A sign marks the city limits of Oak Creek. A heated debate about medical marijuana is taking place in the community.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

A sign marks the city limits of Oak Creek. A heated debate about medical marijuana is taking place in the community.

Oak Creek medical marijuana debate continues

School district, Police Department, some residents support ban on marijuana sale, commercial growth

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— Although the South Routt School District, Oak Creek Police Department and several residents support a town ban on the sale and commercial growth of medical marijuana, the Oak Creek Town Board is looking at forging ahead with revisions to the ordinance that was passed just more than a year ago.

“I think with state rules the way they are, a ban wouldn’t solve our problems,” Trustee Bernie Gagne said during a two-hour work session Thursday evening about the issue.

Several Oak Creek residents have attended recent town meetings and workshops with varying concerns, mainly about the appearance of more marijuana growth and use in residential areas.

Police officer Lance Dunaway wrote a letter to the Town Board in early April stating that he, as the lone police officer in the town, did not have the resources or training to manage the issues.

In addition, the South Routt School District dropped off a letter to the board before Thursday’s workshop outlining its concerns about an observed increased in student marijuana abuse. The letter said that possible increased revenue for the town was not worth the consequences for local youths.

Soroco High School Principal Dennis Alt said that last spring, several residents and other students reported that students were leaving at lunch and consuming marijuana in the town’s park.

Teachers reported students coming to class under the influence of marijuana, and Alt said that although he didn’t have numbers, several instances resulted in disciplinary action.

Those occurrences resulted in the unpopular decision to move to a closed campus this year.

Alt said although there was no reason to think the existence of a dispensary and commercial grow operation in the town directly caused the behavior, it’s the culture of acceptance that concerns him.

“I think as adults we are the models in what we choose to accept and not accept in our town,” Alt said. “We set the example in our town.”

Still, town Trustee Lawrence Jaconetta said there have been no formal, documented complaints filed or specific numbers on rising abuse.

Jaconetta sees medical marijuana in the town as a “brand spanking new” issue, one that will take some tweaking and revising after its first year in existence.

“It obviously needs a lot more monitoring, and we have to keep curtailing and critiquing until we get this right,” Jaconetta said Friday. “We won’t know until we try. If it doesn’t work for us, maybe a ban is an option, but we’ve already started going down this road, and we don’t want to ruin the lives of these people who have a lot of money invested in this town for this specific reason.”

Restricting growing

Several complaints were raised during the work session about a property on Sharp Street.

Neighbors say they have seen multiple marijuana plants being carried into a fourplex and other growing equipment hauled in and out of the house. Under state law, each medical marijuana cardholder is entitled to possess as many as six plants and 2 ounces of marijuana.

Dunaway said residential grow operations are more of an issue than the commercial dispensaries and commercial grow operations, of which Oak Creek has one of each.

“It’s the caregiver issue that expands the whole marijuana thing and makes the enforcement an issue,” Dunaway said.

The board agreed and discussed a proposal of limiting households to one caregiver per residence. They also discussed asking caregivers to register with the town and applying fees to that registration as well.

Jaconetta joked that they should set the fee for a dispensary in Oak Creek at $1 billion. The board settled on proposing a $1,000 fee to start a dispensary and raising the annual license renewal fee of $75 to something much higher.

“I’m for setting a fee for everything,” Jaconetta said. “We’re going to make it a lot harder to grow dope here.”

The Town Board next meets at 7 p.m. Thursday at Oak Creek Town Hall. Call 970-736-2422 for more information.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

max huppert 3 years, 4 months ago

oh yea, that will really make the kids stop smoking and who ever stop growing. maybe those elementary kids have a medical MJ card. help them walk to school in the rain. The problem with this country is everyone is to blame but the person doing wrong or the parents need to deal with there kids, but alot of parents get high with there kids. City should just get a mega store in the OC. build a 100,000 sf building, I even heard Costco is going to start selling it, get the money while you can..

