Vail Daily letter: Regulating, monitoring marijuana

As a mom, I know how important it is to keep our kids safe and healthy. Having raised two children right here in Eagle County, I know the risks for children and the challenges for parents, especially during their formative years.

As your representative in county government, I work to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Eagle County, and to carry out the will of the voters.

Colorado legalized marijuana, both medical and recreational. Eagle County voters weighed in on the issue, and voted “yes.”

My job as a county commissioner, with that role of parent firmly in mind, is to mesh the two — legalized marijuana and public safety. The best way we can do this is through careful regulations. We’ve worked closely with the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division, local agencies, planners, landlords, property owner associations and residents. We’ve talked with school officials and with the Eagle River Youth Coalition. We’ve provided extra funding to the Youth Coalition to help them in their outreach and education efforts. There’s a Community Marijuana Forum Wednesday at CMC in Edwards hosted by the Youth Coalition — come and learn more. We work with the Sheriff’s Office and the district attorney to educate and inform residents of the rules and responsibilities concerning marijuana.

We’ve allocated up to six licenses in the Eagle River Valley portion of the county, and two in the Roaring Fork Valley. So far, four licenses in Eagle-Vail and one in Edwards have been approved by planning staff. The businesses are heavily regulated, must conform to security and safety constraints, are only allowed in commercial-industrial areas, and must be located away from schools. Potential business owners must submit operational plans, including detailed plans for preventing sales to minors.

Support Local Journalism

It’s our job as parents and community members to educate ourselves and our children about dangers, whether they be drugs, alcohol or risky behavior. It’s our job to protect youth, and by regulating and closely monitoring legal marijuana businesses, we can do just that.

Part of what’s great about a democracy is that we all have a voice. Commissioners are elected to listen to all, and I always appreciate hearing from you. Please call or email me with any concerns or ideas about this treasured and beautiful county of ours.

Kathy Chandler-Henry

Eagle County commissioner

Support Local Journalism