A wildfire burns Tuesday in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area. It's approximate size was 6 acres.

courtesy/ U.S. Forest Service

A wildfire burns Tuesday in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area. It's approximate size was 6 acres.

Helicopter ordered for Zirkel Wilderness fire

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Fire perimeter

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An aerial photo shows the fire burning Wednesday in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness.

— After another air reconnaissance flight Wednesday, the fire burning in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area was estimated to be about 6 acres, 2 acres larger than the first estimate.

"From what they saw during the flight, it wasn't spreading," Routt National Forest spokesman Aaron Voos said.

The fire was discovered Tuesday afternoon by a U.S. Forest Service employee and is burning about 1 mile south of the Three Island Lake trailhead along the south fork of the Elk River in heavy timber, including beetle-killed lodgepole pine trees. It was suspected lightning caused the fire.

The local Storm Peak Module firefighting crew is monitoring the fire from a distance.

"It's in some just nasty stuff, really steep slopes, and we're not going to put firefighters in there," Voos said.

Voos said a smoke plume was visible from Walden on the other side of the Continental Divide on Tuesday. The smoke was not as thick Wednesday.

A helicopter geared to drop water was called in to help contain the fire, but it had not arrived as of late Wednesday afternoon.

"We're still waiting on the helicopter that we ordered," Voos said. "People are holding resources pretty tight to the vest with the fire danger."

According to a news release, the Forest Service was using a "contain/confine" fire management strategy utilizing natural features to suppress the fire. Fires are sometimes left to burn in a wilderness area for the ultimate benefit of the forest. Voos said one concern with this fire was its proximity to the wilderness boundary.

Voos said there was not a high potential for the fire to spread. Rock surrounds three sides of the fire.

"If it moves up, it's moving up into rock," Voos said.

Temperatures for the remainder of this week are expected to top out in the mid- to high 70s in Steamboat Springs, about 17 miles to the southwest of the fire site. At higher elevations, Voos said conditions are drying out, but there still are places with snow in the timber.

People recreating in the area are being asked to leave. A closure is expected to be put into place Thursday for the Wolverine Basin, including the North Lake Trail, Forest Trail 1164.

The most memorable recent fire in the Zirkel Wilderness occurred in 2002. The Hinman and Burn Ridge fires started in July 2002 and joined to form the Zirkel Complex that burned 31,000 acres. The lightning-caused fires were not fully contained until October.

2nd fire fully contained

A second wildfire discovered Tuesday in the Routt National Forest was fully contained by Wednesday morning.

The fire spread to 12 acres about 20 miles north of Walden near the Wyoming border. A single-engine air tanker, a helicopter, five engines and a Jackson County bulldozer were being used to help fight the fire.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area wildfire

Comments

walt jones 5 months ago

To change the words of another saying, this one is "Burn Baby Burn" These forests need to be thinned out especially since the beetle epidemic.

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rhys jones 5 months ago

I've always thought a good theme for a movie would be the mountain town, surrounded by beetle-kill, it catches fire and spreads with the wind, and the residents are suffocated before they can escape, because the fire consumed all the oxygen. Think they'd pay to see that?

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john bailey 5 months ago

no , Rhys , not a dime on that movie , not gory enough..... I say let it burn these forests around here need a good ol fashion Ma Nature thinning..... shes done it before I think she knows how to handle these situations.......~;0) huh , hows the screen play on Aruba acoming ?

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rhys jones 5 months ago

John -- As you may recall, that trip was to shoot Rusty's fling with the cute new Public Defender -- for our new FOX sitcom, "Routt County Law" -- but when he suddenly left, so did the babes -- and I haven't been back to the Justice Center to scope out his replacement for camera appeal -- not that room anyway -- the dashing Rusty will be hard to replace.

So we're on hold for the moment.

Okay -- what if we had the Mad Arson, lighting fires around lots of towns? An environmental activist gone bad. Think they'll show up for that? Who would we cast?

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walt jones 5 months ago

Sounds like a documentary they would show at the Chief.

