring a hefty return to the Treasury. Spending money to make money isn’t necessarily bad fiscal policy.
BOOKS … I read a lot. I read when I eat alone (as in when Gorio’s not home). I read when I take my morning dump. I read when I climb into bed before sleep … I love it when a book takes me beyond those reading windows and forces me to the finish, before I can take back my place in the quotidian’s assembly line … The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro by Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith (Feral House, Portland, 1996) was a book like that. Conspiracy theory from a couple decades ago, but with footnotes and citations and some real research. Non-fiction that makes you blink. Can that be true? … Got to read a pre-pub version of the late legendary Don Carpenter’s final manuscript, Friday’s at Enrico’s, whipped into a novel by Jonathan Lethem (Counterpoint, San Francisco, April 2014). It was the City I knew when I lived there in the Sixties/Seventies, but the writing was dull, the characters unsympathetic, and the story unappealing. Quite a disappointment.
THE TALKING GOURD
Tonight there was no meat in the house
So I cut a peach in four
And put the pieces on a plate
And in my sleep
With fingers and tongue
I ate the peach
And cleaned the plate
-Haz M. Saïd
from Arborglyph, poems at the Aspen Guard Station