Yesterday, City Councilor Darryl Glenn announced he would ask Council to refer an MMJ center ban question to the November ballot. It's conditional upon the "strong mayor" group obtaining enough signatures for their ballot issue.
"This is only going to go forward if the strong mayor people get enough signatures. That is the fundamental question," Glenn said in an Indy interview today. "My request will be conditioned upon the [City] Clerk verifying that there’s enough requirements for us to already have to pay for the election, and that’s really the only justification to add more questions to that ballot. If they don’t, this issue then goes automatically to April."
In similar debates in previous months, Glenn has come out on the losing end of a 6-3 Council vote. But since then, he's picked up Vice Mayor Larry Small, and Councilor Scott Hente is said to be considering referral.
You could argue that Glenn's doing this to bolster his conservative cred, given that the El Paso County Commission, for which he's running, just took a similar action. Regardless, here's his take on the issues:
HIS REASONING FOR REFERRAL: "The issue is whether or not you want to vote on it now, or do you want to wait and punt this issue ’til the April election; because the petition drive is going to continue, and it's just a matter of when we’re going to vote on this issue, not if."
"And in my opinion I think it’s in the best interest of the community, when you’re trying to develop policy, if you foresee a problem, let’s deal with it now before we start going ahead and making everybody jump through licensing requirements, and land use hearings, those types of things."
LET US VOTE COS' CHANCES: "I have no doubt in my mind that they'll get their signatures. They will get enough signatures to force this on the ballot."
THE PROBLEM WITH MMCs: "Right now, I do not believe I would support the medical dispensaries, because I fundamentally believe that that’s an expansive interpretation of Amendment 20 and I would prefer that the issue is dealt with on the federal level. ... Yeah, I won't support it here on the local level."
SPEAKING TO CITY COUNCIL: "What I’m going to do on Monday, is I’m going to say, "Look, I believe that we should, one, we should refer it to the ballot," but I also think its important enough to have a resolution for the Council members to state their position, with regard to sending a signal to the community on whether or not they support the dispensary model or don’t."
ON VISITING DISPENSARIES: "I have no problems going to a dispensary. Tanya Garduno's been wanting to invite me to one for … I mean, every time I see her, she extends that invitation. But I keep reminding her that's the second issue. The fundamental issue first is whether or not we are going to even allow dispensaries in this particular community. And the community should weigh in on that."
ON THE COUNTY POSSIBLY 'GRANDFATHERING' UNINCORPORATED CENTERS INTO A BAN: "I believe that that creates an additional burden on the government. The government shouldn't be picking winners and losers. So I don’t think that’s the right way to go, either."