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Brighton City Planning Commission modifies ballot language for marijuana proposal

The City of Brighton Planning Commission has further altered the ballot language on the proposal regarding the city’s stance on marijuana establishments. If adopted, the proposal would “repeal the City’s prohibition of marijuana establishments and to allow the operation of adult-use establishments within the City.” 

The modification to ballot language was minor but significant. The motion, which passed unanimously, was adopted in order to include churches in the exclusionary distance of 800 feet. The exclusionary distance provision also prohibits “commercial marijuana-related activities within 800 feet of a pre-existing public or private school providing education in kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12 or a pre-existing park of more than one acre in size.” 

The amendment was advocated by Ken Schmenk, a member of the City Planning Commission. As a Brighton citizen, Schmenk has been an outspoken critic of the proposal from its inception. Over the course of several months, he has been one of the driving forces behind the organization of what he referred to as an “anti-marijuana coalition of 16 churches, partnered with members of the Brighton School Board.” 

The change in language was influenced by the reaction from area churches, with Schmenk citing “a lot of support from churches in and around the city asking us not to do this.” It would appear that this amendment was designed as a safeguard: in the event that the proposal should pass in November, the available locations for marijuana establishments in the city of Brighton are quite limited.

The proposal itself, which will be on the Brighton ballot November 8th, continues to be a point of heated debate for the community.

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