Hi Scott

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rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

Irrelevant note to posters in this forum: I would appreciate a brief synopsis of any links referred to in your posts. I am inherently lazy, and would appreciate a tip about where you expect me to go. You will see few or no such references in my posts; I fight my own battles.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 4 months ago

It was just a link to a great, informative video on cannabis.

If you want a summary of what the damn video is about, just ask dude.

You're right, you're pretty damn lazy. Especially for a Marine. After all, you guys are all brawn anyway. Guess I shouldn't expect much.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 4 months ago

Well, the biggest most obvious case of kids coming home at lunch and getting stoned was two years ago. Trouble then was that the involved parents involved either deny that is was going on or say it was ok (that the kids were doing it because school was boring for their kids or such).

How about the message being sent when most of the open businesses on Main St involve the selling of alcohol? I have been around Oak Creek long enough to have no problems counting the people that have been killed by alcohol. Maybe the Town should make the liquor license fee a billion dollars.

Considering the comparative harm each inflicts onto the community, it'd make more sense if the liquor license fee was many times more expensive than the dispensary fee.

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hereandthere 3 years, 4 months ago

Makes sense to me, Scott. But that would be too rational. After all, the whole persecution of mmj plays better when we stick to emotions.

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rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

Here we go again, getting personal, and begging my immediate departure.

I never denied I am lazy; that's why Navy computers made this Marine a programmer. Let the machine do the work, a philosophy which has served me well, to this day. Is it nap time yet? I will withhold my personal thoughts, in the name of peace, and because I rarely stoop to such depths. Carry on, and Semper Fi!! If you have further insults to levy, that speaks to your own problems, not mine. Fire away!!

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 4 months ago

Rhys-

Listen bud. I'm not the one that started with the personal crap. I post a link to a very informative video about cannabis and you felt compelled to come back at me with some sort chiding for not offering some summation of what the video is about. Sure, you didn't call me out by name, but you have to be an idiot to not be able to figure out you were talking directly to me. Was it really necessary to beat around the bush like that? I think you might want to re-evaluate your self-appointed importance on any of these comment boards. Put down the hammer. There's no need for you to keep tacking yourself up on that cross.

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rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

Take another bong hit; chill out, dude. I just pity a life that has nothing better to do than stir muck in forums. Do you ever get off your duff? Keep firing, loser, I've always got time for the occasional retort.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 4 months ago

I would love to hear your explanation of how I was stirring muck before you showed up.

I don't think I'm the one raising all the hell here. Might want to break out a mirror Rhys.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 4 months ago

And once again, it's Sunday man. What else am I supposed to be out and about doing right now?

And what are you doing right now? Don't you have something better to do than tell me that I should have something better to do?
Really think about it man.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 4 months ago

And for your information, my duff has been all over the place this morning.

I've walked the dog twice. Ran out for a couple errands. Baked a breakfast pastry.

Matter of fact, think it might be about time for another walk.

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Fred Duckels 3 years, 4 months ago

The other guy's vices are monumental, but mine don't amount to much.

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rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

Maybe I just need better stuffing for my bong -- something that will expand my own sense of self-importance, and duty to enlighten any masses which have the affrontry to differ with my well-informed opinions.

BTW, and now defending myself on yet another front, this computer never sleeps, and is always ready to serve. Some of my most productive times are on weekends, unperturbed by the phone, and now is such a time. I just drop in here from time to time, to review the latest round of insults, of which there is no short supply. Thanks.

The calendar seems to have no effect on the volumes of your contributions here, leading me to believe you have WAY too much time on your hands. Under what guise are you subsisting, at taxpayer expense? Our money is well-spent, in the endless tomes of opinion we are tendered and expected to pay reverence. Like everybody has the time you do, to research more trivia, then expect those less-informed (everybody) to read and heed every word you've unearthed. Rather egotistical, in my humble opinion. Your turn, show us how clever you are too.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 4 months ago

Maybe posting on here isn't as inconvenient and time-consuming for me as you would assume?

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freerider 3 years, 4 months ago

“I think with state rules the way they are, a ban wouldn’t solve our problems,” Trustee Bernie Gagne said during a two-hour work session Thursday evening about the issue.

