HAILEY - The Hailey City Council went forward with what remains of the city's voter-approved marijuana initiatives on Monday night.

The initiatives, selected by voters in 2007 and 2008, were gutted by 5th District Court Judge Robert Elgee earlier this spring, and Hailey had held off on enacting them until the legal issues were resolved.

The portions of the initiatives that Elgee removed included: legalizing use of medical marijuana in Hailey, making marijuana enforcement the Hailey police's lowest priority and requiring individual city officials to advocate for marijuana reform. The city as a whole still must advocate for reform and must establish a committee to consider marijuana and hemp issues.

Ned Williamson, Hailey's attorney, prepared the language of the initiatives for inclusion in the city's ordinances. He left in the portions that were removed by the judge, indicating that they were struck down, to preserve the historic record.

"All I did was follow what he (Judge Elgee) did, verbatim," Williamson told the council. "Anyone looking at this 100 years from now can see what happened."

He did ask the council whether it would like to keep as part of the ordinance language the factual information included in the initiatives. He said including the "whereases" would be very unusual in the text of an ordinance.

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"The whereases serve some function. Essentially those are the statementsof public declaration,"said Councilman Fritz Haemmerle, noting that the remaining ordinance language requires the council to make such statements as part of its advocacy for progressive marijuana policy.

The council also authorized the creation of a committee that would make recommendations to the council on marijuana and industrial hemp policy and advocacy. The seven-member committee will have one member appointed by each of five council members, the police chief, and the group that promoted the initiatives in the first place.

Each said it would be possible to come back with an appointee within 30 days, after which the committee would be formed and would meet a minimum of two times per year.

Ariel Hansen may be reached at ahansen@magicvalley.com or 208-788-3475.


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