Wednesday Aug 19 2009
Loomis says no pot shop - for now
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
Moratorium on medicinal marijuana passed
Loomis council members have said “no” to medicinal pot until they have more time to study the issues and poll residents. The council unanimously approved a moratorium on the operation of a medical marijuana dispensary to allow up to 10 months and 15 days to study the issues and survey residents. “We’ve got to make sure that we do the right thing for Loomis, not for the people who come to shop here,” said Councilmember Russ Kelley. Kelley made the motion to adopt the moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries and Gary Liss, mayor pro tem, amended it to include a polling of Loomis residents. “We need time to survey the residents and stakeholders, business community, sheriff’s department, religious community and health community,” Liss said. Rhonda Morillas, councilmember, said she wanted the council to begin studying the issues immediately so that Robert Dearwester, who initially approached the town about a dispensary, could find another location if necessary. Prior to the vote during the August 11 meeting, Dearwester told council that a pot shop could generate $1 million dollars in revenue annually and would employ 6 to 10 people. “I’m confused as to why I’m being treated differently than other legal businesses,” Dearwester said. Loomis resident Marilyn Jasper said she didn’t feel a moratorium was appropriate. She said moratoriums are used to remedy an ex-isting problem, and said it is a “shutting down” of something that is amiss. Town treasurer Roger Carroll, speaking as a private citizen, and Nancy Beck, of Loomis, both voiced approval of the moratorium, while two Colfax residents shared praises of medicinal marijuana as helping those who are ill. “There are sick people and they are hurting,” said Tyler Palacio, of Colfax, who said he uses medical marijuana after suffering a car accident and getting “messed up” from prescribed vicodin and per-codan. Dave Larsen, town attorney, said, “There is a reason here to look more deeply. If this were really legal then Long’s would be dispensing it at their pharmacy.” He explained that the council meets once a month and needed the extra time. Perry Beck, town manager, said the extra time would allow staff to prepare reasoned arguments on both sides of the issue.