Gary W. Junek: Considering pot shops


As the Steamboat Springs City Council considers the areas to allow marijuana shops, I thought I would share one property owner’s perspective.

As with many others, we fell in love with Steamboat and visit as often as we can in both the winter and summer. It is a perfect place to relax and bring family and friends. While I understand the will of the Colorado people to allow marijuana sales, I also have to consider the best interest of my family.

I will admit that I am conservative and teach my kids traditional values, including the negative consequences of using drugs. I do not want them exposed to marijuana shops or the pungent smell of the product when in Steamboat just as I do not want them exposed to it in our own neighborhood.

Part of the charm of Steamboat is its Western heritage and down-to-earth values. These attributes separate it from most other resort towns. Marijuana may bring increased tax revenues, but it also will bring the associated crime, characters and other negative behaviors.

I would suggest that you take into consideration the tourists who come to Steamboat and the out-of-town property owners and keep this product as far away as possible from these folks that support the local economy. Otherwise, as the old saying goes, people may vote with their feet.

Gary W. Junek



Scott Wedel 3 years, 7 months ago

"I do not want them exposed to marijuana shops or the pungent smell of the product when in Steamboat just as I do not want them exposed to it in our own neighborhood."

Lock them up securely and never let them out if your goal is to prevent them from being exposed to marijuana.

The history of the West is of a libertarian philosophy and not government prohibitions to protect individuals from being exposed to personal choices.


rhys jones 3 years, 7 months ago

Gary -- You don't live here, you don't work here, you don't vote here, and you don't shop here. Why do you think those of us who sweat and bleed here care one bit what YOU think? You are the enemy, the remote vermin poaching our environment and driving up real estate.

Admittedly, your chances of encountering the pungent smell of marijuana are far less in Texas. Why don't you just stay there?


mark hartless 3 years, 7 months ago

Now there's a laugh...

Scott, you wouldn't know libertarian philosophy if it smacked you in the mouth. You are an apologist for all manner of ANTI-libertarian philosophies, not the least of which is the subject of gun rights, something that's about as "western history" as you can find.

I swear Scott, I do think you are a fairly intelligent person who does have a few good ideas, but your ability to get on both sides of issues and not even know it is absolutely un-rivaled outside political office.

You really should run for something...


Harvey Lyon 3 years, 7 months ago

Rhys and Scott,

I live here and I work here. AND I DON'T WANT MJ SHOPS IN STEAMBOAT! Scott's absolutely correct in the liberal views of the Old West. Except they allowed those things to occur "across the river" or "on the other side of the tracks".

My kids are grown but frankly I'm tired of folks smoking doobies in the gondola, on the side of the hill or at the bus stop.

I think Mr. Junkek has a valid point and I believe your comments are both incorrect and rude.

Harv Lyon


mark hartless 3 years, 7 months ago


Don't let Rhys get to you.

If you come here as often as you say then you probably still pay more taxes than many of those "locals" who spend most of their time (and money) toking on a bong and imagining some sort of proprietary interest in Steamboat.

Conversely, those who claim the "conservative" mantle such as yourself must begin to accept that freedom works BOTH ways or not at all.

I don't like the pot shops idea either, but as a libertarian I have to realize that the government has absolutely no right to regulate it.

The people of Colorado have spoken. On pot they got it right; on guns... completely wrong. The sad thing is that not many of them even recognize that those 2 decisions travel in EXACTLY OPPOSITE directions on the freedom scale. This means that, unfortunately, they are not attuned to freedom, but only to their self-intrest.


rhys jones 3 years, 7 months ago

I apologize for my prior comment; it was off-the-cuff. Pay your taxes here; God knows we (they) can find places to spend it. I claim no proprietary interest in this town or valley, not even sweat equity, just another passing through, already stayed longer than I ever meant to, there's LOTS of pretty places. Few as progressive, however... (never mind the undercurrent)(special interests rule everywhere; that can't be escaped)


mark hartless 3 years, 7 months ago

)(special interests rule everywhere; that can't be escaped)

Yet another thing on which we agree, Rhys.


rhys jones 3 years, 7 months ago

Mark -- I was gonna award you a clear victory in the reasoning and logic pissing contest with The Pest, until you made that "proprietary interest" comment. That hurt.


mark hartless 3 years, 7 months ago

Sorry Rhys. By now you know I'm an equal opportunity offender...


