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Commissioners politely decline ‘pot-for-road-work’ plan

WALSENBURG — The Huerfano County Commissioners politely declined county resident Jose Mercado’s offer of swapping pot-growing potential on his rural land in exchange for road work and culvert installation. Mercado, who began making his offer by offering an unspecifed ‘cash crop that everybody’s talking about’, told the commissioners he would be willing to share the profits with Walsenburg and Huerfano County, noting ‘we could make millions.” Mercado touted his ‘green thumb’, noting he can grow lots of crops and vegetables on his land, but the big money would come from…. cannibis. The commissioners, who sat stone-faced through Mercado’s proposal, asked for detailed clarification as to if his property was on a public or private road. When it was established that it was indeed on private property, commissioner Max Vezzani told Mercado that the county could not do public work on private land. Commissioner Art Bobian informed Mercado that the county had not decided yet whether to ban the growing and sale of marijuana, or place a moratorium on it, or go a different direction entirely. A joint meeting on the topic will be held on March 12 at 6 pm. Bobian also told Mercado he needed to look at state regulations on how to grow marijuana for public consumption, and that up-front costs might be prohibitive. In the end, the commissioners wished him luck, but declined Mercado’s offer. He took it in good grace, and said he will look elsewhere.