Marijuana: Boulder rejects pot shop ban, but councilman urges caution moving forward

Thumbnail image for marijuana photo cropped.JPG
Update: Yesterday, we noted that the Boulder City Attorney's office planned a presentation suggesting that city council approve a moratorium until at least 2014 on new marijuana retail outlets legalized under Amendemnt 64; see previous coverage below. Last night, the council chose not to go forward with such an ordinance until the public and stakeholders can weigh in. Boulder City Councilman Macon Cowles sees that as the right call.

Cowles, an attorney by trade, was unable to attend last night's meeting because he's preparing for a big trial. But he favors the delay in approving any ordinance that might prohibit retail outlets.

In his words, "I think what we want to do at the city council in Boulder is take a longer look at this -- get some public input before making a decision about how we proceed."

At the same time, he understands the arguments put forward by the city attorney.

"With the medical marijuana regulations, we went out substantially in front of the state -- formulated our regulations before the state had come up with theirs," he notes. "And that resulted in a lot of extra work for the city attorney's office and staff. We want to avoid doing that -- wasting staff time to the extent we can -- by having a better coordinated effort. And I think it makes sense to take this slowly, one step at a time, and see what the state is going to do.

macon cowles.jpg
Macon Cowles.
"The state has a problem, too," he goes on, "because this issue tends to eat up huge amounts of staff resources at whatever level at which it's located, because of the uncertainties of the law at the local, state and federal levels. The federal government has this insane war on drugs going on that has huge ramifications for people at every level of our government and for society in general. There's a huge devotion of resources. And now a private moneymaking industry has been built up around the war on drugs to try to collar people, and it has unintended and very severe consequences not only here, but in other countries as well, like we're seeing in Mexico."

The Boulder City Council "wants to respect the will of the voters to legalize marijuana in the State of Colorado," he stresses. "But we really can't act alone on this. There has to be coordination with some of the other government entities that are responsible for this."

Yesterday, senior assistant city attorney Kathy Haddock argued against delaying action until the federal government announces whether or not it will allow Colorado to move forward with implementing the measure. After all, she said, A64's language establishes a timeline and the feds aren't on a schedule. Cowles adds another reason for alacrity.

"The problem with waiting for the federal government is that we may be waiting a long time," he points out. "The people have said, 'We want to legalize marijuana under this constitutional amendment,' and I don't know that it means we should wait. But on the other hand, I don't think people want us to approach this in a way that really degrades other governmental services because we're regulating a new industry and trying to figure out how it's done.

"There's so much now that's in play. Conceivably you could have liquor stores wanting to get into this business as an adjunct to selling wine, spirits and beer. And we're hearing concerns from medical marijuana establishments who say, 'Wait a minute. Regulation in this sphere is going to have a huge impact on our businesses, and we've got a lot at stake here.' And since it's certainly not government's role to pick winners and losers in developing a new industry, we need to hear from these establishments and other people who are concerned."

The questions raised by Amendment 64 are fascinating, Cowles maintains. "I'm 64 years old, and we've been talking about the legalization of marijuana since I was in college -- and here we are. But it's not quite as easy as one day it's illegal and the next day it's legal. Just because of the infrastructure that's been built to make the use of marijuana a crime and to aggressively go after the people who are involved in the growing and transporting of it means you have to plan and proceed more carefully, until the day when Amendment 64 can be incorporated into our day-to-day lives."

Continue to see our previous coverage, including the complete moratorium presentation prepared by the Boulder City Attorney's office.


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83 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 *** Broomfield Council Eyes Ban on Marijuana Businesses ***

During a study session Tuesday, council members said they likely will vote to ban marijuana businesses.

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22128596/broomfield-council-eyes-temporary-ban-marijuana-businesses

Another One Bites the Dust !!

Are you ready?

Are you ready for this?

Are you hanging on the edge of your seat?

Out of dope the stoners fail

To the sound of the beat

boom boom boom

Another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust

And another one gone, and another one gone

Another one sucks the bong

Hey, they're gonna get you too

Another one sucks the bong

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

"I'm 64 years old, and we've been talking about the legalization of marijuana since I was in college -- and here we are. Cowles maintains.