Hey Bernie . take a look at these problems

fat kids from soda pop fat kids from fast food
stupid kids from too much T.V. stupid kids from video games

basically a generation of fat stupid kids that drink too much coca cola while feasting on big mac's while watching T.V and playing video games

more people die from pharmaceudicals than on the highway's now .. millions die from alcohol millions die from nicotine

75 year old war on pot brought to you by a white racist bought and paid for by corporate america

I love this one...Marijuana is illegal because of Harry J. Anslinger our drug czar 1937

some Harry quotes in case you missed them Bernie

This is the bill of goods that made pot illegal ... hey Bernie do you agree with Harry ??

Any nay sayers out there agree with Harry ??

Harry J. Anslinger quotes: ...the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.

Harry J. Anslinger quotes: Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing.

Harry J. Anslinger quotes: There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.

Harry J. Anslinger quotes: Reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men.

Harry J. Anslinger quotes Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.

Harry J. Anslinger quotes: You smoke a joint and you're likely to kill your brother.

Harry J. Anslinger quotes: Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 4 months ago

But maybe you're right? Maybe I'm just some ego driven punk that has some insatiable need to blab all of this pointless ideology about cannabis? I've been commenting on this website for about 2 years. I haven't been stopped yet. Do you honestly believe that you're the one to do it?

And maybe I'm not posting the links for you. I'm posting them for the uninformed. You seem to have half a clue about what's going on with cannabis and you don't seem like you're a part of my target audience. So stop making yourself one of my targets. I don't burst on to an article and start calling you out man. Stop being an a$$.

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rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

All I'm saying is, if you're alienating me, and I was on your side to begin with, how do you think the opposition is taking it? Do you think they are reading your links, so eager are they to learn the errors of their ways? I think not, which is why I suggested a little teaser first, to suggest what they might be getting into. That is all I was inferring, in my opening post today, when I received the full defensive torrent in response.

Like my computer guru before me, I respond the same way to pleas for assistance from me. "HTTP strings quote escape" piques my interest more than "Help!! It doesn't work!!" The former indicates some initiative, while the latter is a lazy bail-out. It works the same way, for me, with post links: I'd like to know where I am going, before I commit myself to it. You call it lazy; I call it apportioning my time.

Now I move toward a truce, especially in the name-calling. Squabbling amongst ourselves only plays into the opposition's hands. Peace, brother!!

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 4 months ago

Fred, "The other guy's vices are monumental, but mine don't amount to much."

Is that a defense for those that like alcohol and hate mmj? Even though alcohol is well documented to have more severe health effects than marijuana, I think virtually all that anyone in favor of legalization would hope is for mj to be treated like alcohol.

So yes, your vices are monumental so if you will just treat a less harmful vice similar as your vice then we'll call it even.

The issue of high school kids getting high at lunch was when the school had an open campus and before there was a grow factory or dispensary. So now the school district is arguing that first they experienced the problems and LATER came the CAUSE of the problem?

If the Town of Oak Creek was worried about what was truly causing harm to many residents then there would be as much time spent concentrating upon alcohol.

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Fred Duckels 3 years, 4 months ago

Scott, My comment is just human nature, the specific vice is irrelevant.

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max huppert 3 years, 4 months ago

Hey Scott, or they would worry more about the water we drink..

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 4 months ago

For anyone that's interested, here's an article that helps to explain a little bit about the war on drugs.

http://truthout.org/war-drugs-success-means-failure

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 4 months ago

mmjpatient22, The difference though is that cocaine causes a huge amount of harm in users. It is quickly highly addictive, has severe health effects and by no standard would be made legal. It is not so widely used and accepted to say that prohibition has completely failed.

Though, it is very rarely effective to attack illegal drugs at the source because the sources just moves around. The more effective anti-drug plans is to get people into treatment and go after the smugglers and dealers.

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rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

Now THERE you go!! Curiosity kindled, I checked out that link, and in between some footloose editorializing, utilizing a fictitious corollary of questionable relevance, I found that article to be fairly informative, supplying a few facts of which I had been previously unaware. Good job, mmj, I think that is the spirit in which we may exchange meaningful insights, while respecting everybody's autonomy. Not that I ever qualify as a moderator; I'm just trying to keep things civil here. Thanks again!!

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 4 months ago

I think the news of May 2nd or so is going to become the new issue for the Town of Oak Creek. For some reason, there is a perception that the County Assessor's new property values for Town of Oak Creek will have only a minor change. As if the strongest performing segment of the SB market will translate to Oak Creek's revised valuations when Stagecoach and Oak Creek have had the biggest declines in prices.

Unlike Routt County which banked mill levies and kept their revenues about the same and so can now raise their mill levy to keep their revenues about the same, Town of Oak Creek kept their mill levy at the maximum and took in the extra revenues as property values increased. So now as property values come down so do their revenues. My guess they'll see a 40% decline in property values which is about a 20% cut to their general fund.

Then Town will be in a crisis on how to put together a budget for next year.

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rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

Maybe they can tax and fee the dispensaries, and the dopers will save the day!!

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rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

Another idea: How about a 1% "civic assessment" Oak Creek could vote on and approve, applicable to the dispensaries only, which could fund a cop or other vital necessity.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 4 months ago

Maybe they could declare the streets to be a motocross course and charge people. It is already the daring person that attempts to drive South Sharp at the speed limit and that is after the Town graded out the bigger whoop de doops. And some of the alleys are already mud bogs that require 4WD. Meyers, Grant, 3rd and Lincoln would make a heck of a dirt track for those that like dirt ovals. Town could promote itself as the home of dirt motorsports.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 4 months ago

Scott-

Currently, the Oak Creek Police Department can not be counted on for maintaining order at the so called "motocross coarse. The Department is neither trained for nor equipped to take on such responsibilities at this time.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 4 months ago

Well, hopefully at least we don't have any legislators around here like they had in Rhode Island. Hypocrites are the absolute worst.

This guy rants and raves about the Rhode Island legislature having their priorities right "if you are a Guatemalan gay man who likes to gamble and smokes marijuana."

Then he gets busted for possession & DUI in a car that WREAKED like cannabis. Bravo.

http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/120596049.html

.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 4 months ago

mmjpatient22, It is a motocross course! Who would want order maintained?

As for Rhode Island House Minority Leader Robert Watson (R) he blew .05 at the police station after failing roadside sobriety tests. Could be an interesting case because with the alcohol and pot and failed roadside tests, it is not hard to argue he was driving impaired.

http://easthaven.patch.com/articles/foxon-road-sobriety-checkpoint-nabs-rhode-island-lawmaker

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 4 months ago

I'm just hoping that there aren't any naysayers on here that are secret/closet cannabis users.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 4 months ago

And I'm also hoping that Ron Paul gets elected as our next president because then this whole cannabis prohibition thing will finally get all sorted out.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/ron-paul-launches-presidential-campaign-20110425

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rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

I dunno, Newt raps a nice line, though I still like the current guy (nobody can stop the Fed by now; they're all puppets). My 2 cents, and how you guys doin'? I'm still kicking... :-)

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rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

My apathy level is high. I honestly feel that politicians and President do not matter, in many economic and international matters, policy being dictated by the Fed, not in the halls of Congress, but with much button-holing and massive payoffs at lavish parties on the Maryland and Massachusetts coasts, catered affairs paid for out of YOUR pocket.

Yes I'm a conspiracy theorist, as will be anybody who reviews ALL of the evidence regarding 911. The Fed blew up our own World Trade Center to justify another war, Iraq, this time. That's how they do it, folks. They're privately owned, nothing Federal about them, except that in 1913 Congress told them they could now control the U.S. money supply. (I am not an expert in economics, and any data expressed here is subject to correction.) The first permanent federal income tax was also enacted that year.

The Fed prints the money, charges the government interest to do that, then loans them more, still at interest, of course. Nothing gets the money machine rolling like another war -- fighter jets, bombs and bullets, and lots and lots of boots. Forget my nationwide water-redistribution idea; let the weak and meek starve and die, but keep the war machine rolling, because of the massive spinoff business for all those industries. (Un?)intended racial bigotry and even shades of genocide are a necessary by-product, as it seems the minorities do the majority of the fighting and dying.

