Medical marijuana: Backers of Colorado Springs dispensary ban don't like your comments

In early June, several Colorado Springs locals filed paperwork to put a medical-marijuana-business ban on the November ballot. Since then, I've tried to reach petition signatories or anyone else representing the group. And today, I finally succeeded.

Unfortunately, though, they've refused to talk to Westword, in part because they disapprove of reader comments on this website.

Although numerous messages were left at the home number of Steven Wind, who signed the original petition with his wife, Linda, and Ann Vaughan DeVere, these interview requests weren't returned.

A week or two later, Westword received a fax from Lana Beck from the Florida-based Save Our Society From Drugs on behalf of, the web home of the Colorado Springs petition drive.

Beck, who told me she'd volunteered to work with the Springs crew, passed along a contact number for the group. I left more messages on the voicemail, and late last week, I received a return call from someone named Bernie, who said she'd be out of town over the weekend, but would be happy to speak to me upon her return.

With that in mind, I left messages yesterday and today. But instead of a return call, I received an e-mail featuring a previous note that had apparently gotten caught in my spam filter. It reads:


I left a message for you to return my call but after looking at your publication and viewing some of your reader comments, this is not the place we would like to have anything to do with or to have our name associated with.

Please don't bother trying to contact us again.

That leaves us to discern the group's message from its website, which is mostly a compendium of anti-marijuana clips from other news sources interspersed with all-capped slogans such as "DON'T LET THE MARIJUANA INDUSTRY DENY YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE" and "COMING SOON TO A NEIGHBORHOOD NEAR YOU!" The latter links to a Save Our Society From Drugs flier, which maintains that dispensaries lead to "more illegal drug use, more crimes, and more of our youth being sold marijuana from a so-called medical-marijuana patient."

As for the site's "Get the Facts" section, it announces that medical marijuana "already exists as a Pharmaceutical product" -- marinol, sports a clip insinuating that the only people making money off medical marijuana are breaking the law to do so, and declares, "What's the difference between illegal marijuana and medical marijuana? -- NOTHING! Both contain THC and are addictive."

Presumably, comments agreeing with this revelation are welcome.