Shaun Hadley, owner of Craig Apothecary, shared his arguments Tuesday night in favor of supporting an ordinance that would've put a set of retail marijuana questions before voters in April's election. The ordinances failed to garner enough votes however and failed with a 3-3 tie vote by Craig City Council.

Photo by Lauren Blair

Shaun Hadley, owner of Craig Apothecary, shared his arguments Tuesday night in favor of supporting an ordinance that would've put a set of retail marijuana questions before voters in April's election. The ordinances failed to garner enough votes however and failed with a 3-3 tie vote by Craig City Council.

Retail pot will not be on April ballot in Craig

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An ordinance that would’ve placed retail marijuana on the ballot in April’s election died at the hands of a tie vote by Craig City Council Tuesday night.

All six current council members were seated for the vote, with John Ponikvar, Derek Duran and Jarrod Ogden voting in favor of putting the measure on the ballot and Mayor Pro Tem Kent Nielson, Tony Bohrer and Joe Bird voting against.

Council opted not to vote on the retail marijuana-related tax measures after voting down the primary measure that would have permitted retail marijuana.

Three members of the public spoke in favor of putting the measure before voters.

“The retail cannabis measures on the ballot aren’t just about cannabis, they’re about economic development. Just last month this community lost 30 jobs when Kmart closed,” said Craig resident and veteran Michael Lausin. “By not wanting retail cannabis measures on the ballot, that says to me that you’re not willing to help bring jobs to Craig.”

Members of the Committee to Grow Craig, Paul James and Shaun Hadley, refuted arguments previously presented by council members who opposed the measure. James promised they would petition again to add their own version to the ballot in November if council didn’t put it on the April ballot.

“This is the first time through. If we have to petition for this again, I know that we’re going to succeed,” James said, adding, “If the council is so sure that this is going to fail on the ballot, then what is the harm of putting it on and letting it fail once and for all?”

No audience members spoke out against the ordinances, with the exception of Hadley asking that the proposed sales tax not be applied to medical marijuana, as was written in one of the ordinances.

A brief discussion ensued between council members, with Ponikvar and Ogden reiterating their support, and Nielson reiterating his opposition.

“I have definitely gotten more comments from people that didn’t want this on the ballot,” Nielson added.

Comments

michael lausin 2 months ago

It's a shame that this article didn't make it to the print version of the paper. As beautiful as the bald eagle picture was, I'm sure that this article without Shaun's picture would have fit into that space on page one. The least that could have been done is to put a link to this article in the 11 line piece that was published on page two.

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Noelle Leavitt Riley 2 months ago

Michael: Our paper goes to the printing press at 8 p.m. We only had enough time to put the small news brief in today's paper. The full story will be in Friday's print edition.

— Noelle Leavitt Riley, editor

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michael lausin 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Thank you Noelle, I didn't take into account the "put to bed" time and the meeting did end well after that. Thanks for publishing it today.

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Vicki Huyser 2 months ago

I find it disturbing that 3 people decided this issue should not be on the ballot for voters to decide. First, I should say, I am not advocating for recreational marijuana. I actually voted no on 64. However, I am appalled by the way this matter was handled and wonder how other issues may be handled in the future. Since when does a tie proclaim a winner and a loser? We are short one vote since Mayor Beck vacated before the end of his term. I would like to believe Mr. Beck would have broken the tie with a yes vote. Not because he is personally in favor of recreational marijuana, but because he is fair and just and respected his position of working for the people. The question was "should it be on the ballot". Personal opinions, experiences, and feelings should not have entered this council vote. It should absolutely be decided by the people. In a previous article, John Ponikivar said he did not feel that (then) 7 council members should decide, and that it should be put to the voters. You can count on my vote for Mr. Ponikivar for Mayor. We want an honest, unbiased Mayor who will consider the voices of the people. With this shady decision by the current Council, I have lost confidence and respect. Consequently, those three members who decided their opinion is more important than everyone else have lost my vote. You obviously do not understand your place and duty as representatives.

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