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2019 Pendleton DRY County ORD

(The Dry County ORD was tabled Dec 2019.)

Pendleton may become first in state

to pass anti-marijuana ordinance

Rebecca R. Bibbs The Herald Bulletin Nov 14, 2019


The town of Pendleton may make history next month by becoming the first municipality in the state to adopt an ordinance that would prohibit the production, distribution and possession of the Indiana Legislature decides to follow other states into the legalization of recreational marijuana.

The Pendleton Town Council on Thursday unanimously approved the proposed ordinance in its first reading. A second reading that could lead to its passage into law is expected to take place at the next meeting 6 p.m. Dec. 12 at Pendleton Town Hall, 100 W. State St.

Pendleton Town Judge George Gasparovic, a member of the Drug-Free South Madison County Coalition, has lobbied the council for months in preparation for the introduction of the proposed ordinance, saying the town wants to get ahead of the likelihood marijuana will be legalized at the state level. He said he was worried about the commercialization of cannabis as a matter of safety for the children of the town, its possible effect on the mental health and development of children, and the economics of the societal impacts.

“If anything, we want to preempt it,” he told the council. “If you get into the figures, you can tell it’s a loser.”

Gasparovic said legalization of recreational marijuana, which he called a “toxic threat,” is about rate of return, market share and dollars in the bank but does not take into consideration the cost to the people who use it and the communities in which they live.

Recreational marijuana laws in some states, such as Colorado, contain provisions that allow municipalities to opt-out.

Town Attorney Alex Intermill said this follows the precedent of parts of Kentucky and Tennessee, which remained dry after alcohol prohibition was lifted.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there was

a local option,” he said.

Coalition members have said they hope other municipalities and Madison County,

as a whole, will follow suit.

Coalition member Bill Hutton sent with Gasparovic a letter endorsing the ordinance on behalf of the South Madison Community Schools board of trustees. The letter noted that any law is likely to include an age limit, much like alcohol is limited to people ages 21 and older, but that it’s likely to have little practical effect if marijuana is readily available.

“That limitation has not kept students from smoking cigarettes or smoking alcohol,” the letter said.

Before voting in favor of the ordinance, Town Council member Bob Jones said what he found most persuasive was the demonstrated effect on the health and well-being of children.

“You’re sending a clear statement that Pendleton isn’t going to tolerate that,” he said.

Jones said by approving the ordinance, there also is a possibility lawmakers at the state level may prevent the legalization of marijuana.


“If we approve this, we’d be making a statement we hope other people would listen to,” he said.

Indiana NORML came to aid Madison County by helping local Cannabis Advocates/Activists/Refugees

get the Ordinance tabled. It was an awesome experience to be on the ground during this campaign. Thousands of Hoosier Activists sent the Town Council emails asking them to stop the ORD. 

This is at the top of the list of my most favorite activism missions I've got to participate in. 


12/12/2019 Ordinance Tabled

Anti-Drug Coalition Articles
A work in progress… 12/07/2019 by Nicole Schuyler Kapuscinski

Oct 29, 2019: Coalition spearheads campaign for Pendleton to opt out of ...

Nov 13, 2019: Coalition to introduce anti-weed ordinance | News ...

Nov 15, 2019: Pot-Free Pendleton: City Wants to Ban It, Even If It's Made ...

Dec 5, 2019: Coalition continues campaign opposing sale of marijuana in …

Nov 15, 2019 / 02:30 AM EST/ Updated: Nov 15, 2019 / 05:35 AM EST

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