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Montezuma County Not Yet Ready To Reconsider Moratorium On Commercial Cannabis

Diego Charlón Sánchez
Creative Commons
  • Montezuma County not yet ready to reconsider its current moratorium on commercial cannabis sales.
  • Montezuma County Planning and Zoning Commission discusses the idea of asking voters to approve a countywide sales tax.

Should Montezuma County reconsider its current moratorium on commercial cannabis sales? That question prompted a lengthy discussion Thursday at a county Planning and Zoning Commission workshop. County Commissioner Keenan Ertel, who was present, said the moratorium was imposed for safety reasons and because the county voted against the 2012 amendment that legalized marijuana statewide. Ertel said he believes in medicinal use of cannabis but regards the drug as “poor recreation”, as he does all mood-altering substances. P&Z’s Michael Gaddy said Thomas Jefferson believed people were not free if they didn’t have the right to choose what to put in their own bodies. Gaddy said, “We know from Prohibition that making something illegal never works.” Other board members said the county could benefit from recreational marijuana if it implemented a sales or transaction tax, but Ertel said he wasn’t ready to approve it just for the money. P&Z agreed to research the impacts, and benefits of cannabis and have more talks.

Also on Thursday, the Planning and Zoning Commission discussed the idea of asking voters to approve a countywide sales tax. Commissioner Ertel said a sales tax is “the most equitable tax there is” because, “If you don’t want to pay it you don’t buy anything.” He said a county tax would not be levied on food or medicine. P&Z agreed there will need to be public meetings if the proposal goes forward.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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