EDITORíS DESK: Survey question to City Council: Huh?

       City Council members seemed very pleased with themselves after their vote on the medical marijuana regulations Dec. 14. And why not? Applause was filling the council chambers - not a rare sound there, but rare when it's for something council has done. They thanked each other, thanked staff, and thanked the medical marijuana supporters who had filled the council chambers, for all the hard work everyone had done.
       But no one was thanking the Organization of Westside Neighbors for its survey results that showed strong concerns from Westside residents about the close proximity of dispensaries to homes. That was because council had ignored those results, even though they'd received the information several days beforehand. Too lazy? Too starved for praise? Had they already made up their minds how they were going to vote? Or did it just not fit some politically correct template? This is a group, including city staff, that has gone all around the barn for months about the right distances dispensaries should be from schools and everything else, but it apparently is of no interest to them that people might like a little buffer around where they actually live. Also take note that the council member who is supposed to represent the Westside, Sean Paige, made a personal decision that the survey wasn't important enough to mention at the meeting. The comments he did make there focused on his belief in people's rights and how we shouldn't prejudge based on our prejudices. Thank you, preacher Paige, but how about the rights of the homeowners on the Westside, who bought their properties in the Colorado Avenue area, never expecting, at least until the past year, that they might have marijuana dispensaries next door or across the alley or across the street. Yes, I agree, the marijuana industry has coexisted nicely, for the most part. But they've also been on their best behavior, knowing they were being watched. How will it be in years to come, when the applause has died down?

- K.J.