Tim Keenan 3 years, 7 months ago

I wonder if Gary has any stats to back up his correlation between legal pot and crime.


Dan Hill 3 years, 7 months ago

Substitute alcohol for marijuana and this letter could have been written in support of prohibition back in the twenties. There's nothing about MJ that suggests it can't be regulated like alcohol. I don't care if the person making too much noise at midnight is drunk or high or just an a-hole, the issue I want the police to deal with is the anti-social behavior.

Likewise, I don't care what you're smoking, but don't blow your smoke in my face.

Regulating any drugs is not a perfect solution, but it has far fewer truly dire side effects, like encouraging organised crime, than prohibition. We can't wrap the entire town in cotton wool so your little darlings won't ever be exposed to anything bad.

Finally, if we want to live up to this constant claim we make that America is a uniquely free country, it's time to start striking a balance between our dislike of some things and respecting what other people want to do.


Cresean Sterne 3 years, 7 months ago

Agreed... Pot and alohol have been a staple in every ski town accross the country for many many decades .If you are against it then why do you frequent those places or choose to move there..The fact is that there are probably more people who drink and smoke pot in ski towns then dont, and yet Stmbt is and always will be one of the nicest and extremely educated towns in America for a family to raise there kids in... There is no known cases of anyone dieing from pot, but alcohol and cigarettes have killed millions..I blame our government for preaching false madness and enducing fear to many regarding this matter..The people have voted this in with a large majority and it should be respected. Maybe Hayden is the town for you..


rhys jones 3 years, 7 months ago

"proprietary" really gets to me. Who owns this town, anyway? Those who pay for it to work, or those who make it work? Those who know each other, or those on the outside, looking in?


zak ryan 3 years, 7 months ago

Exploring change to see if it has a positive outcome is feared by many, repetively in every introduction. With mj its been around with alcohal and cigarretes, just not openly, socially, or publicly used or sold. Which if history keeps repeating itself, in a few years it will be the norm. It cant be any worse than lung cancer from nicotine, a drunk driving car accident, or an overdose on scripted meds. This is just one more thing parents will have to elaborate on while going over the dos and donts. While your at it might want to chime in on the freakish amount of time kids spend on electronics, social media, or violent video games. Mj is around, has been for a long time, and its about time its harvested for revenue that benefits more than just one or few people. Only time will tell. And everyone should be happy all that meth didnt make it to the streets up here, talk about the wrong stuff..


Scott Wedel 3 years, 6 months ago

The health effects of marijuana have been tracked in large health surveys for over 40 years. In terms of health effects, marijuana is similar to caffeine and Ritalin. Alcohol and cigarettes are far more harmful and comparable to cocaine, narcotic abuse and meth.

MJ being illegal has not been effective at limiting supply or availability. Being illegal creates a huge illegal trade run by criminal gangs.


Terry Noble 3 years, 7 months ago

Gary good luck in keeping your children in bubbles to protect them from the ills of society. We live in a majority rules society so your screwed bud. As far as your feet doing the voting, I suggest some really good long lasting shoes with Smartwool socks as you have a very long journey ahead of you looking for Utopia. Remember what you don't teach your children will always do more harm than what you do teach them. I respect your opinion and your right to it. If you think they're safer in Houston then stay home.


bill schurman 3 years, 6 months ago

Gary, people have been smoking marijuana right here in Steamboat at least since 1975 when I moved here and when it was a truly Western heritage town. It is only a "Western Heritage" town in your imagination, save the silly cattle drive.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.