Rangely starts action to say no to pot sales

RANGELY I The Rangely Town Council held a first reading and public hearing Tuesday night for Ordinance 682, which would effectively stymie the potential for recreational marijuana to be grown, manufactured, tested or sold within town limits.
Since the reading saw no public attendance and proceeded without objection or edits, a second reading and hearing is set for Sept. 24, during the Rangely Town Council’s regularly scheduled meeting.
This newest measure hones the language of two emergency ordinances passed by the council on Nov. 13, 2012, and Feb. 27, 2013, in response to last November’s passage of Colorado’s Amendment 64.
The amendment allows adults 21 and older to grow, own and consume marijuana within specific limitations and regulates the commercial cultivation, manufacture and sale of cannabis. It also includes an option for local governments to ban such establishments within their jurisdiction.
Before the meeting, Rangely Town Manager Peter Brixius explained the council’s position on the town-wide moratorium.
“The Rangely Town Council feels strongly that by allowing the commercial sale and harvesting of marijuana within the town limits of Rangely, it shows a tacit approval of legislation, rules and constitutional amendments that have succeeded without considering the adverse effects to our way of life, the well-being of our children and regard for the safety of our law enforcement personnel,” he said.
Local regulations or prohibitions must be in place by Oct. 1, the date that the State of Colorado can also begin accepting applications for legal marijuana establishments if local prohibitions are not exercised.
Brixius said that the town’s prohibition of medical marijuana facilities in 2010 and prior moratoriums in response to Amendment 64 with the passage of two emergency ordinances are strong precedents for moving this newest ordinance forward.
“The Rangely Town Council has been consistent about its objection to the sale and establishment of commercial operations related to medical or retail marijuana,” Brixius said. “Having said this, citizens will still have constitutional rights pertaining to this product’s use within the enclosed space of their home.”
Those rights, according to Amendment 64, allow adults 21 and older to own up to an ounce of marijuana for personal recreational use, to grow up to six plants in a private residence and to give up to an ounce as a gift to somebody 21 or older. Users may consume marijuana similarly to alcohol, with impaired driving and other misuse drawing equivalent penalties.
If the ordinance passes on Sept. 24, Brixius said, the moratorium will remain in place unless rule provisions set up by the state change or direct challenges to the ordinance require further action. Penalties for code violations cannot exceed $300, 90 days in jail or both, with each day in violation considered a separate offense.