On November 6, 2012, an amendment to Article 18 of the Colorado state constitution passed with more than 53% support from state residents. Colorado Amendment 64 allows adults age 21 and over to use marijuana for recreational purposes. And since then, there has been a cloudy haze over the middle of the country.
Unfortunately, that haze grew even larger on Tuesday when firefighters were called to 4430 East Garfield Avenue in Denver to extinguish a blaze. Only this wasn’t a typical fire in some run-of-the-mill structure.
A marijuana growing operation was burning. And to make matters worse, all of the fortifications in place to protect the budding product—from steel doors to bricked-in windows—made it more difficult for firefighters to put out the blaze.
Eventually, though, the fire was extinguished, but it was too late to save any plants and the building itself was damaged pretty severely.
This story caught my eye for a number of reasons, which are best shared in one of my favorite formats, a bulleted list:
- Honestly, I was surprised the fire was put out so quickly and can only assume gas masks were utilized. Otherwise, the structure likely would have burned to the ground when all the stoned firefighters dropped their hoses and went searching for food to satisfy “the munchies.”
- The same could be said of anyone living or working within a 5-10 block radius of the fire, which amounted to little more than a huge blaze out session. Hell, even second-hand smoke could have produced a nice buzz for passersby!
- The cause of the blaze is believed to be electrical—since grow operations use so much power—but for a minute there, I suspected one of the “farmers” left a roach burning too close to the harvest.
The good news is that none of my suspicions were correct. And aside from the damage to the building, the only real consequence will be the emotional toll on potheads who must now look elsewhere for their next fix.
Happy hunting, my herb-loving friends!
One of the worst things about violence in America is that when one terrible incident occurs, it is normally followed by a host of other troubling incidents around the country.
Speaking biblically, I guess you could say that “violence begets more violence.” And copycat criminals tend to come out of the woodwork, too.
This story doesn’t involve a copycat of the killers in Colorado or Connecticut, but it is no less disturbing. About the only similarity is that this incident also occurred in Colorado, a state plagued by high-profile violence ever since the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999.
On Thursday morning, police in Colorado arrested 35-year-old Richard Sandberg for attempting to trade explosive devices for cocaine with an undercover ATF agent. He is now being held without bond pending a detention hearing next week.
More than a week ago, Denver police received a tip from a reliable informant who had been in Sandberg’s suburban home and reported seeing numerous firearms and explosives, including military-grade hand grenades. The police informed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, who immediately began an undercover sting operation to investigate the matter.
An undercover agent contacted Sandberg, who claimed to be a former Marine with a special operations unit, and inquired about the trade. Sandberg told him that he could provide M67 grenades for $300 each, as well as homemade “cricket” explosives he created with materials from a local hardware store.
On Tuesday evening, the undercover agent met Sandberg at his home and learned quite a bit more about the would-be terrorist. In conversation, Sandberg expressed contempt for President Obama and the American government. He claimed to be a former demolitions expert who served in Iraq, Pakistan and Somalia, as well. Whether or not this is true, I have no idea.
During the visit, Sandberg also showed his prospective buyer a thick, steel door with gun turrets cut out of it. He told the agent he had thousands of rounds of ammunition and would use them if the authorities ever came calling.
By the end of the visit, the agent had purchased two pipe bombs and one of the cricket explosives. And before he left the house, Sandberg claimed he could obtain C4 explosives and blasting caps if the agent so desired.
A test of the materials obtained from Sandberg revealed that they were indeed highly explosive and could be classified as “destructive devices” under federal law. Two days after the visit, authorities caught up with Sandberg as he was heading to work and took him into custody.
Despite having a “Fire Obama” sign in his window and sporting a Marine flag in his yard, Sandberg seemed to most of his neighbors like a normal guy. Sure, he could be heard working metal late at night, but most thought this was some kind of hobby and never felt threatened by it. At least not until now.
“It’s so scary,” neighbor Michelle Chalupa told CNN earlier. “I’m thankful that whatever operation found [the bombs] before someone was hurt.”
Amen to that.
Unfortunately, authorities don’t always catch criminals in time and we end up with elementary school shootings, movie theater massacres and a host of other violent events. Sure, it’s great when future violence can be prevented, but allowing even one madman to slip through the cracks is enough to result in even more tragedy and death.
Of course, what bothers me the most is something I have expressed here before: for every homicidal maniac we detect and arrest, there is likely another we don’t even know about. And as much as I hate to say it, plotting for the next tragic and violent event may already be underway.
Here’s a great article about the war on marijuana from CNN’s Roger Roffman that uses a public health model to support the need for legalization. He makes some pretty interesting points in light of recent legislation in Washington State to legalize recreational use of the drug. Very compelling…
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tapped Colorado as the skinniest state in the nation. There the obesity rate bottoms out at 20.7 percent.
I wish I could say this came as a surprise, but I’ve spent a lot of time snow skiing in Colorado and know it’s great for weight control. Of course, I’m sure there are lots of other factors that “weigh in.”
I would be fatter… I mean flattered… if North Carolina were on this list…
Double Tragedy for Colorado Shooting Victim: Pregnant Mom Miscarries Days After Her 6-Year-Old Dies | Parenting – Yahoo! Shine
The tragedy of the Aurora movie theater massacre just won’t let up, and this particular story gives new meaning to the word “heartbreak.”
