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Registered: 06/14/08
Posts: 15,581
Loc: Flag
City likely to extend medical marijuana moratorium
    #416495 - 05/12/10 05:31 PM (10 years, 9 months ago)

Previous PageCity officials apparently will have plenty of time to ponder what to do about medical marijuana within the city limits.

That's because Great Falls commissioners seem poised to extend a
moratorium on medical marijuana businesses in the city through February 2011.

City commissioners are scheduled to decide the marijuana issue for
the time being during their regular meeting at 7 p.m., June 1.

The moratorium's fate appeared iffy earlier this month when city

officials learned state law requires a super-majority of the

commission to vote for a moratorium extension. That meant at least

four commissioners would need to vote for the extension for it to pass.

Three members of the commission — Bob Jones, Bill Bronson and Mayor Michael Winters — favored the extension at a City Commission meeting
May 4. But Commissioners Mary Jolley and Fred Burow backed a new city ordinance regulating medical marijuana. Montana voters approved
medical marijuana for sick patients and people in pain in 2004.

Jolley recently said in an interview she would vote for the
moratorium extension rather than an outright ban on pot businesses in
the city. That would give an extension the four votes needed to pass.

At the May 4 meeting, Bronson urged commissioners forward two
marijuana options to the June 1 meeting in case the extension failed.' However, Jolley's backing indicates the extension will pass, Bronson said. Last week's commission vote was done "with the
understanding that we take up the moratorium first," he added.

As a result, a moratorium extension may be approved before an
outright ban is even considered. The ban then could be tabled.

Jolley praised a draft ordinance city staff produced for the meetings.

"I really thought that they came up with a great zoning thing,"
Jolley said.
However, Bronson and Winters said Tuesday that the statewide medical
marijuana program has problems.
Right now, state government is "just basically handing out these
(marijuana) cards like there's no tomorrow," Bronson said, indicating
patients can receive state authorization to possess marijuana too easily.

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