This week, a guest at the Sleep Inn in Thornton complained that a medical marijuana patient, who was also a guest down the hall from the man’s room, ruined his stay at the motel. Tom Schanaman, who requested a smoking room, reported his fellow guest to the police after he smelled marijuana smoke. “The marijuana being smoked was a strain strong enough for a contact high throughout the inner part of the motel,” he said.

To which I can only say: Really? Schanaman requested a smoking room in an age where smoking is banned in most indoor public places. Yet he specially mentions that he “saw families with small children,” so clearly he was looking out for them and not his own interests.

See, what bothers me isn’t that he had a problem with the nearby patient. I’m all for people having an opinion about this issue; freedom of speech is what makes this country great. No, what pisses me off is that Schanaman went to the police before contacting motel authorities. He reported someone for doing something that was legally entitled by the state.

What also gets me is Schanaman’s “contact high” remark. Whether you buy into the contact high myth or not, I can’t understand how anyone could believe what he claimed. How could someone possibly get a contact high off of smoke inside a separate room? You’d have to be right up against the door to even get close to it! Unless of course that room was full of smoke–but I doubt a single patient could have produced that much smoke.

Management obviously isn’t up on both sides of the issue. A front desk clerk for the Sleep Inn said that medical marijuana was okay as long as the customer “air[ed] out the room” after smoking. But the front desk manager mentioned that although the motel does not have a written policy on medical marijuana use, it is not permitted. She also said they “weren’t sure” if what the patient did was legal or not.

Still, I’m not knocking the motel. As a private company, they’re welcome to ban marijuana smoking as much as they ban or don’t ban tobacco use. But the persecution of patients akin to what Schanaman did needs to stop. Leave medical marijuana patients to their treatment. It’s not affecting you or your kids–just your delicate sensibilities.

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