Valley Gardening: If I could vote on these ballot issues …

I’m a little nervous this week, maybe even a LOT nervous. I’m going to write about a couple of the election items for Alamosa. I had a customer tell me this week that folks respect me for speaking out.  He said folks follow me. I was honored to hear this. Please come in and ask me about my opinions, ask me why I take the stands I do. Understand that you don’t have to dislike me, to disagree with me. We live in America.

One of the items Alamosa residents will get to vote on is “whether or not I, and folks like me, who live in the county, can volunteer to serve/work on city boards.” Somehow, this just seems a little weird to me.  YOU get to vote on ME working harder. One of the explanations at a meeting this week is that the city is not getting enough volunteers to fill all positions on their boards. It’s a sad state of our community when folks either don’t have the time, or don’t care, or don’t feel welcome to become involved. It’s kind of like the budget meeting when I was the ONLY one to show up and speak out. Are folks thinking that no matter what they say, they are not taken seriously? Are they tired of speaking out?

What bothers me most about the above, is that an amendment (or whatever) could also have been put on the ballot, allowing property owners (who live in the county) in Alamosa a vote. Most times when I speak up at city council meetings, I say “I live and work in Alamosa, and I sleep in the county,” which is pretty accurate. Why would we not want all property owners to vote on issues that affect Alamosa? It’s time to get this done—but I guess we will have to wait until the next election! Not only should it be on the ballot, but every city councilor should actively promote it. My humble opinion.

Meanwhile…and now I am getting more nervous, you residents of Alamosa will have the vote on cannabis shops in Alamosa. It’s hard to know whether or not a person should call it “pot, or marijuana, or cannabis or weed.” I don’t get to vote. But if I could, I would vote YES.

I have been aware of cannabis since 1975. That’s when I went to northern California to trim for my sister.  I knew nothing! It was a surreal experience for an innocent girl from Minnesota. An awakening.  And a truly wonderful time with my sister and her California family. My sister grew marijuana for close to 45 years. She was a responsible grower! Sharon and her family built schools in their small community, they created ambulance organizations to respond to emergencies, they took care of those in need.  Sharon was a midwife, and also was at the end of life in hospice care. A documentary was made on her life. I’m thinking she smoked weed every day. She was a very good person!

My brother suffered a brain trauma many, many years ago. He continued to live in Minnesota, so that my Mom could pay his bills etc. He was just Howie. Not the brother I grew up with before he was hurt, but my new brother. Howie smoked every day. Cannabis helped to relax him. It kept him from having seizures. I was with him during one seizure, shortly after he was hurt, and it was awful. At the time Howie was smoking, it was not legal in Minnesota. Should he have been put in jail? I don’t believe so.  He was a good person!

My mom tried cannabis, both in California, and as she battled cancer at the end of her life. I don’t know that she loved it, but she didn’t love my siblings any less for their enjoyment of marijuana. My Mom was a wonderful person!

I do not believe cannabis is a gateway drug—not from my research. I do not believe that all the vagrancy in Alamosa comes from folks wanting to smoke weed, and so they come to Colorado. The folks who have robbed me and violated my trust have been addicted to METH AND HEROIN, not cannabis. I talked with folks from Gunnison this week, where a dispensary received a “new business of the year award.”  The Gunnison Chamber of Commerce was wonderful in giving me the names of all the businesses in their town dealing with cannabis. They did it right. Alamosa can do it right.

I’m hoping that all you folks against marijuana also take a stand against meth and heroin. I haven’t seen you at the meetings I’ve been to. Be on the lookout for the new signs I just got in for property owners to post. And remember…it’s the meth and heroin that is killing people! Not cannabis.