Ex-Arizona marijuana opponent now wants it on his Chino Valley property

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) - A city councilor in the Arizona town of Chino Valley who was previously critical of marijuana now wants officials to let him launch a medical marijuana research facility on property he owns.

Corey Mendoza says he changed his mind about pot. He asked the town's Planning and Zoning Commission for a permit last week to open the research and development center, The Daily Courier reported on Thursday.

Mendoza was once an outspoken opponent of marijuana and criticized Arizona voters for legalizing marijuana for medicinal use in 2010. But he told commission members his views have changed after doing more research.

"I've gotten much more educated in the uses of marijuana," Mendoza said. "I've softened a bit."

Mendoza says he believes most people using marijuana for medicinal purposes are "potheads" but believes others have benefited from it, so he supports more research.

Commissioners voted to recommend the City Council approve his permit but added stipulations about security and destruction of non-pharmaceutical marijuana plants on the site.

The research center would be inside a building on a 2.7-acre (1-hectare) vacant lot that Mendoza owns.

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