Craig City Council decided to opt out of allowing recreational marijuana in city limits, highlighting that the voters made their decision about the issue last November with 54 percent of Craig against and 46 percent in favor.
At the last couple of meetings, city staff has highlighted to council that it needs to decide if they want to continue a moratorium on Amendment 64 or let the voters once again put in their two cents.
Yet, on Tuesday night, council pointed out that it would cost the city roughly $10,000 to put it on the ballot again, which potentially could be a waste of money since the community already voted it down.
Specifically, the majority of the council stated that it didn’t want to invest the money in something that has already been decided by its constituents.
“Eight months ago, the city of Craig voted it down,” said City Councilman Don Jones.
All of the City Council members, with the exception of Jarrod Ogden, thought that recreational marijuana should not be allowed in Craig.
Ogden felt that it should be put to the voters again; however, he didn’t push the issue when the rest of council explained their stances.
Ray Beck thought that it was not beneficial to the city for a number of reasons.
“We’re talking about recreational marijuana here, we’re not talking about medical marijuana,” Beck said. “It sends a bad message to our kids.”
Colorado voters approved Amendment 64 last November. In January, recreational pot shops will be legally allowed to open under state law.
However, it will still remain illegal under federal law, making it a sticky situation for cities and counties across the state that decide to allow recreational businesses to open — a point of discussion that Councilman Joe Bird brought up.
“I personally have got a problem with it. The state laws go against federal laws,” Bird said.
According to supporting documents presented at the council meeting, 51 percent of Moffat County voters voted against Amendment 64.
But ultimately, the amendment passed statewide.
City staff pointed out that council had until Oct. 1 to decide on if it wanted to create an ordinance to opt out of recreational marijuana in Craig.
Council will continue discussing the topic in upcoming meetings, where it will allow public comment. At this time, city staff will prepare proper documents to reflect the council’s wishes.
Noelle Leavitt Riley can be reached at 970-875-1790 or firstname.lastname@example.org.