The Los Alamos County Council is scheduled to consider the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendation regarding Cannabis Retail at the County Council Meeting on December 7, 2021, via Zoom, at 6pm. This meeting is supposed to include a Public Hearing regarding this same P&Z recommendation. The Agenda, Agenda Packet, and Zoom meeting details should be posted on the County’s Legistar Website (losalamos.legistar.com) on Friday, December, 3rd before said meeting.
First, a bit of history regarding Cannabis in New Mexico. Prior to passage of the Lynn & Erin Compassionate Use Act in 2007 (which legalized the sale of medical cannabis to patients with licenses for same), and the Cannabis Regulation Act in 2021 (which legalized the sale of Cannabis to any person 21 years of age or older for recreational consumption purposes), all Cannabis sales were illegal. These sales happened, anyway, in many unregulated places and with little discretion given to who could purchase said Cannabis (if one had the money, it didn’t matter the age). This is what is known as a “black market” with all its attendant issues. Now that Cannabis consumption has been legalized, it will be tightly regulated (see many provisions of the Cannabis Regulation Act regarding education, security of product and sales, etc). It is considered a new industry and should be available for interested Entrepreneurs to enter. Not only would the Entrepreneurs benefit, but also the State, Counties, and municipalities will benefit by intake of tax revenues, reduced incarceration rates, reduced poverty rates, and more jobs! New Mexico’s legislators “covered all the bases” with this BOLD piece of legislation (the Cannabis Regulation Act), and it was intended to address the social ills of the previous “black market” that existed prior to the legislation.
The Los Alamos County Council does not seem to be that BOLD. So far, the Council has adopted all of the extremely restrictive (even more so than the Cannabis Regulation Act itself) recommendations made by the P&Z Commission regarding Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing. However, these recommendations were adopted without sufficient input from Cannabis Consumers, Cannabis Patients, nor the general Los Alamos public about what are their needs. Nor were these recommendations adopted with inclusion of sufficient information with which to make such a decision! It seems to me that the only citizens they are concerned about are federal lab employees, and then concerned with maintaining the sterile and barren small business environment in Los Alamos. It seems to me that the only thing considered by the Planning Department and the P&Z Commission is haste! Haste to beat any new Cannabis business to the punch! – Keep out as many of them as we can! Their attitude truly seems to be “Reefer Madness” run amok (and without sufficient nor timely public input to boot)! With that in mind, the recommendations adopted, so far, put all Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing onto DP Road, which is a toxic waste dump site. As the old saying goes “haste makes waste”!
There are over 500 medical cannabis patients in Los Alamos County, and considerably more recreational cannabis consumers. None of the medical patients I have spoken to would consume any cannabis products cultivated or manufactured on DP Road. We really don’t want any toxic crap in our bodies! Two questions here: What was the County Council thinking when it adopted these recommendations? What was the Planning and Zoning Commission thinking about when they made these recommendations? After all, we are talking about people’s consumption of medicinal and recreational products which are consumed internally via many methods (smoking, vaping, and eating to name but some). Recreational Cannabis consumers like variety and quality, and they also like to socialize with others. They like to shop at local small businesses, too!
I just read Councilor Izraelevitz’s Letter to the Editor, titled “An Open Book: Q Is For Qannabis” in the Los Alamos Daily Post. Is he really trying to associate Cannabis with QAnon, or is he referring to Q clearances of federal employees? My guess is the former, since we all know that the letter Q has been recently monopolized by the QAnon movement, and hardly anyone (with a Q clearance or not) would first think of lab Q clearances. It’s ridiculous — how could anyone rightly equate legalization of Cannabis with such a broken and dangerous right-wing conspiracy ideology? Shameful! It is further evidence, to me, that “Reefer Madness” attitudes seem to rule in Los Alamos County Government!
The County Council will more than likely adopt the really restrictive Cannabis Retail recommendation made by the Planning and Zoning Commission, basically limiting, or altogether eliminating small Cannabis business opportunities in Los Alamos. That is unless the Public speaks up in support of the Cannabis Industry!
I believe the people of Los Alamos are intelligent, and can think for themselves. We don’t need the County to adopt more rules limiting our choices! I propose that the County Council rescind the already adopted restrictions regarding Cultivation and Manufacturing, and then reject the current P&Z recommendation regarding Cannabis Retail business in general. I also propose that the County Council simply adopt the Cannabis Regulation Act and its rules as a guide to establishing the Cannabis Industry in Los Alamos.