City Council approves first reading of pot ban ordinance

— An ordinance that would ban the sale of recreational marijuana within Craig city limits is well on its way to becoming law. Craig City Council members passed the first reading of the ordinance Tuesday night.

City councilman Don Jones cited other cities’ moratoriums on recreational marijuana as evidence that it was a good idea to wait and see.

“All of these cities are waiting to see what happens,” Jones said. “I still feel comfortable with what we’ve done.”

Sherman Romney, a contract attorney, said the ordinance could be changed if City Council decided they wanted to rethink their stance on recreational marijuana.

“In the future a city ordinance can be changed by another city ordinance,” Romney said. “If you want to take a wait-and-see approach, you can put a sunset on it.”

Frank Hadley, of Craig, spoke up at the meeting and said he wanted the city council to do more research into marijuana before passing the ordinance.

“Please do your homework. Don’t go on the Internet and look up marijuana,” he said. “I would challenge every one of you to do a better job reading and studying.”

He also expressed concern that the ordinance banning recreational marijuana would affect the legality of selling medical marijuana. Romney assured him it would not.

“It’s my understanding that this should not affect medical marijuana in any way,” the attorney said.

Byron Willems, who owns Craig Fire & Safety, commended the City Council for taking steps to pass the pot ban. He said the argument that marijuana would bring tax dollars to Craig was just a "dangling carrot."

“It’s not worth it to compromise our values,” he said.

The city council will hear the ordinance's second reading and vote on the ordinance at its next meeting Aug. 27.

Erin Fenner can be reached at 970-875-1794 or efenner@craigdailypress.com

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