Amendment 64: Douglas County to ban retail marijuana sales a year before they could happen
Although voters approved Amendment 64 earlier this month, the retail sales aspect of the measure can't go into effect prior to late 2013 or early 2014 -- and that's only if (and it's a big "if") the federal government doesn't take action to intervene. Yet Douglas County Commissioner Jack Hilbert has already introduced an ordinance to ban such sales there; see it and more documents below. A surprise? Absolutely not.
The DougCo commissioners have long been anti-marijuana when it comes to retail outlets. Back in June 2010, we spoke to Hilbert about the decision to put a medical marijuana dispensary ban on that November's ballot. "The voters are the ones who approved this in the first place -- and I constantly hear from people who say, 'This is not what I voted for,'" he told us at the time, adding, "I think people who voted for it went with their heart and their compassion, but now they're looking at this and saying, 'I didn't vote for this.'"
Then, this past September, the commissioners joined Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver in opposing Amendment 64, dishing out some of the strongest language of any elected officials in the state -- and that's saying something given the vitriol directed at the proposal from many quarters.
Douglas County Commisioners Steven Boand, Jill Repella and Jack Hilbert.
As we wrote at the time, the commissioners' resolution, signed by Hilbert, employs the typical "whereas" format -- and most of the clauses that follow this word suggest disaster should the majority of Coloradans allow adults to possess and use small amounts of cannabis. The commissioners argue that the amendment "fails to protect the health, safety and welfare of Colorado citizens" because it lacks standards against "harmful contaminants and disease," "conflicts with federal law and jeopardizes federally funded projects because drug-free workplace requirements may not be met," and "suggests that Colorado is on tract [sic] to become a primary source of supply for high-grade marijuana throughout the country."
The new document, dated November 20, is equally strong. It's described as "an ordinance prohibiting the operation of marijuana cultivation facilities, marijuana product manufacturing facilities, marijuana testing facilities or retail marijuana stores within the unincorporated boundaries of Douglas County, State of Colorado" -- and its first "whereas" points out that voters in DougCo actually turned thumbs-down on Amendment 64, with 55 percent of participants marking "no" on their ballot.
The ordinance also notes, accurately, that Amendment 64 includes a provision for localities such as Douglas County to opt out of such sales. And opting out is the commissioners' preference -- so much so that they propose fining anyone who ignores the ordinance once it's officially approved $1,000 per violation, with each day deemed a separate violation.
Look below to see a 7News report about the proposal, followed by the ordinance, Sheriff Weaver's argument against Amendment 64, and the commissioners' previous resolution.
Continue to see the proposed retail marijuana sales ban and more.