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mark hartless 5 months ago

Figure out a way to link it to "climate change" , absolve USFS of it's responsibility for the timber situation, blame the initial spark on some redneck with a motorized machine, gun or some kind of anti government backwoods rally gone awry (something akin to the rainbow folks but on the far right) and Hollywood might do it...

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Scott Wedel 5 months ago

A screenplay with a forest fire where hotshots parachute in and a local property owner that talks like Mark. The Mark inspired char becomes evil when they find his weapons cache and try to report him to the ATF. So then evil version of Mark becomes a sniper pinning down the firefighters as the fire approaches.

So you've got forest fire, various weapons as both sides access weapons caches and so on.

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mark hartless 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Yep, that ought to do it! That'd be a hit for Hollywood for sure.

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mark hartless 5 months ago

That photo looks very familliar. Is there a trail near there?

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jerry carlton 5 months ago

Since the Pilot does not see fit to put national commentary's on line, I will poach this article to possibly start my own firestorm. Today, July 24, you have columns from Maureen Down, a liberal woman, and Clarence Page, a black liberal columnist. It can not get much more politically correct than that. Maureen says a lying sexual predator is becoming much more popular. That shows where this country is headed. That said, I consider him a better president than Bush II. Clinton did not destroy our economy and take us into 2 wars that could not be worn. Actually I had very little problem with Page's column. Perry is probably stupider than Bush II. My question to the Pilot which I expect no reply is how did we get two liberals today?

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Jeff Kibler 5 months ago

Jerry, check out the E-edition. It's on the menu bar at the top of the page.
Pages 8 - 9. Of course you can't comment on them.

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Jeff Kibler 4 months, 4 weeks ago

You're welcome. But I reread your post after commenting too soon, then I got your point. Palm plant to forehead!
Then I tried to delete my post to no avail. So I edited my comment.

Regardless, I wish I could delete stupid statements from this blog.

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jerry carlton 4 months, 4 weeks ago

If we could do that there would probably no posts on this forum. That is why it is called "Freedom of Speech". Do you liberals believe in that part of the Constitution or just the parts that suit your socialist, liberal, progressive agenda?

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Freedom of speech prevents government from limiting speech.

It has nothing to do with how a newspaper operates a blog.

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Jeff Kibler 4 months, 4 weeks ago

What I meant was I wish I could delete my stupid statements from this blog.
A simple delete button would suffice. Just like the edit button.

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jerry carlton 4 months, 4 weeks ago

You are right Scott. Maybe the pilot will start deleting all conservative comments? They had 2 national liberal columnists on one day and quietly eliminated Ann Coulter. Ann Coulter is definitely a rabble rouser just like Maureen Dowd from the other side of the fence. Oh well, that will just help complete the Boulderization of Steamboat. Did you hear about the psychiatrist in the North east that pulled his own gun and shot a patient when the mentally ill patient killed one, wounded another and grazed the psychiatrist in the head? Wonder how many the patient would have killed if the psychiatrist had not been carrying a gun? Probably will hear no more about it just as you almost never hear about the mass shootings and murders that occur in Obama/Emanuel land every weekend.

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Pat West 4 months, 4 weeks ago

What the Pilot should do it delete comments when they turn from discussing the topic of the story, to the endless debate on how liberals or conservatives are the ones to blame for everything. Stay on topic or got a forum that's discussing the topic you want to debate.

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mark hartless 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Attention Steamboat Pilot Editor...!! Could you please immediately remove the above comment from Pat West about liberals and conservatives. It is NOT on the topic of the Zirkel Wildfire and, therefore, according to the poster himself, MUST be deleted.

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Pat West 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree with Mark, Delete all of this non-topic posting.

chumming ironically

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Chris Hadlock 4 months, 4 weeks ago

But Pat, it is very clear that Obama caused this fire with his liberal policies. Surely you can see that, I think Fox News ran a story on it this weekend.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 4 months, 4 weeks ago

O come on Chris. You know in your heart you believe that fire is Bush's fault. At least that's what I heard that Chris Mathews may have said on MSNBC. LOL

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Chris Hadlock 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Not so Mr. K I am fairly sure that God caused this fire as retaliation for the MJ vote and the Courts allowing Gay Marriage. Surely the sinners will be punished.

