Parachute says no to pot shops |

Parachute says no to pot shops

PARACHUTE – The town of Parachute does not have any medical marijuana businesses, and it won’t have any recreational marijuana businesses.

Adults will also be limited in terms of how many marijuana plants they can legally grow in their own homes, with strict security conditions. Violators will also be subject to fines of up to $500.

The town board unanimously approved three ordinances on Thursday, Sept. 12, that regulate the use of marijuana in Parachute, as Colorado prepares to see the first recreational marijuana businesses open in communities that agree to allow them to operate at the first of the year, under Amendment 64. Voters across the state approved the amendment in last year’s general election, which allows adults to possess and use up to one ounce of marijuana for private use. It also called for state and local regulation of such outlets, along with the growing, cultivation and manufacture of marijuana and related products.

Trustee Tom Rugaard wanted Parachute to take as tough a stance against allowing marijuana businesses as possible.

“I never smoked marijuana, but I know it is a mind-altering drug, just like alcohol. I just think we need to do all we can to discourage its use.”
Tom Rugaard
Parachute trustee

“I don’t think state voters really understood what they voted for,” he said. “My family has seen what this drug can do, and I know that if someone 13 or 14 years old starts to use it, their brain doesn’t grow any more. I never smoked marijuana, but I know it is a mind-altering drug, just like alcohol. I just think we need to do all we can to discourage its use.”

The trustees set the maximum fine for the possession of more than one ounce, and if someone is under 21, at $500, the same amount as a minor in possession of alcohol, said Town Attorney Ed Sands. There are no minimum fines for the use, possession or transfer of marijuana in the ordinances, he added, leaving it up to the town’s municipal judge.

Sands also said Amendment 64 allows adults to grow and cultivate up to six marijuana plants at a time, only three of which can be flowering, mature plants at any one time. No marijuana plants can be grown outside, he noted.

“Most homes have more than one adult, so you could get homes with 12, 18, 24 and so on,” Sands said.

The town’s planning and zoning commission recommended a limit of 12 plants per household, Sands added, and that a special use permit be required. The plants would have to be located in a secure, locked room at all times, Sands said. Application and inspection fees would also be charged and collected, he added.

If an adult lives in a home that already has 12 marijuana plants, they could rent space in parts of Parachute that are zoned for that use, Sands added.

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