Livestock, marijuana highlight reports at Craig City Council meeting

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At its Tuesday meeting, the Craig City Council:

• Approved, 7-0, renewal of the 3.2-percent retail beer liquor license for Mini Mart, Inc., at 2441 W. Victory Way, and renewal of the tavern liquor license for Mathers Bar, Inc., at 420 Yampa Ave.

After wrapping up the voting at Tuesday’s Craig City Council meeting, Mayor Terry Carwile invited staff reports.

Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta gave his.

“Mr. Mayor, council, just kind of a heads up,” he said. “We’re starting to get a lot more chickens in town.”

Vanatta said other communities in Colorado are passing ordinances to allow chickens and miniature goats within city limits.

“You may want to anticipate here before very long a movement to authorize chickens in town — no roosters, but chickens,” he said.

Councilor Jennifer Riley asked if the police department is responding to incidents of illegal livestock within Craig city limits.

Vanatta said the department is.

“We’re telling people they can’t have their chickens,” he said.

Then Vanatta said the chicken issue may soon land on the council’s plate.

“I’m guessing that before very long, you guys are going to be hearing about it,” he said. “You may want to take a more proactive approach … and do some research on what’s out there.”

After Vanatta’s report, councilor Bryon Willems kicked off the council reports with an account of a recent meeting.

“I attended a meeting in Steamboat Springs on medical marijuana, and obviously they have a much bigger problem than we have,” Willems said. “They have six dispensaries between Steamboat and Milner. They actively advertise their wares.”

Willems claimed one in 10 Steamboat Springs residents has a medical marijuana card, and the city is gaining a reputation for being a “weed-friendly” town.

“Needless to say, the community is just … really worried about what it’s going to do to the perception that Steamboat is a family-friendly environment. That’s just going to get killed,” he said.

Willems said he was asked by some Steamboat Springs residents at the meeting what Craig plans to do.

“I said we were very sympathetic to their problem, but it doesn’t seem to be that big of an issue here,” Willems said. “But, the citizens reminded me that we’re starting a dormitory here, and a college dormitory may change that.”

Willems was referring to the new dormitory being built at Colorado Northwestern Community College. He also claimed that nearly every student at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat has a medical marijuana card.

Vanatta said he suspects the hammer may drop on medical marijuana soon.

“I think at some point, you’ll see the feds being a little bit more active, just on the major grow operations,” he said.

Vanatta added that, in the meantime, Craig should be prepared for a rapidly changing environment.

“A lot of the concern is you’re seeing so many communities around the state that are now banning them,” he said. “The six or seven that are in Steamboat now, if Steamboat bans them, they’re going to come here.”

Willems said there’s a precedent.

“What Walt is touching on here is what happened in Mesa County and Grand Junction,” he said. “They voted to shut them down — cease and desist. Done. You’re gone.

“Within a week, they were all gone, but where did they go? They all went to communities that are friendly to set-up operations. They’re going to scatter like rats.

“And, the more towns that shut them down, the more they come to towns that allow them.”

Willems said Craig could always follow in the footsteps of Grand Junction and issue cease and desist orders to any dispensaries operating in town.

“We always have that right,” he said.

In the meantime, Willems said he hopes bigger agencies will intervene.

“Hopefully, the state will come down and give us some teeth, which would be nice,” he said.

Earlier in the meeting, the council approved, 7-0, a resolution designating the city council as the local licensing authority for medical marijuana facilities.

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Comments

George Robertson 3 years, 6 months ago

“Needless to say, the community is just … really worried about what it’s going to do to the perception that Steamboat is a family-friendly environment. That’s just going to get killed,” Talk about Reefer Madness.....calm down Steamboats image is already in the trash, and your paranoid view of Craig going down is just that a paranoid view.

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lonelyone 3 years, 6 months ago

I thought it was decided a long time ago that one was enough in Moffat County and no more would be allowed. That in itself tells me that we won't have a problem here.

