Residents angry about marijuana ordinance

Council approves 1st reading, 6-1

ACET budget and other action

At its Tuesday meeting, the Craig City Council:

• Approved, 7-0, the first reading of the city’s 2010 budget.

Before the vote, Councilor Jennifer Riley said she would like the council’s vote to include a statement that the city is prepared to cease funding the All Crimes Enforcement Team drug task force unless some of its concerns about the agency are settled.

Riley added she does not think ACET should be shut down.

Several councilors agreed with her on both points, but said the city could stop funding ACET at any time without a formal vote Tuesday.

The statement about ACET’s future was not included in the final motion, and not voted on by the council.

• Approved, 5-0, contributing $10,000 a year from 2011 to 2015 to Colorado Northwestern Community College’s construction of a career and technical education center at its new Craig campus.

• Approved, 7-0, a $147,375 bid from Craig-based APH Construction to remodel the basement floor of Craig City Hall to make room for additional offices and staff rooms.

However, APH was not the low bidder. The lowest bid was submitted by Sound Construction, of Steamboat Springs.

Robert Ralston, who is the architect for the remodel project and also based in Steamboat, said it would not be ethical to award the bid to a person who was not the low bidder because the contract did not state the city would give a preference to local companies.

“You put me in a really rough spot with contractors and people who bid on your work,” he said, later adding, “You normally take the low bid. That’s the bidding process.”

Councilor Jennifer Riley said low bidders do not always get the bid for a variety of reasons, such as past work history. This bid was no different.

She added there isn’t a local preference policy because locals aren’t always considered first for every job.

The Craig City Council spent far less time discussing its medical marijuana ordinance Tuesday than in the past few months, but it heard far more voices.

Several local residents attended the council meeting and vocally opposed the city passing any ordinance regarding medical marijuana, other than an outright ban of all marijuana activity within city limits.

The council, however, ap­­proved the introduction of an ordinance regulating medical marijuana dispensaries with a 6-1 vote.

Councilor Byron Willems was the lone dissenter.

He said he voted for the amendment to the Colorado Constitution allowing cancer patients and others with serious illnesses or conditions to use marijuana as a medicine.

However, Willems added that he thinks the Colorado system has been subverted by recreational users and unethical doctors to allow anyone to use marijuana.

“I think this whole thing is completely out of control in Colorado,” Councilor Byron Willems said, “I’m not going to put my name on anything that’s going to condone this in our town.”

Craig Conrad, a former Moffat County High School teacher, spoke against the ordinance on the basis that the city should pass an ordinance forbidding marijuana sales in Craig.

He said he could tell stories about students that would shock people.

The community can’t control chewing tobacco, cigarettes or alcohol, Conrad said, and there’s no reason to think it could control marijuana, even if it’s restricted to medical use.

He added that if anyone in his family is injured in a road accident with someone who is under the influence of medical marijuana, he plans to sue the dispensary that sold the marijuana, every city councilor who voted for the ordinance and the state of Colorado.

Conrad and many others applauded one another each time someone spoke against the medical marijuana ordinance.

“We need to make a stand,” resident Lynne Herring said. “You need to make a stand.”

Those in opposition also repeatedly thanked Willems for his stance opposing the ordinance, even with the threat of a lawsuit for violating the Colorado Constitution.

The only person who addressed the council in favor of medical marijuana use was Jessica Asplund, who helps run the Craig Apothecary dispensary.

She said she agreed there is a problem with doctors giving out medical marijuana recommendations to those who don’t need it, and added that she thinks those physicians should have their licenses revoked.

Asplund said the Craig Apothecary is not in the business of helping people procure marijuana through illegitimate means.

“We want to help people with medical need,” she said.

Craig Mayor Don Jones said before anyone else spoke on the issue that the ordinance was not a solution, but a work in progress.

Craig City Attorney Kenny Wohl said ultimately it would be the judicial branch that finalizes medical marijuana regulations, not executive powers such as the City Council.

The city has until mid-December when its second 60-day moratorium expires, City Manager Jim Ferree said. It must pass something before then, which is why officials decided to proceed with the ordinance on the table.

The city has reviewed its legal liabilities surrounding medical marijuana dispensaries — which distribute marijuana to registered medical patients — in the past few months since the Craig Apothecary opened in the summer on the 600 block of Breeze Street.

The ordinance under review now includes several zoning provisions that restrict time, place and manner of operation for dispensaries.

Notably, any prospective dispensary owner must pay a $1,500 application fee to cover city expenses for criminal background checks and other processes. It also restricts dispensaries from being within 500 feet of a school or 100 feet of a residence.

Comments

yampa78 4 years, 5 months ago

i dont understand way people are having a hard time letting MMP have the drug they need. We have more of a problem with meth. The city should spend a little more time on the meth issuse than the marijuana. When was the last time you had MMP try to push it on you? Stop spending time and money on something the state voted for!

