At the Palisade, CO Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday of this past week, Mesa counties’ “Marijuana Avenger”, Diane Cox (no..we are NOT related) ran into a town that simply didn’t want to hear her hyped-up and reprehensible attack on the folks who run the local Cannabis dispensary.
As many readers will know, Mesa County, Grand Junction, and Fruita have, in one way or another, banned Cannabis dispensaries. Diane Cox, the self-appointed banner carrier of the “We Hate Weed” police, likes to take credit for being a force in shutting down dispensaries. She uses a shameless set of distortions, insinuations, and outright lies to paint a picture of dispensary owners as predatory, money-grubbing, dope-dealers. The one remaining dispensary in the Grand Valley is in Palisade, and her attack on that establishment and its’ owners may backfire on Ms. Cox.
Earlier on that day, Tuesday, a local television station aired an interview with our favorite pot-hating crusader. During the interview, she warned TV viewers that these business owners were bad people who are responsible for increased truancy and drug use in our local schools. That charge has been refuted by the local police and the local high school principal, but when did facts ever get in the way of what zealots believe?
So…riding high on her wave of outrage, Ms. Cox showed up at the Palisade Trustees’ meeting, where the owners of Colorado Alternative Health Care, Mr. and Mrs. Loughman, were being presented with a letter of thanks and appreciation for their outstanding corporate citizenship and for all the city projects they have organized volunteers to accomplish. I am certain it was Ms. Coxs’ intention to make a statement during the proceedings.
What she did not anticipate, I think, was a room full of supporters of the Loughmans and their business. It did not encourage her when the chairman of the Board of Trustees made a comment to the audience and the TV camera there, disapproving of Mrs. Coxs’ earlier comments on TV and flatly informing her that the Town of Palisade does not view Colorado Alternative Health Care in the same light as she. In so many words, he essentially told her, “we don’t want to hear it, Diane”.
After the presentation (and numerous rounds of hearty applause for the Loughmans) the TV cameraman followed Mr. Loughman outside for an interview. With no TV camera to assail during the required public comment period and a room full of unsympathetic ears, Ms. Cox folded her tent and went away quietly.
What Mrs. Cox encountered was a community of people who are not buying into the kneejerk point of view that casts Cannabis as some sort of “evil” thing. Of course, there have been a number of “dope dealers” who opened store fronts to deal drugs. They have been and will continue to be weeded out as groups like CCHPAA (Cannabis Consumer Health and Patient Advocacy Association) continue to work with responsible caregivers and health professionals to design the models that will best serve Colorados MMJ patients.
It is always gratifying to see loud-mouthed zealots put in their place. The steadfast support of the people of Palisade and the town government for the Loughmans’ and their business managed to shut up one of the most vociferous critics of this rapidly growing industry. It will take years and many good minds to transform the Medical Cannabis industry into a mature, well-designed, and consistent enterprise.
The hyperbolic, unfounded criticisms and attacks dished out by truly ignorant sycophants like Diane Cox are not helpful. And in Palisade, at least, not well tolerated.
update: as an afterthought to this diary, I thought it appropriate to establish that I attended the trustees’ meeting at the recommendation of and in the company of the president of the above mentioned group, CCHPAA. I will be happy to be recognized as a shill for the organization and its’ mission.
Medical Cannabis patients are caught between the free market and the black market. The only leverage they have are grass roots activism and sympathetic communities. It will take many organizations on the grass roots level to support the lengthy process of building a responsible delivery system for medical Cannabis. The ignorance and archaic attitudes displayed by those who resort to name calling and fear mongering should be ignored. They are from the 1930s. Time to give it a rest.