Former Romney official supports Mesquite medical marijuana bills; town hall meeting

Mesquite City Council holds town hall meeting about proposed medical marijuana ordinance, Mesquite City Hall, Mesquite, Nevada, July 29, 2014 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News
Mesquite City Council holds town hall meeting about proposed medical marijuana ordinance, Mesquite City Hall, Mesquite, Nevada, July 29, 2014 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News
Mesquite City Council holds town hall meeting 

MESQUITE, Nevada – A spirited, emotional town hall meeting in Mesquite Tuesday night drew a crowd of over 100 people discussing issues surrounding the City Council’s decision on whether or not to pass two bills that would enact city ordinances allowing and setting guidelines for facilities to grow, produce, and dispense medical marijuana and related products within Mesquite’s boundaries.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Nevada since 2001, but it wasn’t until last year that the state legalized larger-scale facilities which has forced local municipalities to discuss their own guidelines. Some municipalities in Nevada like Boulder City have banned these facilities, others like those in the greater Las Vegas area, have welcomed them.


Read more:  Medical marijuana ‘made in Mesquite’?

Mesquite has two bills on the table which some at the town hall meeting said won’t affect the town since medical marijuana is already legal and will be brought to Mesquite either way. Others vehemently disagreed, and still others found middle ground.

Several views on the issue

A woman from Mesquite who said she was taking the logical, not moral, side of the argument explained how kids could already easily get marijuana in Mesquite, let alone many other drugs like oxycodone, and methamphetamine.

“It just amazes me,” she said, “people act like if you don’t approve a dispensary, that poof! – Mesquite is snow white; no drugs, everybody’s happy, there’s no crime … and we’ll all live happily ever after. The bottom line is, anybody who wants to smoke marijuana and has the money to afford it, is smoking it now, and they’re doing it in Mesquite.”

Mesquite City Council holds town hall meeting about proposed medical marijuana ordinance, Mesquite City Hall, Mesquite, Nevada, July 29, 2014 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News
Mesquite City Council holds town hall meeting 

The reasons for disagreement with the proposed bills were widespread, such as the likelihood of an up rise in greed; crime and corruption; the possibility that marijuana would become more readily available to children; the moral double-standard this could set for kids; and the possibility of more people driving under the influence.

One of the presenters at the meeting, a former Nevada law enforcement official, Frank Adams, who worked extensively with drug task forces across the state, said that other areas in the U.S. where dispensaries are legal have seen a rapid growth in pot consumption. He and several others fear that pot companies in Nevada are going to make it extremely easy to get a medical pot card which will allow recreational users to easily get it. Nevada companies are moving to make it possible to get pot without proper medical documentation, Adams said, and even without seeing a doctor in person.

Although there were many at the town hall meeting who opposed marijuana facilities in Mesquite, there were hardly any who disagreed with the position that medical marijuana was useful in treatment of some medical conditions. As medical marijuana is legal and has been for 12 years in Nevada, no matter if this ordinance is enacted in Mesquite or not, residents with a medical marijuana card will continue to be able to possesses, grow and use marijuana products under Nevada law.

A Mesquite resident stood before the mayor and City Council members and said he has Crohn’s disease and he uses medical marijuana for his survival. He’s used medicinal marijuana in Nevada and Oregon for his treatment. He will continue to use medical marijuana in Mesquite whether they pass the bills or not, he said, but he believes that Mesquite should allow marijuana facilities so that others like him can get more easily available treatment for their ailments. Medical marijuana, he said, has brought him to a place where he can finally have a good life with his family.

“Without that, I’d be sitting in bed in the fetal position, being another negative statistic.”

Joe Brezny, former executive director of the Nevada Republican Party, Mitt Romney’s former state director, and current director of the Nevada Cannabis Industry trade organization. Mesquite City Council holds town hall meeting about proposed medical marijuana ordinance, Mesquite City Hall, Mesquite, Nevada, July 29, 2014 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News
Joe Brezny, former executive director of the Nevada Republican Party, Mitt Romney’s former state director, and current director of the Nevada Cannabis Industry trade organization. 

Former Romney director, “not some leftist hippie”

A proponent of the bills is Joe Brezny, former executive director of the Nevada Republican Party, Mitt Romney’s former state director, and current director of the Nevada Cannabis Industry trade organization. He said that Mesquite is in position for a great opportunity to import jobs and export product.

