GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Town of Gilbert City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that puts heavy marijuana restrictions in place.

Voters will decide on Proposition 207, which would legalize marijuana in Arizona, but the town already created guidelines for the residents at a council meeting on Oct. 13. 

The ordinance indicates Gilbert believes marijuana “poses a threat to the health, safety and security of the community and increases the responsibilities of law enforcement and other Town departments to respond to violations of state and local laws, including building, electrical, plumbing, and fire codes.”

According to town documents, Gilbert “seeks to protect public health, safety, and welfare by prohibiting marijuana establishments and/or marijuana testing facilities in the Town.”

marijuana

"This is an important part of where the government does have a proper role and I think that's expressed well in this particular ordinance," councilmember Jared Taylor said.

In the town council meeting on Tuesday, there were 81 individuals who submitted public comment cards, 78 were against the item, three were for it.

"The council does not know the number for or against a public hearing item until that agenda item is reached," Vice Mayor Yung Koprowski wrote in an email Wednesday. "Last night only one person requested to speak aloud on the topic."

That person was an attorney representing Curaleaf, the only medical marijuana dispensary currently in Gilbert, who was in favor of the ordinance. The dispensary will be unaffected by the ordinance, and will still be allowed to operate and to apply for a dual license if Prop 207 passes.

Despite the public being against the ordinance, many members of the council encouraged voters to vote against Prop. 207 and Koprowski claimed that marijuana would increase crashes in the area. 

"Easier access to an impairing drug such as marijuana will almost certainly result in a higher number of those accidents," she said.

Watch the council discuss this new ordinance here. It is item #32. 

Since the ordinance passed, residents will be allowed to use marijuana for personal use, but not in public places.

Marijuana establishments will not be allowed in the town unless the operation has a licensed nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary and a licensed marijuana establishment cooperatively. There would be no exceptions for a marijuana testing facility.

The ordinance would not be valid unless Proposition 207 becomes law and a proclamation from Gov. Doug Ducey is made. Upon the proclamation, the ordinance will become effective.

Mayor Scott Anderson said a point a lot of people bring up to him is the revenue Gilbert will miss out on by not having marijuana sold in town.

"The revenue is probably going to cover some of the very issues that the vice mayor and Councilmember Yentes have already discussed," he said.

 

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