Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Something to think about: Wondering while I wander

From page A6 | February 07, 2014 |

It’s always been annoying to me that I have to dump the bottle of water I brought to the airport before going through security. Since airports have learned to place little stores past the security check-in, I’ve become accustomed to purchasing a $3 bottle of water instead of the 25 cent one I would have brought with me, but what if you bought a doobie on the Green Mile at Colorado’s Medicine Man, the Costco of weed, and then tried to get on a plane?

Imagine your dismay in Colorado Springs when you roll up to the security line with the little baggie of pot in your purse. While you can legally purchase and smoke pot in Colorado, you can’t take it on a plane or even into the airport and if you try, you’ll be busted by the police.

So, some Colorado airports are instituting amnesty boxes — places where you can put those last few buds before boarding. You don’t get them back, but airport security also doesn’t want you to toss them in their trash receptacles along with that bottle of water. It seems there is some concern that other people might start pillaging the trash in order to get some cheap thrills.

I can see it now — airport parking lots populated with smoke-filled cars as stoners try to enjoy the last whiffs before launching themselves into the stress and congestion of air travel.

Next year, at this time, it would be interesting to research whether flights out of Colorado have a lower incidence of agitated and violent passengers; if there is a higher incidence of passengers missing their flights and if the demand for snacks increases exponentially on Colorado outbound flights. I wonder if weed consumption in Colorado will decrease the sales of little bottles of alcohol on board the plane.

What, I wonder, will happen to the contents of the amnesty boxes? Will there be a thriving re-sale industry? If it’s disposed of, how will they do it? Burning? Burying? I can see all kinds of issues here.
It’s not just Colorado and their new marijuana legality that makes me wonder — Wisconsin really has me stymied.

Two weeks ago, a man in Manitowoc, Wis. struck a bicyclist with his car — a bicyclist wearing a neon vest, delivering newspapers on a three-wheeled bike with flashers on it. The 56-year-old cyclist was lodged in the windshield of the car, unacknowledged by the driver who continued to drive, running a red light and hitting another vehicle before arriving at his home. Upon arrival at the driver’s house, the unfortunate cyclist, still lodged half in, half out of the vehicle, introduced himself to the driver, who appeared to be very surprised and promptly went inside his house after locking the car doors and leaving his victim still lodged in his windshield. Fortunately, the cyclist was able to free himself from the windshield and, despite injuries, he survived.

Not so fortunate was a 50-year-old Green Bay man who was struck by a vehicle, became lodged in the windshield, and died from his spinal injuries. The driver, in this case, drove home and put the car, still adorned with a dead body, away in his garage while he went inside the home and fell asleep on the couch.

It makes you wonder: How drunk do you have to be in order not to notice a person flopping around in your windshield? That this is the second weird windshield accident in Wisconsin makes me really wonder about the drivers there. It makes the Florida folk who see regular visitations of heavenly hosts and UFOs seem more normal — at least they are seeing something.

California has its own bewildering array of weirdness, but it’s the weirdness I know and deal with daily. Still, it makes you wonder.

Wendy Schultz is a staff writer and columnist for the Mountain Democrat. Her column appears bi-weekly.





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