Our View: Citizens should make pot decision, not elected officials
Renee Campbell, newspaper representative
Noelle Leavitt Riley, newspaper representative
Gary Cole, newspaper representative
Shirley Balleck, community member
Gail Severson, community member (absent)
It’s no joke what’s happening in our community right now concerning Tri-State’s decision to close Unit 1 in 2025.
Luckily, our elected officials are ahead of the “economic diversity” game.
But after the Steamboat Today reported that marijuana dispensaries sold $6.1 million in recreational and medical cannabis products through July of this year, it leaves us scratching our heads as to why our elected officials are not putting it on the ballot.
Not only did Steamboat ring in $6.1 million, but the city saw a $900,000 jump in sales through July compared to the previous year. That’s a large chunk of change.
As reported by the Steamboat paper, through July, “the (pot) industry had added $245,949 to the city’s sales tax coffers.” By year’s end they stand to rake in nearly $500,000 in sales tax revenue.
In case you missed it, the Craig Daily Press reported on Wednesday that the city of Craig will have to pull $1.5 million from its reserves in 2017. That means they need money.
So we wonder why our elected officials are making choices for citizens. Craig is a very conservative/Republican town — the basis of the GOP party is less government. Why are we allowing the government to make our choices for us?
Craig residents get upset when the federal and state government set regulations and eliminate their rights to choose. How is it that marijuana is any different?
We say let the voters choose. Sure it was on the ballot a few years ago and it failed by a slim margin, but we’re in a much different economic climate than we were then.
Our conservative base in Craig doesn’t want the federal government to tell us what to do, but we allow our local officials to tell us what to do? Something is wrong here.
We understand that allowing pot shops and grow facilities may be a moral issue, but so is consumption of alcohol. Marijuana is legal, and it’s legal by a majority vote from the people of Colorado.
We, as adults, make choices. We choose to buy beer or not. If pot shops opened in Craig, those who want to buy it will, and those who don’t will not.
Even if you don’t agree with it morally, look at the financial benefits it could have for Craig. Sales taxes in Craig are terrible. Marijuana could help.
No matter what your morals are, we can’t turn a blind eye to the revenue that’s being generated statewide, which reached $122 million in July.
Holy cow, that’s a lot of money.
We’re not saying it will fix our economy, but it will help.
Believe it or not, there are many people in our society that don’t believe in drinking alcohol. That’s just as much as a moral issue as marijuana.
So we ask our city council and Moffat County Commissioners why are you squashing our ability to choose?
Be progressive. Be conservative and stop making choices for the people and let them make choices for themselves.
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