Livestock, marijuana highlight reports at Craig City Council meeting
June 15, 2011
In other news …
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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