Paul James: Legalize retail pot in Craig
To the editor:To the editor:
To the editor:
There is no question that the economy of Craig is looking pretty gloomy. There is also no question that Colorado as a whole has seen record growth, record jobs, and increased tourism, much of which has been due to the allowance of recreational cannabis in a majority of the state. The state has been bringing in record amounts of revenue because of the increases in business it has brought to the state. This is because industry is what causes an economy to prevail, and new industries help boost economies. Yet, here in Craig, local politicians refuse to allow this new industry, and have come up with only one solution; more taxes. First they increased the lodging tax, making it the highest in the area, now they want to add both a mill levy, and an increase in sales tax, in an area where wages have mostly remained stagnant and the job market isn’t anything like what it was even 10 years ago. I realize this may seem ominous to some, but there is a bright side to this situation. I am a part of a recently developed committee called the Committee to Grow Craig, CO (you can look us up on Facebook). Last week, we submitted an ordinance to allow recreational marijuana to be sold, cultivated, manufactured, and tested in labs.
If the proposed ordinance is allowed, then the city council could propose an increase in the excise tax on the ballot, which would only effect people shopping in the retail stores! They could also put an extra tax on wholesale out of the cultivation facilities. There are also fees for the licenses that must be renewed every single year. The council’s suggested taxes will not cause an increase in jobs or tourism to the area, but the ordinance that our committee is turning in this week could produce over one hundred above minimum wage jobs within the first year, increasing business to existing stores and restaurants, filling much of the empty retail or warehouse space in town. The fact of the matter is that by not allowing recreational sales here, the town has done nothing to keep marijuana out of Craig, because people can either grow their legal amount of plants on their own, or drive to Steamboat to purchase it (which hundreds of people are doing pretty regularly). The only effect that banning recreational cannabis in Craig has, is that of helping to diminish our already disparaged economy. Help us to urge our local politicians to make the right choice!
James PaulJames Paul
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