The Pueblo West View

PW Metro tables marijuana resolution

“Our voices have not been heard,” Pueblo West resident Paula McPheters told the Pueblo West Metropolitan District Board of Directors on July 8.

“You don’t know how frustrating it is to attend those [County Commissioner] meetings and know that they don’t care what we have to say.”

McPheters, along with nearly 100 people, spoke out against the growing marijuana industry in Pueblo West. The conversation sparked when the Pueblo West Metropolitan District Board of Directors formed a rough draft of a resolution declaring that the district opposes the licensing of any new retail marijuana outlets or cultivation centers within the metropolitan district.

The resolution, in rough draft stages, when finalized, will be given to the Pueblo County Board of County Commissioners.

“This is out of our hands,” said Barbara Bernard, Pueblo West Metropolitan District Board of Directors member. “This is in the hands of the county commissioners, and it’s best if everyone attends the commissioner meetings in numbers like you are presented here.”

The board tabled the resolution until more information can be included in the final draft for the commissioners.

Several residents spoke in favor of the resolution, including Pueblo West resident Carole Kaderli, a cancer survivor.

“I’m a cancer patient survivor,” Kaderli said. “I’m also a property owner and invested in this community, but now my property values have gone down because of a licensing that was given to a neighbor.”

Pueblo West resident Don Watson agreed.

“I’ve seen the destruction of this stuff, and you’re going to let this go on in my neighborhood?” Watson said.

Pueblo West currently is home to about six marijuana retail outlets, and Pueblo West Metropolitan District Board member Jerry Martin said they didn’t want any more coming into the community.

“The county commissioners know where we stand on this issue,” Martin said.

David Heath moved to Pueblo West seven years ago. Heath was a policeman in Denver, and he said he has seen how “dangerous drugs are in the city.

“This is turning into a candy shop,” Heath said.

But for others, some residents fear their jobs could be jeopardy.

Melissa Coffey is the manager at Maggie’s Farm in Pueblo West, and she said the farm has offered her a “remarkable experience” because she’s one of the youngest managers in the business.

“We do go out of our way to hire Pueblo and Pueblo West residents, and this business is new and developing; we’re just hoping it isn’t going to be hindered in its progress. Hopefully, my job isn’t going to be jeopardized by this measure.”

Saveo DeLeon of Pueblo West told the board that his father had intestinal cancer.

“My father was in so much pain, and we were all at our wit’s end, because nothing was helping him,” DeLeon said. “It was heartbreaking to watch him in that much pain and agony.

“The doctors said there wasn’t anything for [him], then they offered to try him with experimental medical marijuana, and it was the first time he was pain free.”

Pueblo West resident Ernest DeGraw has been a resident of Pueblo west since 1979.

He served on the Pueblo West Metropolitan District Board of Directors for two years; also served on the San Isabel Electric Association board and the PedCo boards.

“I lived in several foreign countries, and there, they took narcotics seriously, and marijuana is a narcotic,” DeGraw told the board.

“If you’re found with two ounces, you get a rope around your neck.”

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