|Cole Heanssler speaks to the Council on behalf of the D.A.R.E.|
The Windham Town Council met on Tuesday, February 25 at the Windham Town Council Chamber Room at 6:30 p.m. for their biweekly council meeting. The room was filled with concerned citizens on both sides of one agenda item - the proposed Marijuana Business
Licensing Ordinance and adult use retail stores.
The meeting began with Councilor comments. Councilor David Douglass congratulated Charles Hawkins for receiving the Frank Koenig - Business Person of the Year for 2019.
Councilor Rebecca Cummings read a letter that was shared with all council members. It was from a concerned parent regarding a plan to construct of marijuana grow facility near her family’s home. The parent also shared her concern about the smell produced from area marijuana plants. The parent conveyed in the letter the lack of forethought in terms of grow facilities in Windham and ask the council to seriously review the guidelines.
Councilor Cummings also reminded other members of the council and those present at the meeting about the pledge the Council used to state prior to each council meeting. After repeating the “Be The Influence” pledge, she stated, “I believe in that pledge and I whole heartedly disagree with marijuana in this community, therefore I can not and will not be a part of a council that condones it. As a result, I resign effective immediately.”*
Adults in the community, DARE students and Officer Cyr as well as members of Be The Influence Coalition spoke to the council encouraging the council to not proceed in allowing adult use medical marijuana. Some points shared included but were not limited to:
Crime as a result of use
Increase in drug driving
Media campaigns that target youth
Increase in ER visits due to edibles
Increase in psychosis and anxiety due to youth use
Scientifically proven to harm the developing brain
Higher THC levels than from 20 years ago
Proponents for the establishment of adult use shared their perspectives. Some details included but are not limited to:
The marijuana store front community is concerned about youth use and is willing to work with the town and community to prevent youth use
Students are not getting access at medical marijuana stores but from the black market
Adult retail store marijuana is regulated and tested as safe for adult use
Raise education fees
Initiate responsibility and education to both adults and students regarding harmful youth use
Participate in marketing practices with Be The Influence community
Cannabis is part of a well-rounded wellness routine for professional and responsible adults
After a two-hour discussion with the Town’s legal adviser, amendments have been made to the proposed Marijuana Business Licensing Ordinance and public comment will remain open until the March 10th Council meeting of which the ordinance will be voted upon.
To learn more about this agenda items as well as other topics discussed at this meeting, go to the town website at www.windhammaine.us/ where one can find the minutes and recorded video version of the meetings. All meetings are televised live on the local cable channel as well as on Facebook live.
*The Windham Town Council will be placing a notice within the next two weeks, requesting applications from qualified individuals to temporarily fill the open Councilor seat. This will be a seven-month appointment until elections in November.