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Chris Hadlock 4 months, 4 weeks ago

PS. I completely fail to understand how the various political pundits manage to blame almost anything on the various politicians they disagree with.

Is it not just possible that $&!t happens regardless of who might be in charge this year?

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rhys jones 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I know who started that fire, but I can't say -- my lips are sealed.

We were scouting locations for our new thriller, "Mad Arson," when things got a little out-of-hand. We had to skedaddle.

To reveal names now would be counter-productive, but you're going to love our leading lady!!

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john bailey 4 months, 4 weeks ago

conform or be cast out.......I don't know Rhys ..... my lawyer told me not to say "NATHINK'

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rhys jones 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Good advice. If they found out this fire was a collaboration of BOTH sides, how would that affect these comments? Not to mention our liability.

How did this fire turn into politics? Ask Mark about that.

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 4 weeks ago

And isn't that the point - that relentless partisan attacks are not convincing to anyone?

Seems to me that most partisan attacks are generally ignored, but one side's over the top attacks tends to convince others of the unreasonableness of that side. So Democrats don't fear Ann Coulter, they use her to feign outrage and try to force elected Republicans to disavow her comments.

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mark hartless 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Rhys,

I couldn't care less who wants to pin the "politics" instigation on me. However, YOUR words were "... an environmental activist gone bad..." THAT is the pollitical spark which ignited this tinder-box.

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rhys jones 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Touche. Being left-leaning, I thought that comment would be taken with humor. I didn't mean to start a whole new blog.

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jerry carlton 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Scott Wedel No comment on the psychiatrist that saved lives by carrying a gun? The Pilot carried a printed story about this but it is not on-line so the necessity to poach stories. I am becoming just like you, critical of the Pilot. I do not understand what stories or put on line for comment? Seems there are no national news stories that are in print on the pilot that are on-line. Anyone at the Pilot care to educate me? P.S. I still like the paper, especially for the price.

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mark hartless 4 months, 3 weeks ago

It's worth every penny, especially if you own a wood stove.

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jerry carlton 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Scott Wedel More information on the psych shooting on p22 of the Saturday paper. How about the story on page 22A of Sunday paper "More homeless attributed to pot"?

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Jerry,

Why is it supposed to be a big deal that one person with a gun saved some people being attacked by someone else with a gun?

Far more incidents of someone carrying a gun, such as the psycho patient, shooting other people.

Or are you trying to make a point that the laws are screwed up since a psych patient with a violent history is somehow able to buy a gun?

Since the psych patient killed a caseworker there was still a needless death from gun violence. Incidents like that don't happen in other countries because their psych patients with criminal histories are simply not allowed to own guns. In other countries, that sort of an incident would start a serious investigation on how did the psych patient acquire a gun with potentially very serious charges to whomever sold or gave him a gun.

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Jerry,

As for homeless and pot, did you read the article? That Denver during the summer has become a more popular place for the passing through homeless BECAUSE pot is legal.

So what? Colorado is also more popular for tourists and young people with jobs because pot is legal.

Did you see that the New York Times started a series of editorials on why the federal government should legalize pot and, like with alcohol, allow the states to decide on their pot laws?

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Dan Kuechenmeister 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Hey Scott, Check this out. I am a states rights guy and if each state wants marijuana to be legalized that is ok by me. That being said I found this article interesting. http://www.hudson.org/research/10478-comparing-alcohol-and-marijuana-seriously

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 3 weeks ago

That article is flawed in so many ways. Several times it blithely dismisses well documented harm from alcohol as if alcohol and opiates isn't the critical combination that kills tens of thousands a year.

It makes a big deal that THC persists, but fails to show there is any harm in that.

It makes a big deal that pot today is stronger, but ignores that people consume to reach a desired high, not some fixed amount. Just as whiskey has more alcohol than beer doesn't make whiskey far more dangerous than beer. People consume shots of whiskey and glasses of beer.

The claim that pot is a factor in 670,000 emergency room visits appears to be a misleading claim. It looks to be how many emergency room patients say they have used mj. Not whether mj has any relevance to why they are there.

