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Smoke 'em if you've got 'em 

Street Smarts

With marijuana popping up all over the news lately — and, soon, on Manitou and Palmer Lake ballots — it seems a good time to take stock of local attitudes on ‘the demon weed.’

click to enlarge Andy McWilliams

Andy McWilliams of the Old North End works at CityRock.

What's your read on the city's continuing ban on the sale of recreational marijuana? It's a hangover from the Prohibition mindset. It's based on old fears, not modern research.

What's the biggest hangup people have about marijuana? Prejudices promoted by things like Reefer Madness [the anti-marijuana movie from the '30s] being passed down through generations like a religion.

How does the sale of alcohol at liquor stores, bars or even grocery stores differ from the sale of marijuana at dispensaries? We know a lot more at this point about how alcohol affects different people in different ways.

If a law made liquor illegal, would you still drink it? Probably not. I never tried marijuana until it became legal.

click to enlarge Breeanna Johnson

Breeanna Johnson of Security works at a call center.

What's the biggest hangup people have about marijuana? The stereotype that it makes people lazy and dishonest. I ask you, though: Do you see potheads robbing banks to get their next "fix"? No.

How does the sale of alcohol in liquor stores and in bars differ from the sale of marijuana in licensed dispensaries? If you want to keep marijuana from being sold that way, why do you allow the sale of alcohol when it causes liver damage, [and] contributes to domestic violence and car accidents?

Would you have any interest in working in the medical marijuana industry? I'd love to research how the various strains affect people differently. People need to learn about that, just like how the different kinds of alcohol affect people differently.

click to enlarge Leslie Bergan

Leslie Bergan of the Old North End is a registered nurse.

What's your take on medical marijuana? It legitimately helps a lot of medical conditions, and there are more benefits than detriments to selling it, but the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] doesn't profit from it because it's not pharmaceutical.

How does smoking a joint differ from having wine with dinner, or drinking beers at a Broncos game? There's no difference. If you know four glasses of wine are too many for you, stop at three. If you have two or three hits of grass and know four are too many for you, don't do a fourth.

Would you ever have any interest in working inside the medical marijuana industry? I would in the medical-healing part of it, researching how cannabinoids alleviate problems like chronic pain, epilepsy, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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