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Marijuana Measure Fails In Burlington Council

Herb Fellow

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The Burlington City Council on Tuesday narrowly defeated a watered-down ballot question on decriminalization of marijuana that would have asked the governor and Legislature "to explore an alternative to the criminal system for dealing with small quantities of marijuana."

The measure, sponsored by Ed Adrian, D-Ward 1, and Tim Ashe, P-Ward 3, failed 7-6. Those supporting the resolution were: Adrian; Ashe; Clarence Davis, P-Ward 3; Russ Ellis, D-Ward 4; Joan Shannon, D-Ward 5; and Andy Montroll, D-Ward 6.

Opposed were: Sharon Bushor, I-Ward 1; Jane Knodell, P-Ward 2; Kurt Wright, R-Ward 4; Bill Keogh, D-Ward 5; Barbara Perry, I-Ward 6; and Paul Decelles and Craig Gutchell, Ward 7 Republicans.

Cheryl McDonough, P-Ward 2, was absent.

The resolution originally called for the mayor and City Council to explore decriminalization locally, as well as asking state government to take a look at the issue.

The local portion reappeared Tuesday as a separate resolution, but not as a ballot item. It passed 11-2, with Bushor and Decelles voting against it.

In its modified version, the local marijuana resolution gives the council's Public Safety Committee the assignment to "explore creating another option of handling small quantities of marijuana." The phrase "within the city of Burlington" was pulled from the resolution during council debate.

Adrian, the committee chairman, said the committee will listen to "perspectives from all sides" of the marijuana debate. He added: "I was disappointed that it wasn't put on the ballot so the people could weigh in on this, but that's the way the democratic process works."

In other business, the council unanimously voted to put a bond authorization for Burlington Electric Department on the March 4 ballot. BED is asking authority to issue bonds to $39.6 million for capital improvements.

Source: Burlington Free Press
Copyright: 2008 Burlington Free Press
Contact: John Briggs at 660-1863 or jbriggs@bfp.burlingtonfreepress.com.
Website: Burlington Free Press.com |
 
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