Aspen's Favorite Sheriff Reflects on 24 Years

Bob Braudis, Aspen's (and my) favorite Sheriff reflects on his 24 years of service in an in-depth interview in the Aspen Times. (Great photos from the shoot here.)

Indisputably Pitkin County's most influential and beloved elected official for more than two decades, Braudis' outspokenness — from his positions against the war on drugs to his well-documented friendship with the late author Hunter S. Thompson — made him a giant among what he calls the “free thinkers” of Pitkin County.

For those who have known and appreciated Braudis all these years, there won't be a lot that comes as a surprise. For those who aren't familiar with him, it's a great read and highlights the difference between a law enforcement perspective like Braudis' that's smart on crime from one that is tough on crime (and destined to fail.) Some of the better quotes below: [More...]

On the drug war:

“I do believe that all substances should be legal. And believe me, if snorting Drano was illegal, but it made you feel real good, people would be snorting Drano. Humans want to change their consciousness. They're going to do it, whether it's legal or not. Illegal status drives the price up. Our laws are nothing but price support for the cartels. Sure, if we legalize it you're going to see a spike in abuse, you're going to see a spike in ODs, you're going to seek spikes in addictions, but at what cost are we preventing that? The billions we put into prosecution, incarcerations, probation, all the ‘ations,' could be put into medical research on general topics like addiction.”

On the medical marijuana movement:

“The medical marijuana thing is a mask. It's well-cloaked. It is the result of a pinch-brained government not willing to entertain the final product, which is legalization, but forcing proponents for marijuana use to create a medical cloak to take through the public opinion called referenda. These referenda across the country have largely resulted in the approval of medical marijuana. As state by state people approve medical marijuana, the question is: How come there are so many young white guys in Colorado with bad backs? You know, it is a ruse, but it has succeeded, slowly, but it is still a success. If I were God, I would say ‘let's just make it legal and see what shakes out.'”

On America's future:

"It's never going to be as good as it was. When did it start getting bad? It hasn't. Hold on to your jobs. People are getting cut and the cuts haven't started yet. We're just slicing salami ... it is a cycle of history. I think the American Century ended. We don't have respect in the world, we can't win a war, and our dollar isn't as strong as it used to be, and we're in debt up to our ass.”

Aspen's newly elected Sheriff, Joe DiSalvo, shares Braudis' law enforcement philosophy. By the way, if you're age 50 (class of '78) he's promising one free pass. From his Facebook page today, responding to a friend: "By the way everyone in the class of 78 gets one get out of jail free card. Pass the word. Love joe"

< Tuesday Night Open Thread | Tanya Treadway vs. Pain Relief Network: No First Amendment for Activists? >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Hey! (none / 0) (#1)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 08:56:46 PM EST
    I'm 50, but class of '79, so I guess I'm out of luck?  

    And here I was going to buy Ringo Starr's place too...

    I'm having a hard time... (none / 0) (#2)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 09:03:49 PM EST
    reconciling this statement "How come there are so many young white guys in Colorado with bad backs?" with the statistics you posted the other day.  

    Not to mention how I feel about people judging the pain and suffering of others and how they go about seeking relief.  

    Maybe Joe isn't quite as enlightened as he could be in that respect?

    that was Bob that (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 09:56:14 PM EST
    mentioned the young guys with bad backs. The statistics show the average age is 40 overall and 39 for males. But the media, and regulation honcho Chris Romer has been feeding things like this to the media:

    In the past year, the number of people on the state's medical-marijuana registry has nearly tripled, according to state statistics obtained by The Denver Post. Twenty four percent of them are men under the age of 30.

    "What I do know anecdotally is that there's a big trend of young people seeking these medical-marijuana cards. I actually know from my own children who are in this age bracket that they have friends who have no medical malady who have gotten medical marijuana cards," Romer said.

    So according to Romer and the Post, 25% are men under 30. And according to the stats, 24% get the card for "muscle spasms." (94% get the cards for "severe pain" but may also have muscle spasms which is why the numbers don't add up to 100%.)

    There are 100,000 registered users. So if Romer is correct, 24,000 are males under 30. I would think given the number of xtreme athletes in this state there probably are more young people in pain than in other places. But that's a guess.

    The local news has done video stories on the number of young men in line at doctors' offices, so I can see where he got that. Anyway, Bob was pointing out the absurdity of making healthy young people claim they are in pain to have legal access to marijuana.


    I saw it was Bob. (none / 0) (#4)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 10:15:59 PM EST
    While I agree that outright legalization of pot is the way to go (and I look forward our getting to vote on that), I'm just not thrilled with anyone perpetuating the stereotypical "its just a bunch of stoners trying to get high" line when it is not the case with the majority of cardholders.  

    Are young people (specifically males) any less susceptible to pain and suffering than the rest of the population?  Mine started at age 7.  Again, it is making assumptions about the health of people that there is no way to know what they are experiencing--based mainly on their age and sex.

    And don't even get me started on Romer.  Suffice to say he won't be getting my vote for Mayor.


    he's not getting my vote (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 11:23:02 PM EST

    Meanwhile, check the post I just wrote on the continuing war against pain relief activists.


    I don't read it that way... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 08:45:56 AM EST
    I don't think the statement is belittling chronic pain sufferers who find relief with mj...just acknowledging that some are/will be using medical mj as a shield from prosecution for recreatiobal use aka gaming the system...like Snoop and his recent "I got a weed license" comment in response to Willie's latest arrest illustrates.

    I could see how it could be taken as offensive, but I don't see that as the intent...and hard to deny there is a outright legalization underbelly to the medical mj movement.  That doesn't belittle pain sufferers, it belittles the stupid prohibition and the games recreational users are wise to play to avoid arrest/fines/chains & cages in states that allow medicinal use.