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Palm Coast Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017 2 months ago

Flagler Beach City Commision strikes down medical marijuana ban

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The new ordinance is expected to be addressed by commissioners at the next meeting in September.
by: Ray Boone Staff Writer

One of the most divisive issues in Flagler Beach has finally been put to rest.

By unanimous decision, commissioners struck down the proposal to ban medical marijuana dispensaries at the Flagler Beach City Commission meeting on Thursday, Aug. 10.

Chairman Jane Mealy, who originally led the vote to ban dispensaries, proposed a reversal to the ban, which will approve dispensaries but limit them to the highway commercial area of the city on the mainland. Dispensaries will not allowed to be placed beachside along State Road 100.

“I based my decision last time on more emotion than I did knowledge,” said Commissioner Kim Carney, who voted for the ban in mid-July. “I think it comes down to choice and access. And if we can keep the citizens of this fine county where they can have access and a choice, then I’m going to welcome it.”

Regardless of the decision, some members of the community stood up to voice their disapproval of the commission.

Flagler Beach resident Sandra Edmonds said that even though the commissioners voted to allow medical marijuana dispensaries, she was upset that there are going to be restrictions to where they can be located.

“What you’re doing here by trying to negotiate an ordinance is ignoring 70% of the voters,” she said. “The voters knew what they were voting on. ... Commissioners and an attorney determining your future is unacceptable.”

Other community members stood up in support of the commission’s decision.

“As long as it’s available, that’s great,” Flagler Beach resident Rusty Boyd said. “Thank you for listening to the people.”

The new ordinance will be addressed by commissioners at the next meeting in September.  

“This is just beginning. This is here to stay,” Vice Chairman Rick Belhumeur said. “If this is the way we can get this through without it being banned, then I’m all for it.”

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