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Colette Erickson 4 years, 5 months ago

Please get educated about the "dangers" of marijuana. Most prescription drugs approved by the FDA are far more dangerous.

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DAILYREADER 4 years, 5 months ago

CANINES, YOU ARE CORRECT ABOUT DANGEROUS DRUGS. BUT REMEMBER THAT DRUG PRESCRIPTIONS ARE MADE BY HIGHLY TRAINED, LICENSED MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS. HOW MANY MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES HAVE THAT TRAINING? THOSE PERSONS WHO ARE TRULY IN NEED SHOULD HAVE ACCESS. BUT IT HAS BECOME OBVIOUS THAT THE SYSTEM IS BEING ABUSED.

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yampa78 4 years, 5 months ago

Read the book The Emperor Wears No Clothes it has a lot of good info on MM and cannabis

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kp81625 4 years, 5 months ago

To suggest that the city can control this is probably the most ludicrous statement I have ever heard. MM is just a sneaky way for someone to go to their doctor and get a prescription and get stoned. Pot leads to so many other circumstances and speaking of MM, how does our local police force feel about this. I believe this will only make their jobs harder. Craig has a history of abuse of meth use, a history of abuse of alcohol, etc. All you have to do is read the police blotter week after week. Distribution charges, DUI's, and domestic violence charges every week. Leave your drugs outside our city limits and go elsewhere to buy it. I personally don't want it here.

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Vermillion 4 years, 5 months ago

Prohibition didn't work in controlling alcohol. Prohibition of marijuana isn't working either. The war on this drug has also been a failure. Maybe it is time to legalize marijuana and let the police spend their time and our money on more dangerous drugs and activities, such as meth, cocaine and domestic violence.

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westslopeguy 4 years, 5 months ago

One question: Where were you all at the council meeting yesterday?

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Kelsey 4 years, 5 months ago

"The community can’t control chewing tobacco, cigarettes or alcohol," Conrad said, "and there’s no reason to think it could control marijuana, even if it’s restricted to medical use."

It can't control it in it's entirely illegal use either Mr. Conrad... As proven by the 50 Million marijuana users in this country.

I do appreciate Mr. Conrad pointing out that the community can't control chewing tobacco, cigarettes or alcohol though. I thought that was an outstanding admission. Because it sort of proves the point doesn't it. People are going to do what they want to do, whether they have to go through illegal means to achieve it or not.

What better argument for decriminalizing, regulating and making it available to adults (over the age of 21) at every corner tobacco shop. Then nobody would have to worry about dispensaries and co-ops being magnets for criminal activity. Because they would be reduced to nothing more than cigarette shops. Increase the supply and lessen the demand. Isn't that just basic common sense?

And how much do you want to bet Mr. Conrad belts down 6-12 beers every Sunday afternoon while watching football. Probably takes a swing at his wife before taking off in the family wagon to buy a pack of smokes. But what do I know, I'm just an ignorant marijuana user.

(oh and I wasn't at the council meeting yesterday because I live in Tennessee... I came across this article while doing a search for MJ news on Google. But I guarantee, I would have been there had I lived in your state.)

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dexter 4 years, 5 months ago

Dear Kelsey,

As a former student of Mr. Conrad's, you have no idea who he is, and so I would suggest you keep your assumptions about him to yourself. While you are at it why don't you keep your nose in your communities business and we will keep our noses in our business.

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yampa78 4 years, 5 months ago

Dexter I know Conrad and he is twisted. He is very mean to people and cant ever be wrong. KELSEY IS RIGHT. This community is so into everyone stuff is unreal. MM is a good thing for the town of craig we need to beable to tax it. I dont tell you to stop taking pills do I. I would love to see MM stores on every corner. "Increase the supply and lessen the demand. Isn't that just basic common sense?" Ilike that quote. I have lived here for 31 years

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applesaday 4 years, 5 months ago

Dexter is right - You have no idea who Conrad is. This small snippit could never begin to show you what a self righteous, know it all he is. He thinks he is a great man because he gives motivational speeches to students around the country about "The unstoppable you" (You can pick up his book of the same name at your local Church or Hardware store - It has not hit the amazon top 100 yet). He believes in helping kids so much, that he only charges thousands of dollars to give these speeches. As another former student of Conrad, I despise the man. I lost all respect for him when I asked him for advice about my parter being raped, and he told me "You don't want to be late for your next class." Thanks, George Conrad.

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gilbertjaramillo 4 years, 5 months ago

I just want to say that Don Nord is probably dancing in the streets while smoking his medicam marijuana pipe. Take a look at what just happened in Breckenridge, Colorado. It is just a matter of time until smoking marijuana will be just as legal as smoking a Marlboro.

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applesaday 4 years, 5 months ago

@gilbertjaramillo I can tell you one thing for sure - Don Nord certainly is not dancing. The last time I saw him, he was barely able to move at all. His sickness has claimed most of his mobility. So while he may not be "dancing" I'm sure he feels a huge feeling of relief.

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