Hayden Town Board receptive to resolution request.
By Tamera Manzanares, Pilot & Today Staff
Friday, September 2, 2005
The Hayden Town Board on Thursday was receptive to a request for a resolution supporting medical marijuana.
The board, after hearing from advocates and Hayden resident Don Nord -- a registered medical marijuana user in Colorado -- decided it will write its own resolution and vote on it later this month.
Nord wants the board to write a letter to Colorado legislators in Washington, D.C., emphasizing support of a state law allowing seriously ill individuals to use marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.
Federal authorities in 2003 raided Nord's home and confiscated marijuana plants and 2 ounces of the drug, which he uses to ease pain and problems from cancer and other disorders.
The U.S. Supreme Court this summer backed up federal authorities' right to prosecute medical marijuana users. Advocates such as Nord want to influence Congress to change the law.
Medical associations have widely accepted marijuana as a legitimate medicine for some seriously ill people, said Brian Vicente, executive director of Sensible Colorado, an advocacy group for drug-policy reform and medical marijuana users.
"It comes down to ultimately honoring the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship," he said.
Mayor Chuck Grobe pointed out that, like marijuana, all prescription drugs are illegal when used by individuals who do not have a doctor's prescription.
"A doctor prescribed this drug for Don, so why is it such a debating point," he said.
But Mayor Pro Tem Crecencio "Chencho" Salazar said he didn't understand the point of the resolution if medical marijuana use already is permitted by state law, which, in itself, should influence legislators.
"In Oak Creek, we felt that by sending a town letter ... We are letting our senators and Congresspersons know we expect them to honor the vote of Colorado," responded Mike Kien, a member of the Oak Creek Town Board, which passed the resolution last month.
Although most board members appeared to favor the measure, Hayden resident Jill Altman supported their decision to take more time to consider the resolution and get public input before voting.
"If you make this resolution, I would make sure it's what the town wants and not what you personally want," she said.
Also Thursday, the board discussed the town's policy that makes residents responsible for maintaining and repairing sidewalks.
Town Manager Russ Martin recommended the board revisit the policy in light of a proposed land-use code that requires new development to have sidewalks. The board will review the new code later this month.
Board members directed Martin to provide other options at their next meeting.
In other business:
The board decided to offer J.D. Paul, who currently works in the town's public works department, the full-time job of Parks and Recreation Department supervisor.
The board agreed to contribute $5,000 of the town's contingency funds to the American Red Cross's relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina.
The board adjusted water and sewer tap fees for a company building airport hangars at Yampa Valley Regional Airport. The town calculates fees based on projected use. Company representatives argued that actual use would be less than what the town projected.
-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail email@example.com
Copyright: 2005 The Steamboat Pilot & Today