GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Mesa County Commissioners called in all local municipalities to discuss medical marijuana and its future in the Grand Valley.
Wednesday night’s meeting was open to the public, but only Mesa County commissioners and local municipality leaders were allowed to speak. Local dispensary owners showed up thinking they could get a word in and were enraged when they discovered their voices wouldn't be heard.
When it came time to swapping points of view, medical marijuana dispensary owners thought they should be able to put their thoughts in the mix. Since they say the people in the room are the ones that are going to decide on the future of their businesses.
When they tried to respond to what they say was a negative depiction of them on a slide show, they say they were shut down.
“There's over fourteen people that are making rules and regulations for marijuana and we're not allowed to have a representative at the table,” says Dusty Higgins, owner of Nature’s Medicine medical marijuana dispensary.
“This is a workshop setting, but because they are a lot of elected officials here, it's technically an open meeting, but it was not a public hearing,” says Teresa Coons, mayor of Grand Junction.
Mayor Coons says the public will get their chance to voice their opinion at a public hearing sometime in August. Wednesday night Mayor Coons says they were just following protocol.
The meeting was in response to the state's decision to give local municipalities the power to ban dispensaries as of July 1st 2011.
Some of the issues touched upon Wednesday night were whether to put the issue on a ballot and let the public decide the future of marijuana in the Grand Valley. Most officials agreed there needs to be a lot more discussion before any action is taken.