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native_craig_guy 3 years, 6 months ago

I think that it is funny that Mr. Willems calls state authorized, legal users as a "problem". Would be also consider 1 in 10 state authorized concealed carry permit holders a problem? I dont agree with the way that medical marijuana is being managed, but do we really need to be labeling potential medical treatments as "problems"? Steamboat has always been a more "progressive" town and they are dealing with those ramifications. To me it appears that we are too concerned over the business matters in Steamboat and are not concerned with our own business matters. Steamboat has shown time and time again that they do not care about Craig or Moffat County, yet we still suck up to them.

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Reaver 3 years, 6 months ago

I find it interesting that the council is more interested in Steamboat's medical marijuana "problem" than prescription pill addictions in many of our teens (is there much of a difference besides prescription pills being addictive and harmful? It's all prescribed.) or even the cocaine problem in Steamboat or meth problem in Craig. Does anybody honestly believe medical marijuana is killing Steamboat's "family" image rather than promoting its progressive nature? Since when has Steamboat become a "family" oriented town instead of a tourist trap?

I don't agree with the majority of ways that medical marijuana is handled either. The concept is bogus, but I don't really see how it's that harmful to the town. Prescription pills are way more dangerous and rampant now, anyways.

Seems like if we get Steamboat's marijuana facilities, we also get their customers in town. EDP hearing this? haha!

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OneFly 3 years, 6 months ago

A huge part of this "problem" are those who said and think there are problems.

When I read this early this morning I was shaking my head. RATS?? Who is this Willem's fellow. And you guys are talking about image.

We'll see where this goes but as is my business will think hard about how much money it spends in Craig Amerika.

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nikobesti 3 years, 6 months ago

We all see Mr. Williams in various establishments around town drinking alcohol, usually starting sometime before noon every day. Yet he disdains those who would use marijuana in the privacy of their homes. Byron gulps down his drug of choice in great proportions but insults and attacks other who do the same.

Hypocrisy can cost you a city council seat, hu Byron?

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nikobesti 3 years, 6 months ago

Mr. William's drug of choice kills thousands of kids every year in overdoses. Thousands more are hurt or killed in alcohol-related domestic violence. Families are shattered by alcohol abuse all across America.

And Byron has the audacity to spout off about a "family-friendly environment?"

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cforevereyez 3 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Willems needs to stick to discussing chickens. His contention that the fine folks in Steamboat are going to drive to Craig to purchase their medical marijuana if their dispensaries are shut down, is just plain goofy. The sky ain't falling Chicken Little, so please find something else to worry about.

The real drug problem in Steamboat is alcohol. Read the police report in the Pilot and see how many DUIs they have week after week after week. Look at the death, destruction and mayhem alcohol is responsible for right there on Lincoln. Yes, that is a real family friendly drug of choice.

Nikobesti was right Willems, you are one fine hypocrite. Keep slamming em down and tell yourself how far superior you are to those who legally use marijuana. One of these days, someone might believe you.

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cforevereyez 3 years, 6 months ago

I did a little research on the numbers of medical marijuana patients in Routt County. The CDPHE lists 1143 patients. The average age of all patients in Colorado is 40. I also checked the student enrollment at CMC - Steamboat campus. It has 1262 students. Routt County has an estimated population of 24,000 and Steamboat Springs 12,180.

Now, if what Willems said is true, we should have 1200 CMC students registered as mmj patients and 1218 Steamboat Springs residents registered (1 in 10). That adds up to 2400 medical marijuana licenses, just for Steamboat. Yet the official CDPHE number is 1143 for ALL of Routt County which includes another 12,000 people.

The numbers for most of the ski areas are similar. Pitkin, Eagle, and Summitt Counties are all in the 1% range.

The questions I have for Mr. Willems are:

  1. How do you know that most students at CMC are registered mmj patients, when the state does not ask your occupation or student status when applying for a license?

  2. How do you know that 1 in 10 Steamboat Springs residents are license holders when the state only lists patients by county?

When I look at the official numbers, I come to the conclusion that 1 in 100 people (or less) have medical marijuana licenses in Routt County, which includes Steamboat Springs. That isn't even close to the numbers that Willems cited.

So who are you going to believe, the official state numbers, or Mr. Willems?

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