Libby medical marijuana ordinance voted down

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An ordinance to allow and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries within Libby city limits was recently voted down after months of being worked out in committee meetings and despite being based on recommendations previously made by the city planning board.

After the ordinance’s first reading at the Sept. 5 Libby City Council meeting, council members Kristin Smith, Gary Armstrong and Brian Zimmerman voted in support of the ordinance and Peggy Williams, Gary Beach and Angel Ford voted against it. Mayor Brent Teske’s broke the tie by voting no.

Smith, Zimmerman and Williams comprise the committee that put together the ordinance.

“It’s a little unorthodox to have something come out of committee, having been fairly thoroughly addressed and vetted, (and then) have a committee member vote against it,” Smith said in a follow-up interview. “It was a real blindside.”

Zimmerman, who had been on the fence about the issue before voting at the May 15 City Council meeting to send it to the resolution/ordinance committee, was also surprised by the vote, saying he expected it to go 5-1 or 4-2.

Williams, who along with Beach voted in May not to send the issue to committee, did not respond to two requests for comment about her Sept. 5 no vote.

At the May 15 meeting, Williams and Beach both said they had heard from residents and business owners who were opposed to allowing medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits.

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