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Letter to the editor

Reasons for recall effort in Parachute

OK, so as of the Sept. 17 Parachute Board of Trustees meeting, Parachute citizens were grudgingly given permission to vote on the marijuana issue. But, by law, not until November of 2016. So why have we started a petition drive to recall certain elected Parachute Town officials, you may ask? Two main reasons, as well as some secondary reasons.

We’ve been told all along that the main reason for having retail marijuana shops is to bring in other business. People from Interstate 70 will flock to our town, and this will encourage other businesses to locate here.

Yet, at the Sept. 17 meeting, one of the representatives of one of the proposed retail shops presented a little less than 50 pages of alleged letters from businesses and individuals in support of them bringing recreational (not medical) marijuana to town. I was somewhat impressed that so many had chosen to voice their support in writing.

However, when we obtained copies of the letters from the town, we discovered that they were form letters, petitions, as such, produced by the applicant. Each letter was identical and stated that the person who signed it was a resident of Parachute over the age of 21.

What, in part, the form letter also said was: “The demand for retail marijuana and retail marijuana product in the town is not currently being met, therefore there is a need in the neighborhood …”

Apparently, they think their target market is Parachute and/or Battlement Mesa, not travelers on I-70. There were 47 pages, with two from business owners, 19 from Parachute residents, seven from the address of a local motel, and 19 from Battlement Mesa. Each of the trustees and the mayor had a chance to thumb through these, but no one commented on the obvious dubious nature of some of said letters of “support” from Parachute residents.

Yes, we will get to vote in November of 2016 whether to allow retail and/or other types of marijuana establishments in town. In the meantime, until that vote can be taken, the town board is continuing to accept applications (two more as of this date, with two more planned, we hear), and plans to act on them. How do we rectify this dilemma?

Someone from town hall goes to civic and business groups, telling them that we will have retail marijuana shops by the end of this year, but, if the town votes to overturn the marijuana decision by the board in November 2016 (and that is an “if”), that they (we assume that means the town board) will just “grandfather” the shops that are already here, and allow them to stay.

Need I say more as to why we want to try to recall some of the town board and replace them with someone who will listen to the people!

Ron Jarrett

Parachute


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