Planning Commission postpones MMJ decision

Posted by Bryce Crawford on Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 4:46 PM

Kevin Butcher
  • Rockin': Commission Chair Kevin Butcher.

In a meeting that ran roughly eight hours — a timeframe becoming the norm when local bodies attempt a medical marijuana discussion — the Colorado Springs Planning Commission decided to wait two months to make a move on zoning laws for MMJ centers.

The Commission voted 9-0 for postponement until Nov. 18 after each Commissioner stated concerns with lumping three distinct entities — centers, grow facilities and infused-product manufactures — into the same zoning.

“I don’t feel comfortable trying to wordsmith this draft into something that I would feel comfortable referring on to City Council,” said Commissioner Edward Gonzalez. “I would like to see staff take into account all of our comments, and come up with something a little bit closer to where we’re all coming from.”

Earlier, Commissioner Carla Hartsell questioned why MMCs were being regulated differently than other businesses of what she considers like intent.

“Why would a sexually oriented business be less detrimental than a place selling an illegal substance?” Hartsell asked. “I feel we’re in a real moral dilemma where we have a federally illegal substance that our state allows to be sold, yet we have to come up with rules that support something that from the law is illegal.”

Senior planner Steve Tuck responded, "We took the assumption that this was a legitimate land use. We did not try to impose our values on that at all.”

“I know, but I’m going to be imposing mine," Hartsell replied. "I’m going to be real up-front about that right now.”

Throughout the meeting, Commissioners heard from the usual suspects, including a spokesman for the Colorado Springs Police Department who said the department's main concern wasn't crime, it was caregivers: "If you were going to regulate this through the land use ordinance, our recommendation is one caregiver per residential home."

Right before a lunch break, a lighter moment was had after state Rep. Mark Waller gave the background of House Bill 1284, and his reasonings for voting to allow local control.

“We seemed to be blamed for having to pass this ordinance," said chairman Kevin Butcher. "So everybody please throw rocks at the state representative instead of us."

Comments (2)

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I am a little confused, does Carla Hartsell live here in Colorado? The last time I checked Medical Marijuana was legal in our State. Federal Law allows states to make something legal within the individual state even though it may be illegal Federally. If Ms. Hartsell wishes to live in a state where Marijuana is illegal maybe she should consider moving. Given her statements and the actions and statements of Mrs. Suthers, I think that we should all be writing the City Council to request their immediate removal from their positions as Commissioners. If you can not be objective and respectful of the laws of our state then you should not be a Commissioner.

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Posted by Fyrelily313 on 09/16/2010 at 7:59 PM

It nice they are using the "illegal Federally" arguement with MMJ but it was okay to outlaw gay marriage and gay rights in this state and not be concerned with the rights that were given to gay people by US Constitutation. We had no problem with allow the populas vote in Amendment 2, only to have the Federal courts throw it out as unconstitutional, and I believe one day, they will also throw out gay marriage bans as unconstitutional, just as they did with interracial marriage after the civil rights movement. Where was this arguement in 1993 from our local government back then to defend innoscent citizens from legalized bigotry?

Why can we learn from history here and avoid lawsuit situations that will cost our state or local governments a lot of money when MMJ patients and MMJ dispensaries start to file suits for not giving us our due rights?

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Posted by gurudori on 09/17/2010 at 7:52 AM
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