Marijuana: Rolling Stone, New York Times tout Nederland as a weed wonderland

The national media's fascination with the weedier aspects of Colorado life continues unabated, and the town of Nederland is among the latest beneficiaries. A few weeks back, Nederland's pot friendliness landed the community on Rolling Stone magazine's latest "Hot List" in a piece likely read by staffers at the New York Times, whose own take appeared yesterday.

"Where Marijuana is a Point of Pride," penned by Kirk Johnson, notes that on election day, 24 communities in Colorado voted to ban or restrict medical marijuana shops -- but in Nederland, "it was just another beautiful day high in the mountains."

Johnson goes on to point out that the percentage of medical marijuana patients in Nederland and nearby areas represents the highest concentration of licensees in the state -- an accomplishment that he lampoons via a semi-derisive quote hailing from the state health department, which recently rejected nearly 2,000 MMJ applications using a new policy tweak:

Summit and Pitkin Counties, home to ski towns like Breckenridge, Keystone and Aspen, pride themselves on a healthy outdoor youth culture, but they also have a disproportionate amount of debilitating pain diagnosed in men in their 20s, state records show.

"Who would think there would be such severe pain among young men in Colorado?" said Ron Hyman, the state registrar of vital statistics and director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's medical marijuana program.

The article also quotes mayor Sumaya Abu-Haidar maintaining that "when people think of Nederland as this stoner town, if you will, that is not accurate."

Doth the mayor protest too much? Perhaps -- but the attempt to pour cold water on the burning embers of Nederland's pot rep will likely do little to prevent the press from exploring this particular variation on a Rocky Mountain high.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana legalization in Nederland: Q&A with 'Michigan' Mike Torpie, the man behind the initiative."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts