Board bans pot shops in Mesa County

Marijuana won’t be sold in retail stores in unincorporated areas of Mesa County.

That’s because Mesa County commissioners approved an ordinance Monday banning them and any operation that cultivates marijuana or manufactures, packages or tests marijuana products.

The ordinance, however, does not address industrial hemp production.

The commissioners adopted the ordinance in response to Amendment 64, a constitutional amendment approved by Colorado voters last year allowing people 21 years of age or older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.

The partial legalization of marijuana means people in the Grand Valley and elsewhere in the state can grow the weed themselves, but the amendment gave local governments two options for regulating it: adopt a resolution by Oct. 1 that lays out the process for licensing marijuana businesses, or adopt a resolution that bans marijuana enterprises from the area.

Commissioner Rose Pugliese said before the board voted unanimously to adopt the ordinance that her main concern with retail marijuana stores is that the weed is still illegal under federal law.

She also said taxation of retail marijuana may require voter approval. Such a taxing measure already is on this November’s ballot.

Commissioner Steve Acquafresca said he voted for the ordinance because he worries young people would have a greater risk of abusing marijuana if they could get it from someone who is 21 or older who could buy cannabis from a local store.

“Opportunities for underage smoking will abound” if retail outlets were available, Acquafresca said.

County resident Jeff Cook told commissioners he wishes he had waited until after his teen years to smoke marijuana, but he does not believe the substance is as harmful as some people believe, or is a “gateway drug” to harder substances, such as alcohol.

“Alcohol’s horrible for society, yet in every inch of the valley it’s promoted,” he said, citing the presence of beer gardens, liquor stores and wineries in the county.

Cook said Amendment 64 allows local and state governments to tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol, but marijuana regulations in the county, he said, “are not even close” to how alcohol is regulated.

“If you don’t think commerce is happening here in the Grand Valley, it is,” Cook said. “It’s called the black market.”

Local resident Darleen Gsell told commissioners she supported their decision, but worries about what is in those “black market” products.

“It’s much stronger than it was in the 60s and has chemicals and other drugs mixed in” with marijuana, she said.

That’s another argument for allowing local production, argued Grand Junction resident Christina Hoagland.

“It’s certainly not contaminated if it’s grown in the county,” she said.

Calling marijuana a “social evil,” Grand Junction resident Marjorie Haun asked commissioners to add a provision to the ordinance that would prohibit use of marijuana in public places in order to “set a good example for young people.”

Acquafresca responded Amendment 64 already bans open use of marijuana and said any additions to the ordinance that aren’t outlined in the amendment’s open the county to a lawsuit repealing the retail store ban.


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People who use marijuana are unconcerned with the legality issues. If someone is going to smoke pot they will get it however they can, legal or not. It has been this way for decades.

A pox on the ovine “Left vs Right” delusion/fraud and all its ramifications and unintended consequences. Another pox on general society-wide Constitution-101 illiteracy.
Hemp was made illegal and demonized as “marijuana”, “pot” or “weed” because William Randolph Hearst owned the patent on a new process for making paper out of wood and had his cronies in the FBI make the laughably idiotic movie “Reefer Madness” in 1936. Hemp makes much better paper than trees, and, as an annual crop, is better for the environment, but Hearst didn’t want competition from hemp farmers. (Full disclosure: when I was 20, I smoked pot. Now that I am 69 and trying to live longer by studying nutrition, I am a teetotaler.)
The Left smokes pot because it wants to, and the Right demonizes pot “for the children” because it doesn’t trust the self-ownership-based idea that we don’t need laws telling us not to ingest poison. In their ignorance, they don’t fully comprehend that anything which is not nuitrition is poison by definition. Drugs are poison, not nutrition, therefore we don’t need laws against them. Especially when the global financial elite are trying to control the food supply as backing for debt-based fiat currency of last resort.
It would be nice if we had county commissioners who were a little braver about re-establishing the U.S. Constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land. The 10th Amendment plainly says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Obviously, the federal government has no constitutionally-valid business trying to control “marijuana”.
Problem is, John Marshall and the Supremes de facto repealed the 10th Amendment in the case of M’Culloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. (4 Wheaton) 316 (1819) (See Thomas Jefferson correctly said that if the 10th Amendment meant what the M’Culloch majority said it meant, the states would never have ratified the U.S. Constitution.
The intellectually fraudulent “war on drugs” has facilitated the de facto destruction of the 4th and 5th Amendments by the corrupt “national security” police-state establishment. Any person who wants to understand that need only utilize the old axiom “follow the money”.
The solution to America’s economic problems is to decentralize power and start producing things of value at the local level. A good start would be for local politicians to stop pretending that the federal government (with all its crimes and coverups) is more legitimate than the 10th Amendment.

Of course I understand that “marijuana” for smoking has been bred to maximize THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content, and that in the minds of some “marijuana” and “hemp” are therefore not the same plant. Tell that to the One-Ring “gubmint” control freaks.
Problem is, politicians — manipulative by definition because “politics” = manipulation = person or group A trying to convince person or group B to obey the will of A — are so afraid of “marijuana” that they never bother to vigorously and unequivocally defend “hemp” and its enormous potential for a wide variety of products useful to humankind. But then people who make their money by possessing government Power, aren’t interested in producing products. That involves actual productive work. (Hence the libertarian phrase “Makers and Takers”.)
As long as there are significant numbers of Economics-101 and Constitution-101 illiterate people trying to make “marijuana” illegal, there will always be government busybodies trying to control the production of industrial “hemp”. It’s very unfortunate that “marijuana” and “hemp” are the same plant, but that’s just one of those inconvenient facts of Nature adults have to live with.
It’s long past time we grew enough up to fully comprehend government’s deadly slippery slope between “marijuana” and “hemp” and get on with promoting self-ownership and the human potential for living in harmony with Nature and producing wonderfully useful products without the intellectually fraudulent interference and fear mongering engaged in by those control freaks among us delusional enough and sick enough to want to use inherently evil and inevitably corrupting One-Ring government Power (over the Other) to control their neighbors.

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