Phoenix Council Urges Marijuana Compromise

Phoenix Council Urges Marijuana Compromise
Posted by CN Staff on July 09, 2008 at 09:50:19 PT
By Buffy Pollock for the Mail Tribune
Source: Mail Tribune
Phoenix, OR -- After listening to hours of public testimony Monday from supporters and detractors of a medical marijuana crop growing next-door to a drug and alcohol treatment center, City Council members said they could not trump state law and encouraged neighbors to try harder to find middle ground.Phoenix Counseling Center Director Keziah Hinchen had requested the council establish a "100-foot drug-free zone" around the center she runs along Main Street after she discovered her neighbor, Stephen Vinzant, was growing medical marijuana within a few feet of an entrance and recreation area at the back of her center.
She spoke Monday of difficulty counseling adolescent clients, most of whom have been cited for possession of marijuana, "while a "fresh crop is growing right next door."Vinzant, a disabled vet, told the council he'd "done everything I can to conform," including moving his crop to a different location in his backyard, putting up $600 worth of fencing and using the plant in vapor and food form only indoors. But communication with Hinchen "has been impossible," he said.Testimony was split evenly on both sides of the issue. Fellow medical marijuana growers and representatives from Voter Power, an advocacy group, cited benefits of the plant for patients who need it and voiced concerns that a local municipality was evaluating state law.Supporters of the counseling center, including parents and staff, praised Hinchen's idea for a drug-free zone. But City Attorney Kurt Knudsen said such zoning was reserved for dealing with illegal marijuana, not legally authorized growers."I felt like they (the council) pretty much were saying we're not going to do anything," Hinchen said Tuesday. "It seemed like the message was, 'This is all very nice and good, now why don't you get together and work it out.'"I'm not actually expecting much at the next meeting. I'd actually be very surprised if they actually took a stand."Vinzant said the council "realized they couldn't change state law.""The drift I got was the City Council didn't want to do anything about it," he said."The bottom line was they can't go above a state law and even if they tried to I'm grandfathered in. If they tried to stop me, I'd take them to court and delay it until the crop comes in."Property owner Cici Brown, who did not speak at the council meeting, said Tuesday she had decided to support Vinzant in considering ways to prevent view of her private property from the counseling center porch."After last night's meeting, I want to help my tenants make peace with their neighbors and hopefully he'll want to stay there even if he can't grow because I know they really like the house," she said.Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. Source: Mail Tribune, The (Medford, OR)Author: Buffy Pollock for the Mail TribunePublished: July 09, 2008Copyright: 2008 The Mail TribuneContact: letters mailtribune.comWebsite: Articles:When The Neighborhood Goes To Pot By Marijuana
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Comment #6 posted by OverwhelmSam on July 10, 2008 at 08:01:09 PT
That's Right!
The message the City Council is sending you sounds like Luck Cough you marijuana prejudice bastard. I still think this medical marijuana user should sue this jerk off for harassment. C'mon MPP, send a lawyer to talk to this guy about a federal law suit.
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Comment #5 posted by Dankhank on July 09, 2008 at 21:10:02 PT
mmmmmm ......
kinda hate the idea of alcohol and pot in the same store ... but suspect it is inevitable.mayhap the comparison would foster smarter choices ...with this proviso ... signs that say :Fearless Frank says, "Smokin' pot and drinking beer is like pissin' in the wind. O-)"andConsuming alcohol while using Cannabis will make you a really stupid driver.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 09, 2008 at 19:47:24 PT
Oregon: Activists Kick Off Petition 
OLCC...C? Activists Kick Off Petition To Get Pot Onto Liquor Store ShelvesJuly 9, 2008URL:
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on July 09, 2008 at 13:49:47 PT
The right thread.... this time.
Amazing.Government telling neighbors to work something reasonable out between themselves. No force and threats?What an amazing concept. Absolutely amazing... not to mention, wise. Wisdom in an agency of the government? It's flabbergasting.Looks like the porch at the "Treatment" center is the problem. They might consider doing something on their own property... like closing in the porch? Maybe some fast growing tall bushes of their choice to hide the view of the other plants that they don't like. Maybe with aromatic flowers to cover any smell of anything that might tempt someone they don't want tempted?
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Comment #2 posted by museman on July 09, 2008 at 13:45:38 PT
so whats the problem?
"Hinchen said Tuesday. "It seemed like the message was, 'This is all very nice and good, now why don't you get together and work it out.'"OH, I see, because they don't want to GET TOGETHER AND WORK IT OUT! They want to IMPOSE THEIR WAY onto someone else. They want the CONTROL that they are used to having under the police state established by Nixon, Ratified by Reagan, and activated by Bush.Its good to see that some of the fat cats ruling the local principalities are beginning to smell the coffee, as well as the herb. The people are a voice that cannot be silenced or denied, and some of these pretenders to authority are beginning to see that if they don't start actually representing the people's interest, they are going to lose their power. They are anyway, but its good to see them doing what they are paid to do for a change.
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Comment #1 posted by ripit on July 09, 2008 at 12:47:44 PT:
it's good to...
see that the city council doing thier job and knowing what thier job is! 
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