A week after losing her 6-year-old daughter in the massacre, 25-year-old Ashley Moser, who was critically wounded in the attack, just miscarried her unborn baby.
It hurts me to think that even if Ashley survives, her life will be in ruins and she will likely never recover from these deep emotional wounds. The thought of anything happening to my son crushes me, so I can only imagine what Ashley will face once she is finally released.
And when you consider the fact that she might also be paralyzed, things get even more sad.
I’m not a religious person, but I know Ashley and her family will be in my thoughts. And I strongly urge anyone out there praying for someone to add Ashley, her family and her poor daughters to their efforts.
It really does break my heart.
Accused Colorado movie theater gunman charged with multiple counts of murder | The Lookout – Yahoo! News
James Holmes, the killer in the Aurora movie theater massacre, was just charged with two dozen counts of first-degree murder as well as more than 100 other violent offenses. This brings his grand total to 142.
Prosecutors have not yet decided if they will seek the death penalty in this case, but here’s hoping they do.
Yes, I am a liberal Democrat, but capital punishment is something I fully support. To me, if you take someone’s life in cold blood, then you should expect to sacrifice your own since let’s face it, that’s the only fair thing to do.
Granted, I don’t necessarily find it best to respond to one death by adding another, but sometimes you just can’t avoid it. And when someone like Holmes so flagrantly disregards the lives of his victims and their loved ones, I certainly feel the death sentence is warranted.
Or should Holmes be forced to live with what he did? There are some pretty good arguments for that side, too. And I can see it’s appeal.
I’m very curious to see how this case plays out. And this seems like a pretty good start. We simply cannot allow people like this to walk among us. The world is a dangerous enough place already.
I guess it was only a matter of time before the residents of James Holmes’ booby-trapped apartment building decided to head for greener pastures. If things had worked out as Holmes planned, after all, most if not all of them would already be dead.
What I find disturbing about this is that the Paris Street building has now become something of a macabre tourist attraction. People keep driving by and taking pictures of a structure that, if this killer had his way, wouldn’t even be standing today.
Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems in bad taste to do this kind of thing while the victims struggle with their losses and the survivors are still recovering from their wounds. There is time for all this once the case has been closed, after all.
Colorado shooting victim’s brain condition helped her survive, pastor says | The Lookout – Yahoo! News
It’s about time that something good happens to a victim of the shooting in Aurora, Colorado.
Petra Anderson is a 22-year-old violinist who sustained multiple gunshot wounds during James Holmes’ movie theater attack. One of the bullets traveled up her nose and into her brain. Under normal circumstances, this would be a kill shot, but a brain condition Petra wasn’t even aware of ended up saving her life.
Petra’s doctor described the brain defect as “a tiny channel of fluid running through her skull, like a tiny vein through marble, or a small hole in an oak board, winding from front to rear.”
The bullet that entered Petra’s nose was small enough that it entered this channel, traveled through her brain and eventually lodged itself in the back of her skull. And you know what? It didn’t hit any significant brain areas. Petra is even expected to make a full recovery.
My wife is fond of saying that “everything happens for a reason.” I’m not sure if I agree, but then I read a story like this and I start to wonder if she could be right.
If not for her brain condition, Petra would surely be dead. And though I’m not a religious person, I can’t help but think if this is another example of the Lord working in mysterious ways.
Whatever the reason, I am glad that Petra survived and hope she is able to emotionally recover from this horrible trauma someday. I’m pulling for you, Petra!
In Maine, for instance, a man was arrested when he told authorities he had just seen “The Dark Knight Rises” and was headed to shoot his former employer. The cops searched his car and found a number of weapons, including an AK-47 assault rifle, several handguns and plenty of ammunition.
He also had news clippings of the mass shooting in Aurora.
Several other moviegoers have been behaving strangely and have scared the heck out of the people around them. And the shooting in Colorado always seems to be mentioned.
I am hoping there won’t be any copycats looking to gun people down out there, but if you go to see the new Batman movie, I suggest you sit near an exit, preferably near the main entrance. Since the front of the theater is more crowded and closely monitored, this just might save your life if another James Holmes comes calling.
Police have now determined that James Holmes, the killer responsible for the Aurora, CO movie theater massacre, planned his attack for months in advance. He stocked up legally on guns, ordered ammunition from the web and set up a series of elaborate booby traps in his apartment designed to take down the entire building.
Earlier today, authorities sent a remote-controlled robot into the apartment to help disarm trip wires, control boxes and other explosive devices. Now the police will begin sifting through the evidence within, looking for some kind of clear motive.
Apparently, James isn’t talking. He’s simply sitting in solitary confinement, probably enjoying the fact that his is the top news story on presumably every station in the country.
So now we have a former Honor student who slowly started going mad, planned an attack to lash out at the world around him, rigged his apartment to eventually kill even more people and now sits comfortably in a cell somewhere. No one paid him any attention before, but now he’s getting all the attention he could ever want.
Meanwhile, the families of dozens of his victims either mourn the losses of loved ones or suffer while those injured in the attack recover from wounds both physical and psychological.
What a sad, sad world we live in…