I am not a citizen of the City of Ouray, but Ouray has been a very important part of our family’s lives for over 40 years. Our children grew up swimming in the pool and, this week, our grandchildren will be doing the same. It is a very special place.
I attended the city council meeting last Monday and listened to the discussion from the public and the councilmen relative to the sale of recreational marijuana in Ouray. Like many, I was aghast when, toward the end of the meeting, Mayor Risch stated that “60 percent of the Mexican drug cartel money comes from marijuana. I would prefer that be brought above-ground; to me, it is an enormous waste.”
Do you think, Mayor, that the Mexican drug cartels are going to sit idly by and allow marijuana shops in the state of Colorado to cut into their profit margin?
According to a study by the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness as reported by In Sight Crime, profits for the cartels could go down by 30 percent. The study estimates that loss at almost $1.425 billion in Colorado alone and that the Sinaloa Cartel would be the hardest hit, with profits down by 50 percent. How long will it be before we see the cartels brutally erase the competition in Colorado as they have in Mexico? How long before the existence of a retail marijuana shop in Ouray attracts that violence? Or worse, how long before the cartels set up shop in the area in order to protect their industry and profit?
Before you say it will never happen in Ouray, remember that there has already been one medical marijuana related home invasion in Norwood. Know also that there are over 20 drug related gangs in Montrose alone and over 500 in the state. If they cannot get their marijuana in Montrose (as the sales have been banned), they will come to Ouray. Is that the element we want in the city? Marijuana users from other states will also find their way to Ouray. Is that the tourist population we are hoping to attract?
You stated “I need a lot more information” on Monday night. I challenge you, Mayor Risch, to objectively educate yourself on all the issues surrounding the sale of marijuana in the city. The citizens of Ouray who elected you deserve your, and the entire council’s, research on the pros and cons involved, and not a simple decision that the expected, yet doubtful, revenue outweighs compromising the character of the town and the safety of its people.
– Donna Whiskeman, Log Hill