Medical marijuana gains support in CO
September 02, 2005
Brandon Johansson , Craig Daily Press (CO)
The Oak Creek Town Board passed a resolution in support of medical marijuana three weeks ago. On Thursday night, the Hayden Town Board discussed a similar resolution.
The resolutions are part of a plan to drum up local support for medical marijuana after the U.S. Supreme Court decided in June that federal laws trump medical marijuana laws on the books in 10 states, including Colorado.
Colorado voters voted in favor of medical marijuana in 2000.
"When a local governing body speaks out on this, it really can make a difference," said Brian Vicente, executive director of Sensible Colorado, a Denver nonprofit that specializes in medical marijuana issues.
Hayden resident and medical marijuana user Don Nord is driving the resolution in Hayden.
Grand Routt and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement Team authorities seized Nord's marijuana plants in 2003. Nord had a permit for the plants and was never charged with a crime, but he never got his plants back.
Nord said he hopes passing local resolutions eventually will lead to legislation at the national level.
"If local governments will agree to it, why shouldn't the federal government agree to it?" Nord said.
The 58-year-old said marijuana helps his many ailments, which include kidney cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, diabetes and chronic pain.
"I won't have to sit here and worry they're going to let GRAMNET come in and tear up my house again and take my medicine away from me," Nord said.
If the resolution passes in Hayden, Nord said he plans on trying a similar resolution in Craig.
He handed out petitions in support of medical marijuana in Craig on Wednesday. He said he got about 100 signatures from people of all ages. He has 500 signatures from supporters throughout the valley.
Nord plans to send the petitions to U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Manassa.
"I've gotten a lot of people in Craig (who support me)," Nord said.
Nord hasn't presented a resolution to the Craig City Council or the Moffat County commissioners yet.
Craig city manager Jim Feree said medical marijuana isn't an issue the City Council is very concerned about.
"It's not something we have even talked about," Feree said.
Moffat County Commissioner Darryl Steele said he hasn't been following the issue, but he doesn't think he would be in favor of it.
"I guess I would be hard pressed to vote for that," Steele said.
Nord said he isn't sure what he'll do if the Hayden Town Board doesn't support his resolution.
"If I get rejected here in Hayden, I don't know what I'll do," Nord said.
Nord said he might move if the resolution fails.