I’d put this in the same league as “hemp is a magic cure all” unicorn stories. Metro Denver has a very strong economy but the boom / busts cycles are always driven by oil / gas. Always an important part of the Colorado economy. The last five years were basically a rerun of the early 80’s. The last really big oil/gas exploration boom in the Rocky Mtn, High Plains states. Which ended in a god almighty property crash by the late 80’s when the bottom fell out of the (mostly gas) exploration business. Denver was a very good place to be buying a house in the early 90’s. You could buy a huge house on land in a nice part of the city and have change from $100K. The property section of the Sunday Denver Post ran to many many pages back then.
The “10K new jobs” are just pot head fantasy. Those people are sketchy at the best of times. These “jobs” were always there. Its just they were totally dark economy. If you’ve ever had to spend any amount of time waiting in a parked car outside a “medical marijuana” shop you’ll see that the parade of “customers” is exactly the same kind of people who used to patronize directly or indirectly the “buds, buds” street dealers. There has been no huge expansion in the business. Or change in user demographics. Or any real changes in the utterly nasty and sleazy scumbags who still run the business.
So how many small time dealers have you known over the years? And how many do you know now? I can think of at least one, probably two, small time dealers I know personally at the moment and I’ve known quite a few over the years. Mainly through the music biz / scene in SF and LA. So I can tell you from personal experience how the “business” has developed since the heyday of the Deadhead kids on upper haight and their richer cousins in Marin in the 80’s to the current “medical marijuana” scam. Probably the reason why I have such an extremely low opinion of all parties involved is because I’ve seen them up close for so long. In this case familiarity really does breed contempt.
Or how about big time dealers? A very close friend of several decades spent several years as a teenager in the FBI witness program because her step-father was a DEA agent who was involved in a very high profile case involving some South American “business men”. Such a big case that it was given extensive coverage in the NYT et al at the time. She had some very interesting stories about the “business” which she heard years later from her step-dad. Very different from the movie, tv crap. No glamor, just all squalid shit. After her step-father testified he disappeared to Europe under a new identity and last I heard he was in Switzerland.
Some of us actually base our opinions on what we have seen and heard in the real world, knowing the people involved, rather than just regurgitating flaccid third hand media stories.
And yes, I did know the Denver market very well back then. I almost moved there in the late 80’s. So I know my way around the metro Denver area. But a friend, who grew up there, told me I would never survive a mountain winter. And she was probably right.