Vader City Council is expected to vote tomorrow night on a moratorium banning medical marijuana as the state seeks to incorporate medical cannabis into its recreational marijuana laws.
Drafted upon the advice of legal counsel, the ordinance would prohibit the establishment and use of collective gardens or dispensaries until state legislators approve regulations combining new recreational marijuana laws with older regulations governing medical marijuana.
It has been argued the older laws have been too difficult to regulate without a central entity to oversee them, and the State Liquor Control Board, who is currently in charge of recreational marijuana, is expected to begin regulating medical marijuana production and distribution as well, with appropriate legislation expected as soon as next month.
The issue of banning medical marijuana in Vader was broached publicly last night during a hearing held by the Vader Planning Committee, a five-member board appointed my Mayor Ken Smith specifically to address the moratorium.
Residents were largely in favor of the proposal, through most seemed to have confused medical marijuana with recreational marijuana and made critical references to a proposed recreational marijuana production facility expected to be established in town.
The Committee clarified they were tasked only with considering the moratorium and, after deliberating to ensure legitimate medical marijuana patients would not be denied access by the ban, endorsed the moratorium and recommended the city council give it their approval, as well.
If approved by the council tomorrow, the moratorium would take effect Jan. 21 and would be enforced by the Lewis County Sheriff's Office, Vader's current law enforcement provider.