Despite the decision to postpone the date, multiple Flagler Beach residents stood up to voice their opinions to the council.
The date commissioners will vote on the proposal to ban all medical marijuana dispensaries in the city has been moved to a later date, the Flagler Beach City Commission announced at a meeting Thursday, July 27.
Due to the absence of Commissioner Marshall Shupe from Thursday afternoon’s meeting, commissioners voted 3-1 to push back the date to Aug. 10. Kim Carney was the only commissioner to vote against moving the date.
Had commissioners decided to vote on the ordinance, a 2-2 tie would have resulted in the death of the motion.
“I just think we should have everybody here (before we make a decision),” Commissioner Jane Mealy said. “It’s an important issue.”
Regardless of the city’s decision to postpone the vote, multiple Flagler residents stood up to voice their opinions on the matter before the council.
“I think a lot of the reactions to medical marijuana are ill-conceived,” Flagler Beach resident Rusty Boyd said.
Boyd said he lived in Colorado for 17 years and was there when the state legalized medical marijuana in 2000. In addition, Boyd said he spent two years as a town trustee in Garden City, Colorado, where he helped write ordinances for medical and recreational marijuana.
“I think the biggest thing about medical marijuana dispensaries is people are afraid of what kind of people they’re going to draw into them,” he said. “Well I can tell you. … They’re going to bring in anybody who has the need.”
Flagler Beach resident Paraskevas Hantzos said his mother was addicted to pills for over 30 years but stopped four months ago after she was introduced to medical marijuana. He also said his brother was a heroine addict for 12 years until marijuana pulled him away from it.
“Please be open-minded when you make this decision,” Hantzos said. “Base it on fact, not emotion.”
Last November, Florida constituents voted to approve a constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana, while Flagler Beach residents voted to approve it by a margin of nearly 70%.
Mealy and Commissioner Joy McGrew said they voted in favor of the amendment, but added that they want the city to have a say in regard to regulating dispensaries.
“We’re not the ones that are stalling it, it’s the state that’s not doing their job,” McGrew said.
Sandra Edmonds, a new resident to Flagler Beach, was the last member of the community to stand before the council.
“Seventy percent of the people want something,” she said. “That should be the end of it.