Vail Daily letter: Election’s about one family |

Vail Daily letter: Election’s about one family

Elissa Sargent
Vail, CO, Colorado

On Jan. 3 the town of Eagle residents are being asked to decide whether or not to allow an already existing medical marijuana dispensary to stay in business in our town.

All the letters and articles in the Vail Daily and Eagle Valley Enterprise have not made it clear what we are actually voting for. The signs saying “Vote no to pot shops” are misleading. Do the town of Eagle residents realize that if we vote “no” and the Manzanares family closes their business next week, the Town Bard could have another “change of heart” and allow medical marijuana dispensaries at their discretion at any time without our consent?

In fact this very April, new Town Board people could change the ban whenever they choose to. How are we going to feel when another medical marijuana dispensary is opened in our town after we voted to close another and deeply affected the livelihood of this family?

I don’t believe most of us understand (as the “no” voters want us to be ignorant) that this is a vote for this particular existing business to be allowed to operate but that in the future no others will be allowed anyway.

The town of Eagle already banned medical marijuana dispensaries on Feb. 22, 2011. We Eagle residents are not being asked to ban medical marijuana dispensaries on Jan. 3.

Sweet Leaf Pioneer was given approval for their business in January 2010. Later, due to state regulation changes Sweet Leaf was forced to go back to the town of Eagle and in October of 2010, the town of Eagle granted the approval for the state regulated growing space which cost them over $150,000. The Manzanares family attained a loan and collateralized it with their home.

In January 2011, they were operational with their upgrade, only to be open less than a month before the town of Eagle decided to ban dispensaries on Feb. 22, 2011. This gave the Manzanares family eight months to close their operation and move elsewhere.

To me this is not about medical marijuana. This is about a family who was allowed to set up a business and even though they followed! all the rules and complied with all regulations, have had the rug pulled out from under them.

The medical marijuana question was never put to the people in the first place, the Town Board allowed them, then banned them — all without voter approval.

If the “no” vote wins Tuesday, it will be so unfortunate for this family and we will all have been duped into thinking we voted to ban dispensaries when really all we did was vote this one family out of business.

Elissa Sargent


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