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Bad month for bears



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The intruders beat the two residents and forced them to the ground at gunpoint, then bound their hands and ankles with duct tape. They were then pitched into a shed, beaten again and threatened if they did not reveal the location of valuables. Later, a neighbor stopped by, and she was also taped, pistol whipped, and tossed into the shed.

"It was basically 12 hours of terror," Masters told the Telluride Daily Planet . The victims finally freed themselves by chewing through the duct tape.

Masters, who has long been known as an opponent of the War on Drugs, said he believes that Colorado's more liberalized laws governing growing and selling of marijuana will likely produce more reporting of these kinds of incidents. "They've been occurring for a long time, but have mostly gone unreported."

But in at least one sense, the armed bandits were bunglers. They made the raid when the marijuana plants were still eight weeks from maturity, and hence of an inferior quality often called "ditch weed."


Too much markup in 'medicine' price

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. - You think resort real estate is expensive (or at least used to be, before the recession)? You should hear about the costs of "medicine" in Mammoth Lakes.

Michael King, writing a letter in The Sheet , complains that the two local dispensaries of medical marijuana are charging 140 per cent more than the going rate "down south" (as Los Angeles area is called from the perspective of Mammoth). Other local retailers would probably like a similar profit margin, he surmises.

"It also must be nice to finally have found a business that is not seasonal," he adds.


Gas rigs may get close

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. - Steamboat has had coal-mining camps south and west since long before it had ski lifts, so it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that oil and gas drillers are now approaching, too.

The Steamboat Pilot reports mineral leasing - and well-drilling applications - to within 13 kilometres  of the resort town. Whether much will come of this is another matter. But Royal Dutch Shell intends to bore down to nearly two miles underground to test the prospects for natural gas, oil, or both.

The newspaper talked with the owner of a 35-acre ranchette, who bought the property in 2009 and knew that it did not include the mineral rights. Still, she never imagined that drilling rigs might arrive so soon.