If the Snowmass Village Town Council were to rely solely upon a community questionnaire to determine whether or not to allow retail marijuana dispensaries within town borders, it would find a wide array of opinions as have been voiced recently by elected officials.

The town received 540 valid responses to a questionnaire on licensing pot shops in Snowmass Village that it offered during a one-month period last winter. The questionnaire will be one of the tools that elected officials use when determining whether or not to allow local sales of the drug that was legalized through Amendment 64 in 2012. The measure has a community opt-out clause and Snowmass implemented a moratorium on the shops before they began proliferating in 2014.

With the moratorium on dispensaries in Snowmass Village set to expire this fall, elected officials have been mulling over whether to ask voters to make the final decision, extend the moratorium or to just say no to the businesses.

The sample of respondents included full and part-time residents, guests, employees and business owners, and ranged in age from younger than 21 to older than 80 years.

While the names and addresses of those who answered the poll were collected, to ensure that outside groups didn’t have undue influence over the dialogue, the identifiers were only used for verification and are not linked to the individual answers, according to Travis Elliott, town spokesman.

Here’s some of what the public had to say:

“Allow licenses for research and development as well as transportation.”

“We are a family community. There should be no marijuana sales in TOSV.”

“Allow head shops/pipes, T-shirts etc.”

“For so many years, Snowmass Village has been what we considered ‘family friendly.’ While I understand these establishments are legal within the state of Colorado, they are not legal throughout the county and explaining this to minors is difficult. It allows access to a ‘gateway drug’ that is illegal in nearly every other state in the country (except for three) and requires an explanation of medical versus recreational use. If people want it, they can find it in Aspen and communities nearby. Not sure why it needs to be in Snowmass Village. It would alter the atmosphere of the entire village.”

“We are a capitalist nation, allow all business.”

“The worst part about marijuana legislation that there is nothing stoping a marijuana establishment opening up near a grocery store or a school. Everywhere you go with your children, they are asking what is that? Snowmass Village is too small of a town to have marijuana establishments in. I am sick of it being all over the place in Aspen and it is really nice not to have it in Snowmass Village.”

“Allow dispensaries to have retail space in the mall and at the post office business center.”

“Coffee shop club.”

“Extra security must be supplied.”

“Either all in or all out. A partial commitment does not make Snowmass Village unique.”

“Violates federal law.”

“No recreational marijuana should be allowed, it will be the downfall of the town.”

“Important to limit number of retail facilities so other businesses aren’t crowded out (one or two retail licenses). Also should take into consideration not locating near all child oriented facilities, including within 500- to 1,000-foot radius of the Tree House, Little Red School House, recreation center and any library facilities. The community should benefit from additional sales tax revenues to support both infrastructure impacts of development as well as associated service impacts.”

“Stronger presence of law enforcement. A cash only bank with counterfeit detection run by the town of Snowmass Village.” 

“Regulate marijuana like alcohol, as voters overwhelmingly decided.”

“Please do not allow it here.”

“Allow dispensaries to have retail space in the mall and at the post office business center. Don’t force them to have obscure locations.”

“All taxes should go to school programming for public schools. This should include Aspen School District since that is where our kids go.”

“Maybe an additional sales tax if there was something that could benefit from it. Otherwise, no restrictions. It is 2018, the tax money is too great. Marijuana is not something to be scared of. I don’t personally smoke but have zero problems with it. If anything alcohol is worse.”

“Prohibit smoking marijuana on chair lifts and in all condos.

“Safety first and location not in the mall because of police response.”

“No evidence that shops hurt tourism, in fact just the opposite. Decision should be made for economic reasons, therefore favor extra taxes. Locals in Snowmass Village can drive to Aspen or Basalt and don’t need that badly, but tourists are expecting it.”

“Needs to be at least two in the dying Snowmass Mall.”

“The smell of pot is already bothersome, why encourage it? This past Christmas, I was walking down from the mall to the Stonebridge condos. As we walked past the Stonebridge Inn and all the way to the Stonebridge condos the smell of pot was overwhelming. The comment from my niece topped it off, nothing says Merry Christmas like the strong smell of pot.”

“If licensing is allowed it is very important to limit the number. In Aspen it is easier to get pot than a cup of coffee.”

“I think this is a great way to boost town revenue through taxation. Whoever is lucky enough to win the bid is going to make a lot of money. “

“Why send all this business to Aspen? They will go in to buy weed; might as well have them buy it here so they eat in Snowmass, shop in Snowmass, etc.”

“Because my condo is not air conditioned I must leave windows open. This means I’m forced to smell the nauseous skunk odor. If I turn stove vent on doesn’t eliminate odor.”

“Adding this tax source to Snowmass Village can help us tackle the housing problem.”

“Do it now.”

“No, no, no.”

“Why give it all to Aspen. We should be in the game not out.”

“Please do not add this ‘chaos’ to our family environment.”“The only reason I go to Aspen is to buy marijuana. Aspen sucks, weed’s legal, get on with it already!”

“Arguments about ruining the family status of Snowmass with marijuana are without merit. Marijuana is something that we should be able to consume if needed or desired in whatever form is best. There are many benefits to the plant that help people from the old (cancer-shrinking tumors etc.) to the young (seizures).” 

“Most resort communities in Colorado and now California allow some limited access to marijuana. Snowmass should also.”

“Bring weed to Snowmass now!”

“We want to see Snowmass Village be a vibrant and fun family friendly alternative to Aspen. We are making progress, perhaps most notably with the impending opening of the Limelight. Like it or not, marijuana is here to stay and we need to deal with it in a responsible manner that does not exclude a cohort of vacationers.”

“Wrong for a family town.”

“I am not a marijuana user, but in principle I am a free-market supporter and I believe it should be allowed as it is legal in the state of Colorado.”

“I have recently been skiing at Snowmass and was concerned about the prevalence of the use of marijuana by mainly young male skiers.” 

“This is a smart move for Snowmass Village.”

“Lots of noise about a plant.”

“As a livery driver I am a guest’s first contact here. I’m often asked where marijuana is sold. When I tell my Snowmass guests that they have to go to Aspen they find it curious and always comment that other than nightlife it is the only thing that they have to go to Aspen for.”

 

Madski@aspendailynews.com

Follow Madeleine on Twitter, @Madski99