According to a recent report, officials from the State of New Mexico are saying that Farmington city officials do not have the authority to develop zoning regulations or require city business licenses for medical marijuana producers. Is the state being hypocritical when they are ignoring federal laws to regulate medical marijuana, but then tell a city they cannot regulate medical marijuana businesses inside their city limits?
The Farmington City Council approved a moratorium on issuing business licenses and approvals for zoning on December 14th to work out zoning regulations after a medical marijuana producer contacted the city about locating there. However, Deborah Busemeyer, New Mexico Health Department spokesperson, says that any actions done by the city to regulate zoning or business licenses will not affect medical marijuana producers. She goes on to say that medical marijuana producers are not required to have a business license, but do have state regulated zoning requirements already.
Of particular interest is that if the state is arguing that medical marijuana producers are not required to have a business license because they are regulated by the state, then there are many businesses in the state that no longer need city business licenses. A case in point is anyone in the healthcare industry that is regulated by the state to have a license, such as doctors, and want to set up an office or massage therapists.
Another thing that is particularly disturbing is that the State of New Mexico has essentially set up a dangerous imitation of the FDA to regulate medical marijuana production, without allowing it to be regulated nearly as much as any corner drug store. This not only places lives at risk, but also is hypocritical in the fact that the state is breaking federal laws to promote medical marijuana production, but then tells a city they have no authority to regulate it inside their city limits because the state controls it.
Without arguing the pros and cons of medical marijuana as listed in a previous article, this boils down to a case of whether or not a city can regulate any business inside its city limits. Residents of Farmington or any other community that faces similar concern for the issue should contact your elected representatives and let your opinion be heard.
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Dr. Michael Williams is the founder of Selah Mountain Family Services, a ministry serving families in Albuquerque, NM. In addition to being the local Albuquerque Family Examiner, he writes a national Conservative Examiner column. You can follow him on Twitter: @drmlwilliams. To learn more about him or to see a comprehensive list of his articles and other published works go to classicalconservative.com.