Over 50 citizens of Corrales attended a recent village council meeting that discussed marijuana. Some of their concerns included the odor, “zoned out” children, armed security and tall walls. The meeting included a long discussion regarding whether commercial marijuana cultivation should be allowed within village limits.
A planned cultivation farm is what sparked this conversation, according to Albuquerque Journal. The farm would be adjacent to some residential areas. With those concerns in place, the village is considering an ordinance to ban cultivation, processing and sales within the village.
Medical marijuana patients, and those with personal grow rights would not be affected. Cultivation farms within village limits, currently in operation, would also not be affected.
Councilor George Wright is sponsoring the ordinance.
Wright said, “The 8,500 or so residents of Corrales are directly in the path of a cannabis tsunami that began with authorization of recreational use in Colorado and has advanced to western Oregon, California, Alaska and most recently Nevada.”
One resident that rents next to where the new farm would be, Steve Gutierrez, collected 135 signatures opposing the new facility.
Gutierrez said, “I think that’s important for us to take advantage of, to decide what the industry should look like in our village. In the future, if it does become beneficial to the village to consider this type of thing, it’s probably easier to pen up to this activity rather than trying to limit the activity when already there is a strong presence.”
Some residents worry that increased presence of the marijuana industry would change “the face of Corrales”.
University of New Mexico professor and medical marijuana patient, Dirk Gibson said, “I wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for medical cannabis. Medical pot is no joke. This is not ‘Cheech and Chong go to medical school’ and prescribe goodies for their friends.”
When Gibson spoke, it didn’t appear as if the crow was all on his side. He did speak with emphasis that medical marijuana is not connected to legalization. He voiced that it is a program with strict procedures.
In the ordinance, marijuana would be excluded from the definition of “agricultural activities”. Agricultural activities are allowed on much of the land in the village now, so excluding marijuana would not allow future cultivation farms from putting down roots in Corrales.
Councilor Jim Fahey said, “I feel that the village is schizophrenic in this whole thing. Here you are talking about preserving farmland and now we’re trying to restrict someone’s ability to grow a product.”
The ordinance did pass, and some councilors did remind those opposing it that amendments can be made later.