JACKSON – Council members let their views on a state measure that would legalize marijuana for recreational purposes be known during their last meeting of September.
Councilman Scott Martin spoke out strongly against the proposed legislation, citing statistics, and saying, “I support the legalization of marijuana for medical use, but as a councilman I am deeply troubled by the effect legalizing recreational marijuana will have on today’s youth.”
“Given the significant increase in the homeless population in Colorado since they legalized marijuana I am deeply concerned the strain this could potentially put on the states resources given how we’re centrally located to Philadelphia and New York,” Martin added.
Martin added that “in addition to supporting tonight’s resolutions I would like to see an ordinance placing a ban on such businesses here in Jackson.”
Martin noted that Colorado homelessness growth rate ranks among the highest rates in the country, that homeless substance abusers migrate to legalized cities for easy access to pot and that since 2014, legalization in Colorado the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana doubled.
Martin also noted that a report in 2016 showed that “drug violations reported by Colorado’s kindergarten through 12th grade schools have increased 45 percent between medical marijuana in 2012 and recreational marijuana in 2016 according to a Rocky Mountain PBS report in 2016.
While Councilman Barry Calogero abstained on a township resolution opposing the state legislation that would legalize marijuana, due to his federal government employment, after the meeting he said that he had been advised it might be a conflict to vote. He stated that his own personal view was that it should not be legalized. He concurred with remarks made by Councilman Scott Martin.
Council President Kenneth Bressi and Councilwoman Ann M. Updegrave concurred with those sentiments also voting to support the resolution to oppose the state legislation.
Council Vice President Rob Nixon was absent for the session.
“I want to thank the mayor (Michael Reina) for putting this resolution forward,” Bressi said.
Republican council candidate Andrew Kerns noted during the public comment period of the meeting that “what a lot of people are missing is that cigarettes would never be considered to be legal now if proposed but the state is proposing more smoking materials.”
The council unanimously voted to approve a resolution to appoint the Settembrino Architect firm as special project architect for services associated with renovations to the Department of Public Works office building.
A resolution appointing the firm of Remington and Vernick was approved for mechanical, electrical and plumbing design services for the DPW office building project.