One toke over the state line

In its "Perspective" section Sunday, journalists at the Denver Post came out swinging at their owner, Digital First Media. Headlines blazed with revolt against the venture capitalist firm that will lay off another two dozen newsroom employees this week, piling up over seven dozen layoffs in that department in the past three years.
"Colo. should demand the newspaper it deserves," read one headline. "Who will step up and save The Denver Post?" read another. "Journalists don't protest. But this time is different," read yet another.
The pride of the Post, a 125-year Colorado tradition, has had its victories in recent years. It won the Denver and, yes, state war for newspaper dominance when the Rocky Mountain News, established in 1859, published its last edition on Feb. 27, 2009. Since 2000, the Post has won five of its nine Pulitzer Prizes, pulling down four in a row from 2010-2013.
But will its journalists win a battle with the people who hold the purse strings?
There's an old saying in the newspaper business: don't piss off people who buy ink by the barrel. Post journalists, with rebellion in their blood, are pissing off the folks who write their paychecks with ink from the same barrel.

Speaking of the Post, it reported this week that Dinosaur, Colorado, population 339, just saw its first retail marijuana shop open. That's a pretty small population to serve, for sure. Studies say that around 15 percent of Coloradans use marijuana recreationally, which means the new pot shop in Dinosaur is catering to maybe 25 adult residents of the tiny Colorado border town in the northwest part of the state.
But, of course, we all suspect that locals get their pot from other locals — not legally, mind you — and bypass the huge mark up. So business must come from elsewhere in Dinosaur. And that's what has the ire of some Utah politicians who feel the pot shop in Dinosaur is catering to Utah residents.
It's illegal, of course, for anyone to take pot across the border from Colorado into Utah, but that's not assuaging the fears of Utah State Rep. Scott Chew, who told the Post "this dispensary is anticipating the bulk of their retail is going to be headed Utah's way."
It has to head a long way, though.
The closest population center in Utah to Dinosaur is the Naples-Vernal area, about 11,000 population. Rangely (population 2,300) is nearby on the Colorado side. Other than that, there's not much to pull from.
The pot shop certainly can't present itself as an outpost, like the proverbial "last chance" gas station. You probably won't see a sign in its window professing "Last chance for dope before Utah."
But who's to say? Maybe next we'll see a pot shop spring up in Slater, Colorado, a little unincorporated community on our northern border. Slater, which lies on the 0.9 miles of Wyoming's Hwy. 70 which dips briefly into Colorado before heading back into Wyoming, could post a two-sided sign, reading "Last chance for dope before or after Wyoming."

The Washington Post reported Sunday that the average price of a gallon of gas nationally is up 8 cents in the past two weeks, and up 30 cents per gallon over last year. According to, gas prices will peak nationally in May at $2.73 per gallon, and slide southward to $2.58 per gallon by September. We love it when our summer visitors spend less to fill up their tanks, leaving more for them to spend in our stores, hotels and restaurants.

Even if my truck doesn't wander on the way to Montrose, my mind sometimes does. Thoughts on the way to Montrose:
• I once had terrible food from a food truck.
• Sometimes I only buy one when the second one is half price.
• People who tailgate me make me go slower.
• Telemarketers rarely practice saying goodbye.
• My sister was born deaf, yet sometimes she tells me she's heard enough out of me.
• I always limit out in catch and release waters.
• I'm never swimming against the current when I go with the flow.
• My dog must think I have good taste because every time I feed him, he eats.
• Granddaughters are like kryptonite to grandpas.


Alan Todd is co-publisher of the Ouray County Plaindealer. He can be reached at