Silt trustees eye permanent medical pot moratorium |

Silt trustees eye permanent medical pot moratorium

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

SILT, Colorado – The Board of Trustees here will discuss tonight whether to make the town’s temporary moratorium on medical-marijuana businesses permanent.

But the proposed permanent moratorium would strictly outlaw the commercial cultivation and sale of the drug, not private cultivation or use.

A temporary moratorium on any medical marijuana businesses was enacted by the trustees in July 2011, while the town decided how to deal with a sudden mushrooming of the industry around the entire state.

Colorado voters in 2000 passed an amendment to the Colorado Constitution making it legal to grow, sell and consume marijuana for those with a medical marijuana permit approved by a doctor.

A resultant industry did not take off, however, until late in 2009, when President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that federal drug agents would not prosecute legitimate medical marijuana users and sellers in the 14 states that then allowed the practice.

According to published accounts, by the end of 2009 there were roughly 20 medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the area from Aspen to Rifle.

But no outlet opened in Silt, and last year the town moved to make sure none would be able to.

In a meeting earlier this month, the town’s staff informed the trustees that the moratorium is due to expire on June 30, according to the minutes from the April 9 meeting.

In the meantime, staff reported, the town had the option of letting the moratorium expire and allow the industry into Silt, extending the temporary moratorium, or making the moratorium permanent, according to minutes from that meeting.

A local man, Forrest Jacobs, was quoted in the minutes as arguing in favor of a permanent moratorium, and the trustees’ consensus was for the staff to draft an ordinance to that effect.

The proposed ordinance would prohibit establishment of any business “that proposes to sell, cultivate or distribute medical marijuana.”

Town attorney Lee Leavenworth said the ordinance does not prohibit the possession or use of medical marijuana by Silt residents who have a valid medical marijuana registration card issued by the state.

“The ordinance does not cover that,” Leavenworth said.

The trustees tonight also are scheduled to discuss a pay raise for future trustees and a future mayor; and an ordinance restating the town’s method of setting application fees for developers and others.

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