Along with Colorado's new marijuana laws legalizing limited amounts of herb for adults 21 and up came liberalization in the conversation around the state. People aren't afraid to talk about marijuana in public anymore, largely because it's not illegal to do so. In fact, it's not uncommon now to hear people talking about strains or growing in any number of settings, including at ski areas. But those conversations apparently bothered Christine Arakelian of New York so much while she was on a recent trip to Vail that she wrote to Vail Resorts and cc'd the Vail Daily with her complaints.
Here's her letter:
"Dear Vail Resorts,
Let me explain to you why I will not be returning to this resort anytime in the near future and will indicate to other families on online forums that they should decline to come to Vail as well.
As you are aware, marijuana is now legal in Colorado. I have been visiting Vail and Beaver Creek for many years now with my family, and enjoyed all my years here with no real problems. We have a lot of memories here. Within the span of several days, my son and I were exposed to numerous conversations on buses, gondola rides and restaurants related to recreational drug use. The fact that people are restricted to smoking pot in the privacy of their room doesn't mean that they won't reek of pot on gondola rides, or that they won't be talking about getting high with numerous other substances within earshot of numerous families. Within the span of two to three days, I had at least three to four separate occasions in public areas where I had to specifically ask people to not talk about their drug use. People were obviously put off by my asking them to stop, and I was furious to even be put in this situation."
Arakelian goes on to make it a class issue, assuming that nobody as affluent as her and her family would ever consume cannabis.
"The people who live this type of lifestyle can't afford to support resorts like Vail that frankly cater to a demographic more like my own, and candidly, you don't get to be successful by engaging in this type of lifestyle."
As a season pass holder at Vail for longer than Arakelian has been dragging her family out here (and a cannabis smoker for much, much longer than that), I beg to differ.
People from all walks of life ski Vail just like people from all walks of life use cannabis. But that's not really the point. The point is that this woman is clueless as to who does and doesn't smoke cannabis in this country. Thankfully, it sounds like she is done with Colorado and will be moving on to more conservative snow-covered pastures in Utah.
"At this point, I'm very much inclined to go to Utah for my vacations instead of Colorado. You can't be a destination resort for high-earners and a pot-town at the same time -- you have to choose."
Apparently nobody told her that Vail has already chosen to not allow recreational or medical marijuana outlets in their town. Her problem is with the growing culture of cannabis acceptance, and that's something she's going to have to deal with, not Vail or the rest of Colorado.
Have fun in Utah, lady.