Emergency room visits because of marijuana are far less common and appears to be about 3 per 1,000 mj users. Unlike other drugs, even a THC overdose is not lethal so the hospital just makes the person comfortable.

It makes a big deal that pot is bad for teenagers, but alcohol use is worse for teens. Heavy drinking as a teenager is the biggest indicator of a future troubled life.

Biggest mistake is the author ignores all the evidence in long term public health studies. Pot use has been common enough for long enough that we know the health consequences of years of usage, of using earlier and stopping and so on. The answer is that pot usage has too small of a health impact to be statistically significant. Surprisingly, there isn't even conclusive evidence of lung or throat diseases from using pot.

These same long term public health studies was the irrefutable proof that tobacco kills and so on.

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mark hartless 4 months, 3 weeks ago

How 'bout their gun laws? Abortion laws? Marriage laws? Wage laws?

Wonder how the New York Times feels about THOSE laws...

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jerry carlton 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Scott There are laws against mentally ill people buying guns. They are unenforceable. Too many illegal guns on the streets of every major city. If the feds do legalize mmj at least Colorado will no longer be a draw for homeless potheads. We could buy them bus tickets to Seattle. It is much easier to survive on the streets there than in Denver in the winter.

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 3 weeks ago

So illegal guns make gun law enforcement impossible So we should give up that battle despite the many thousands of gun death.

Meanwhile, pot kills a few a year from heart attacks and has been commonly available illegally for decades. But that is a fight worth continuing?

Whatever.

And the article didn't claim that Denver was now a magnet for homeless potheads or that they are expected to stay during the winter. There was a recent Rainbow Gathering in Utah and even SB is seeing the transients. Rainbow transients probably like not being hassled for mj possession, but that doesn't mean they want to stay for a winter.

"buy them bus tickets to Seattle: Do you really think that transients cannot get pot in any city? You keep suggesting that pot use didn't exist until it was legalized.

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rhys jones 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I am absolved of responsibility for digressing this thread. The trolls took one little side joke to divert it to the endless and pointless political debate in here. Nobody's changing. They're just flapping gums.

I'm just on a short break from my new job, which I can do in my jammies, and Thank God that I finally have a life again!! Some folks have WAY too much time on their hands. Me, not enough. I wish I could clone myself, so as to give everyone their proper due.

I used to get really worked up over these forums. Now -- See ya!! Have fun. I'll check in from time to time.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Hey Scott, Thanks for taking the time to read the article. I am thinking that the authors of the article have greater expertise in this subject then either you or I but you are certainly entitled to express your opinion.Once pot becomes legal in all 50 states and has been in use for 40+ years then just maybe we can see what impact marijuana use has on people. Hopefully the majority will have the experience that Rhys enjoys. My guess is that like alcohol there will be winners and their will be losers.

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Dan K,

Whether or not the author has greater experience (on any topic) is relevant only when making a fair analysis.

But when any author ignores the best and most complete information then the article becomes suspect and appears to be biased.

To write an article on health effects of mj vs alcohol and ignore the long term public health studies does not show expertise, but shows bias.

Pot has been in use by a few percent of the population for 40+ years. We don't have to wait for 40+ years to learn the impact of pot usage on the population. We already know the impact of pot usage on the population. And the answer is that it doesn't have much of an impact. Potheads will say it is a wonderful perfect plant that helps them and the answer is not really. The public health studies don't show potheads being healthier or being in worse health.

The New York Times editorials are likely to have an impact because they do a serious job of referencing good data. You can disagree with their conclusions, but they did an honest job referencing facts.

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Chris Hadlock 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Dan, I particularly disagree with the articles assertion that MJ use is a fairly recent behavior. It only takes a minimal amount of research to learn that MJ was used by the founding fathers, American Indians, Aztecs, Egyptians etc.

I will not argue that substance abuse is good for you. It is not.

However, I would argue that the "War on Drugs" has caused more problems in our society that the drugs themselves ever did. We should spend our money on treatment and education instead of crime and punishment. MJ is just the tip of the iceberg.

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rhys jones 4 months, 3 weeks ago

This fire still going? Let's see what I might add, that might be of current relevance.

While you guys were researching and concocting your contributions, I designed a new MySQL table for our customer's use -- had a little trouble with decimals and floats, took me a while to figure that out, assisted by MJ. It just helps me see the logic better, understand the flow and how it's interpreted, undistracted by irrelevancies. The straight, hyper me is bound to look right past an error, automatically assuming it is correct. The stoned me looks a little closer.

Different strokes for different folks. One man's champagne is another man's poison. All of our physiologies are different, our neural responses -- for all I know, what you call red, I might call blue -- imagine that!! All of us interpreting the color spectrum differently. How would we know if we're not? We only have ourselves as a frame of reference.

Gee that was fun. Now it's back to the grindstone. I just kicked up the buzz a notch, because now I have to design a PHP program for the customer to maintain that table. A walk in the park, and it will be better as a result.

Ciao!!

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Hardly a fire. Actually, is pretty close to an informed conversation.

I'd suggest that needing pot to work is same category as needing a drink to work. Maybe it works for you, but also probably worth figuring out how to work without taking drugs.

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rhys jones 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Another metaphor, misinterpreted. This fire rages, fed by trolls.

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rhys jones 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I apologize. Fill your time however you want to.

I will rephrase an earlier comment: There is no telling what's going on in somebody else's head.

Some people will lasso any old thread and make it their own, their soapbox upon which to beat the same old drums. They shout down the opposition to where, out of this town of 10K+/-, only a handful dare contribute, lest they be scoffed.

To those compulsive contributors, I can only say have at it, think about your own talk show or column, and I'm glad as hell I don't live my life in here any more.

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jerry carlton 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Scott W There will be as big of chance of winning a "War on Guns" as the War on Poverty or the War on Drugs. LBJ started the War on poverty. Who started the War on Drugs?

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I'll just say that War on Guns and War on Drugs are wars that if you aren't winning then you have lost. If illegal guns and illegal drugs are commonplace and accepted by the population then, like Prohibition, the war is lost.

The War on Poverty is less about about winning or losing, but more about reducing human misery due to poverty. An increase in poverty rates does not mean poverty is now acceptable and so there is nothing to be gained by trying to create effective anti-poverty programs. (The hard part for government is always in being effective vs merely spending money. That is true for anti-poverty, fighting drugs and the military).

Nixon started the drug war. You would know that if you read the NYT mj legalization editorial :).

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Jeff Kibler 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Yep, all these "Wars on ..." result in the opposite of the intended effect. We have more drugs, guns and poverty due to these failed programs.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Hey Scott, Hey Chris, My belief is that until we have legalization of pot in all 50 states (or is it 57 (-;) and have the volume of usage for an extended period of time similar to that we have for alcohol we can not make a fair comparison to marijuana's impact on society. It has been over 80 years since the 21st amendment repealed prohibition and we certainly have found out how devastating alcohol abuse can be. I would be curious to see what the world of marijuana use looks like 90 years from now. I am thinking I probably won't make it that long, but my guess is like alcohol there will be those who can enjoy it and use it responsibly and those that unfortunately abuse it. Of course I realize that marijuana has been consumed thru the years by parts of civilization. (Chris - Aztecs may not be the best example as they kind of went bye bye and thanks for reading the article). Again no concern of mine for legalization of marijuana state by state. If people wish to make a choice on where they live based on taxes why not marijuana as well. Heck people chose to live in Utah even though it could be difficult to obtain alcohol. Rhys finds a little buzz can help him do his job better - good on ya Rhys, I find a couple glasses of wine enhances a nice dinner (and makes me look better to the lovely Mrs. K) - good on ya Dan. Scott, sorry but it is difficult for me to consider the NY Times much of a resource on any thing. The quality of that paper has seriously deteriorated over the years although I do get enjoyment reading their editorial and opinion stuff.

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jerry carlton 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Scott W The last thing on earth I would read is the NY Times. I could care less what the liberal socialists at the Times say.

Jeff K Good post and so true. Gotta love the federal government.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Hey Scott, So what about this study. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140515173507.htm Again I have no problem with the legalization of marijuana. Just waiting for you to tear this study apart.

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rhys jones 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Don't feed the trolls. Oh wait...

I've been known to troll for bites myself.

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