To the editor:
Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Craig City Council, and the author requested that it ran in the newspaper.
Craig City Council:
As a concerned citizen of Craig, I am asking that ordinance No. 1030 be repealed. Although I believe the council passed this ordinance with the intent of protecting the city, in my opinion, it is quite damaging. I know the council wanted to wait and see how other towns and cities would be handling recreational marijuana and that probably was a wise move. Now the state is at the point where evidence has proven that a smart approach to the recreational marijuana industry is working. Minors are being denied access to marijuana, offenses for marijuana-related crimes are declining, allowing officers to focus on more important work. Additionally, tax revenues have far exceeded projected estimates.
Our community is in danger of losing its largest source of revenue. The EPA and other government regulations may be held at bay for a period of time, but it is a known fact that the energy sources in our county are finite. The battle against government regulations may be won but the battle with the environment will not. The voters of Colorado have given its citizens the opportunity to prosper from the legal production of cannabis and hemp products. This is an opportunity that the citizens of Craig should also have.
There are many vacant warehouse buildings in Craig that soon will be eyesores if left unoccupied. Many of these buildings would be suitable facilities for growing or processing cannabis products. There are so many aspects to this industry that seem to go unnoticed, such as research and development of pharmaceuticals, product testing and manufacturing infused products. Companies that are in these related fields are establishing their business in places that are welcoming. Craig should be one of those places. These companies would require the work of electricians, plumbers and carpenters in addition to any employees that they would hire. This would bring much-needed spending and revenue to our community.
I ask the Craig City Council to end this local prohibition. This should be looked at as a business opportunity and not a moral decision. At one point in time, there may have been a social stigma attached to marijuana, but those times are ending. Change is happening now, and if we fail to act soon then much of the opportunity will be missed.