Willard, Mo. churches start petition to reverse medical marijuana code

WILLARD, Mo. (KY3) - The board made the decision to remove churches from the list of places medical marijuana sites have to stay away from at its last meeting back in September.

Dean Flanner said he felt blindsided by the board's decision.

"I'm really disappointed honestly with the council that they did this without consulting or really making the issue very well known," he said. "They knew it obviously, but I haven't talked to anybody in the city that knew it was coming."

The board made the decision to remove churches from the list of places medical marijuana sites have to stay away from at its last meeting back in September.

"In the process there was considerable discussion about the various facets whether churches be on [or] whether churches be off," said Alderman Jon Jones. "My concern from the board standpoint was that singling out churches was potentially going to upset a certain part of the community."

Flanner said many people are upset and there are now petitions floating around all 12 churches in the city.

"According to the Willard municipal code regarding medical marijuana, we the people of Willard desire for churches and places of worship to be restored to the distance requirements along with the schools and child daycare centers," the petition said.

The pastor says he hopes this will be enough to get the decision reversed, but Jones says it might not be that easy.

"Us potentially placing churches back into the sensitive sites and there being a restriction there would be a process that would have to happen but I don't think it's as simple as one vote," Jones said.

Flanner said members of churches throughout WIllard plan to go to the board's next meeting on Tuesday where they will discuss the topic again.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.