“I think it’s a great thing if there’s a few dozen jobs here in a building that’s as secure as Fort Knox,” Brezny said of the council’s consideration of a grow facility in Mesquite. “Those are jobs that stay here. It’s cannabis that goes to the strip and gets sold to people in Las Vegas.”

If these bills don’t pass in Mesquite, Brezny said, he agrees that it won’t stop the war on drugs in town and patients will just continue to get medical marijuana that is not tested and not controlled. The community won’t make any money off of it, he said, and North Las Vegas businesses will inevitably set up distribution systems to Mesquite.

“I’m not some leftist hippie activist, I just think there’s a better way.”

There’s already interest in Mesquite

If these bills were to pass, there are already at least two possible vendors looking to start facilities in Mesquite, Gaye Stockman, of Mesquite Regional Business Inc., said in a presentation during the meeting. These two clients, whose names Stockman said she’d agreed to keep confidential, had approached the MRB with consideration of starting medical marijuana facilities in Mesquite.

It was by using data from these clients that the MRB was able to create an economic model, at the council’s request, to show what sort of economic impact these possible facilities would have on Mesquite. The MRB often does economic impact projections when studying the effect that any major business will have on the community.

According to the MRB’s economic impact study, if one of the two client companies were to follow through with its proposed plan to bring in facilities, then there would be as many as 132 new direct jobs and 64 secondary jobs created in Mesquite; that is, if the city allows a cultivation center, a production facility and a dispensary in town. If a company were only to build a dispensary in the community, it would supply three direct jobs, according to MRB’s projections.

Not only would jobs come, Stockman said, but the city would collect revenue.

“Within the city ordinance there is three options to collect revenue,” Stockman said, ”the licenses and fees to charge the businesses, an excise tax, and … property tax.”

Next meeting

Next up on the Mesquite City Council’s agenda regarding the bills is to have a public hearing on Aug. 5 – the same date the state’s application window begins (Aug. 5-18) during which businesses may apply to the state for a medical marijuana facility. During Mesquite’s public hearing on Aug. 5 the City Council will consider the medical marijuana bills, and if they pass, prospective Mesquite businesses can then start the process by applying for state registration.

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7 Comments

  • SAGEMOON July 30, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Times are changing. Legalization of marijuana on one level or another is inevitable. It’s time to start campaigns to reduce the risk of the effects of marijuana use such as we see for alcohol use. I would much rather see people selling meth and heroin in the prisons and jails than people who grow, sell, or use marijuana.

    • Brian July 30, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Times may be changing, but so is the weed (and the consequences). THC levels are many times higher in today’s pot than in the 60’s. Brain scans show that even smoking weed once a week has a significant effect on the brain, and not in good ways. It saps motivation and impairs reasoning and logic (which may help explain the 2008 and 2012 election results, and our current economy…). Legalized pot may be inevitable, but that inevitability won’t soften the negative effect it has on society. We’ll pay a very steep price for legalizing. Colorado it already seeing that.

      • TRVTH July 30, 2014 at 3:06 pm

        Hey Brian, do you have anything to back up your statements? If you do, how about posting it?

      • SAGEMOON July 31, 2014 at 8:57 am

        Alcohol damages brain cells, too, and it’s legal for adult use. I think it’s time to relinquish control on marijuana and let people decide for themselves. As an adult, I don’t need the government babysitting the chemicals I choose to put in my body. I appreciate their control of substances that have proven to be deadly but that is where the line should be drawn. If a line needs to be drawn at all.

  • Incognegro (Josh Dalton) July 30, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I am glad!! I think they should ban cigarettes and alcohol. Both are proven to kill people. Marijuana has never killed anybody, never caused cancer, The only negative after using marijuana is the …-a-shish need for food and sweets (the Munchies.) I will quit drinking beer, smoking cigarettes if marijuana is legalized and my employer will allow me to use the product. Then i will live a long happy cancer and hangover free life! GO FALCONS!
    Ed. ellipsis.

    • SAGEMOON July 31, 2014 at 9:01 am

      I agree with marijuana products EXCEPT those that have to be smoked. Any kind of smoke can cause cancer. The only reason to smoke marijuana is for the social aspect. As far as I’ve heard, the edibles are safe and, of course, our old friend Marinol which no one is rushing to have the FDA make it an over the counter medicine. I’ve been wondering what is up with that.

  • Terry July 30, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Who cares about Romney or his Aid ! So what! Get it done!

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