Reader: Marijuana mention in report about avalanche death inexcusable

Last week, we wrote about the death of a snowboarder in an avalanche near Vail Pass, as well as the strange decision by the Eagle County Sheriff's Office to mention that the men involved had been smoking marijuana. The responses to the item mingled grief and anger, as exemplified by the following heartfelt post.

LeeAnne Mia Golden writes:

Hi everyone, I am the girlfriend of the guy who was riding the snowmobile. Thank you so so much for writing this article, as we are livid about what was originally released by the sheriff's office and later written by the Denver Post and news stations. The article was inappropriate, disrespectful and slanderous towards the individuals involved, friends and especially family; the article was anything but informative, rather a spit in the face and a mockery of this immense tragedy by capitalizing on a subject that isn't even worth mentioning. Let me be clear here and mention some things about this that are informative. The three guys involved are in their late thirties and are back country professionals, as well as properly trained in avalanche safety. They performed proper protocol and found their friend within three minutes of the slide. They did everything they could to save their best friend. They were not under the influence either, but they did have MJ on them. It is deeply insulting to us that these articles are alluding that MJ caused the slide, when indeed, was a freak accident; it was a Twenty foot slide that took out more than 400 yards. We do not know exactly what caused the slide, and it is appalling that the news would pin an act of mother nature on someone. Also, this was the fifth consecutive day that crew had been riding those lines, and the fifteenth year that our friend who passed had been riding. Thankyou again for addressing this issue Westword, as it not even been 24 hours the media had taken advantage of a tragedy to capitalize on another agenda.

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.


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