Jaded? I'm past that; I recognize the evil beneath the morality play. Who'd have guessed Clinton would invade Kosovo? Who killed Kennedy? That required the cooperation of many separate government branches. The tentacles are long.

"We make war, and business is good." -- my brother the "contractor"

"Don't knock it -- it's the only war we got." -- Vietnam brass

Scared? I'm petrified; the walls will start falling soon, I truly believe. How long 'til the bubble bursts? How unbelievable can the federal deficit get? Our grandkids (not mine) are already in hock. How much would each of us owe, if we had to pay up tomorrow?

The talking head is handed his lines; it matters not who he is. He toes the mark, or he goes down, JFK remind us of that. Filthy rich men pull the puppet's strings.

I'm hoping I soon have funds to cross the pond for a looksee. Seen enough of this.

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rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

heh heh. Wear the blinders, sign up for the company plan. Believe in the farce. Be one of the ants. The Queen lives via your labors. There are many ways of seeing the same thing. The azure sheen on a mountain lake belies the turmoil beneath. It's all where you choose to pay your attention, and I just see what I see. Thank GOD for the Internet, the savior of the masses (plus Linux). Tell me about the real world; I've become a cyber geek. When you can describe an HTTP string to me, then I'll listen to you. Real world my b**t. You make your own world. Don't tell me about mine. Anyone is welcome to their own interpretation, and thank you for yours, yvb!!

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rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

And any yay-sayers left watching? I could use some support about now.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 4 months ago

This is what leads me to frustration sometimes on these comment boards. You bring up valid arguments. You make thoughtful, logic-based statements about the futility involved in warring against cannabis. You take other people's arguments and explain to them why it doesn't work that way. ......and then you just wait. And wait some more.

There aren't any naysayers left out there that have any valid rebuttals or retorts to the arguments that most of us present. And it gets pretty boring and somewhat aggravating when the people that raise all the fuss about cannabis won't even stick around for some commentary and/or discussion after their initial jousts.

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Eric J. Bowman 3 years, 4 months ago

Oh, please do get over yourself. Your nasty attitude towards anyone who attempts to debate you, is why nobody debates you -- don't go mistaking that for "winning". Sticking around for the nastiness posted by those with seemingly infinite amounts of time to dominate this unmoderated forum, is what's boring.

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Eric J. Bowman 3 years, 4 months ago

"Another idea: How about a 1% 'civic assessment' Oak Creek could vote on and approve, applicable to the dispensaries only, which could fund a cop or other vital necessity."

Did you notice the news this week, about the DOJ informing the State Legislature that they would not look the other way at the fact that marijuana enforcement officers would be subject to arrest as accessories to a federal crime? The problem with turning local law enforcement into marijuana inspectors, is that their duties would involve looking the other way at a federal crime, the proceeds of which are being used to fund their jobs... While we're not concerned about Lance and Eileen, the potential for corruption would seem to make this a bad idea for funding a police department in general.

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Eric J. Bowman 3 years, 4 months ago

"The board agreed and discussed a proposal of limiting households to one caregiver per residence."

This is already a restriction under state law, folks. What caregiver means is 36 plants, i.e. 144 in a four-plex. These MMJ businesses are being subsidized in a variety of ways by the community, for nothing in return. Instead of mucking about with trying to license them, it makes more sense for a town with aging power infrastructure and without a full-time police department to restrict MMJ to six plants and two ounces in any residential unit. If residential units aren't drawing commercial amounts of power, those of us who aren't growing dope won't have to subsidize upgrading the infrastructure to handle it.

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Eric J. Bowman 3 years, 4 months ago

"What caregiver means is 36 plants, i.e. 144 in a four-plex."

Or 288, if all the patients' doctors authorized 12 plants instead of 6. Town Board needs to discuss something practical; again I point out that the only right enshrined in the constitution is for six plants and two ounces, and that this should be restricted to primary residences by an ordinance banning the MMJ industry.

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