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Mesquite makes late push for marijuana businesses

Reported by: Kelsey Thomas
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Updated: 7/15/2014 6:11 am

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- In an 11th-hour move, the city of Mesquite is moving full steam ahead with medical marijuana.

The small town is late to the game. Now they are pushing to become the next place in Clark County to take part in this budding industry.

The city of Mesquite still hasn’t decided whether to lay out the welcome mat for medical marijuana entrepreneurs.

Time is quickly running out, and Mesquite officials must act fast if they want in. That's because the city is already weeks behind their counterparts.

Originally, the city council voted to hold off on a decision; now, council members are having second thoughts.

"There are so many people like me on all this medication, Oxycotin and morphine for my back and I think it would be good if I smoke a little marijuana and get off all this medication. I never tried it, but I would," said Mesquite resident Carol Shannon.

For the last decade, 70-year-old Shannon has been taking prescription medications for back pain, but she's thinking of replacing her pills with a plant.

"I’ve heard a lot of people like me, elderly people, who tried it and it relieved their pain," Shannon said.

Medical marijuana businesses could be an economic boon for the small city of Mesquite, located 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

City Manager Andy Barton says a grow operation could bring 100 jobs to the city of 17,000.

"There’s at least one grow operation, probably more like that, interested in setting up here, if the city council decides to allow it," Barton said.

But not everyone in this city of retirees thinks it’s a good idea.

"I would not want them to bring it to Mesquite. First of all, it’s just a step into heavier stuff," said Mesquite resident Duke Meeks. "I spent a lot of time in the military and I know what it is. Kids are gonna love it."

"I just don’t think it’s a good thing. I live part-time in Colorado, I see some of the stuff that’s going on up there, and it just makes it too easy for the kids to get their hands on it," said resident Garr Roberts.

Last week the Mesquite City Council voted 4 to 1 to hold off on making a decision about medical marijuana until next year.

"I do believe we should’ve started the conversation earlier," said Mesquite City Council Member Cindy Delaney. "We can still get it done before the state’s deadline."

Delaney is one of two council members who has had a change of heart.

In three weeks, the city council will re-vote on this contentious issue.



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