Not only is the issue of possible marijuana sales and production in the town of Paonia a divisive issue among citizens, even town trustees don't agree on it. At the Sept. 10 public town meeting, trustees voted unanimously to place a moratorium on all sales and production of marijuana and marijuana products and let the people decide in the November 2014 general election.
The moratorium goes into effect today.
About 100 citizens gathered at town hall, but sat quietly as Mayor Neal Schwieterman announced there would be no further public comment. Citizens had the opportunity to speak before council at the town's Aug. 27 meeting.
Schwieterman opened the discussion with a reading of the proposed Ordinance 2013-02, also known as the Recreational Marijuana Moratorium. Schwieterman then held up a stack of about a dozen letters and summarized each one. Included were copies of two High Country News articles describing what happened in Deadwood, S.D., after gambling was approved in 1989. While most were in favor of an outright ban, letter writer Deborah Brown asked council to let the voters decide.
Letter writer Ron Raul wrote in support of an outright ban. "I agree with Ron Raul," said trustee Brian Ayers prior to the vote. "This issue is going to be divisive in the town."
Trustee Ross King said he is in favor of putting the issue to a vote. King cited prohibition of alcohol and women's suffrage as "issues that have created consternation in our society. We made a commitment all along that we felt it was the right of people to choose."
King reminded the audience that voters in local precincts voted in support of recreational marijuana in November 2012. "It would be disingenuous if we didn't go ahead and allow this election to take place in November 2014," said King.blog comments powered by Disqus