It´s not legalization, you have been lied to b the Westword. See what happens when you are a sitty tabloid rag people believe your lies.  Still suck as a journilist Michael.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

You suck a a reporter Michael Roberts!  Whare is the 6 min convesation between the gov and the Feds? Or is that too hard of a story to chase down you yellow tabloid writer!

nemopunk15
nemopunk15 topcommenter

Is anyone surprised that local governments are coming up with long-winded versions of "wait and see what Uncle Sam does"?

At least this time our elected officials are taking some action right off the bat. With A-20 almost a decade went by before any legislative movement was made. No retail location could open before Jan-2014 anyway. Relax folks, we have over 500 retail dispensaries to get us through until the first Recreational Retail Locations open up.

Colorado Rules.

Monkey
Monkey

Between Boulder, Parker, Castle Rock, Lyons, Weld county, Larimer County and Douglas county already planning to prohibit weed stores before the Hick makes it official is pretty funny. What about the children, and their 40 million? I thought we were going to get the kids off weed and get the schools themselves addicted to it.

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen

Who cares, it's Boulder. Boulder's citizens like (and need) their government to be their parent.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 Congratulations Stoners! -- it was simply brilliant of you to amend the Colorado Constitution ... and then allow ANY city or county to IGNORE the relevant provisions of the amendment.

Fucking Genius!

... and remember -- Regulation Works! ... trust the Government to regulate you lovingly.

tutonehcc
tutonehcc topcommenter

Why would the Federal Justice Department matter in the slightest.  Medical marijuana dispensaries have been in Boulder for almost 4 years and the Feds seem to not be interested in enforcing drug laws.  How come all of a sudden with recreational the Feds matter?   Excuses, excuses!  Is this going to be the way of every County in Colorado, when was the last moratorium on anything for any reason in Colorado besides cannabis?  What a bunch of crap!

ryan.cordova
ryan.cordova topcommenter

@Monkey You do know there's a difference between a ban and a moratorium, right?

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@DonkeyHotay The law allows communities to ban 'retail' sales of marijuana just like we are allowed to have 'dry' counties. What do you care if Smallsville, USA doesn't have a pot shop in town? How does this effect you? You can possess it and you can grow it and no town can BAN this. If you NEED a Wal-Mart to acquire good herb, this law won't help u anyway.. :)

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@tutonehcc  ... these Local Bans are EXACTLY what YOU voted for via A64.

Now swallow, sucker.

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

You all know that Donkey could very well be a disgruntled ex drug warrior who just had his PARADE rained on....Pig much, Donkey?

ryan.cordova
ryan.cordova topcommenter

So out of stupid fucking arguments then? Pretty much what I figured.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ryan.cordova .. when you learn the difference between "discourage" and BAN, get back to us you stump-stupid stammering imbecile.

Ryan Cordova = still a know-nothing lying ignoramus

ryan.cordova
ryan.cordova topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @ryan.cordova http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-03-13-strip-clubs_N.htm

"A growing number of cities and counties are using zoning, licensing regulations and other techniques to discourage strip clubs without running afoul of the businesses' First Amendment rights."

Whoops. Compare that to "Cities / Counties cannot use Zoning Regulations as a pretense to ban Porn Stores or Strip Clubs."

"The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that cities and states CAN BAN NUDE DANCING and regulate adult-oriented businesses, but can't prohibit them from operating. Federal courts generally protect such businesses unless communities can prove "harmful secondary effects" — increased crime, blight or diminished property values."

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019062579_apwayakimastripclub.html

"The Yakima City Council holds a public hearing Tuesday night at City Hall on a proposed six-month moratorium on adult businesses in the city"

So yes, they CAN ban all nude strip clubs, and they CAN place moratoriums on them, and in fact have, quite frequently.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ryan.cordova Cities / Counties cannot use Zoning Regulations as a pretense to ban Porn Stores or Strip Clubs. They are constitutionally protected.

You = Fail Again, sucker.

ryan.cordova
ryan.cordova topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @ryan.cordova LOL constitutionally protected. A ban is a zoning regulation, so is a moratorium.

You're only fooling yourself if you believe freedom of speech applies to zoning. Either that or you have absolutely no idea that this isn't the 60's anymore.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ryan.cordova "You do know that ANY city/county in Colorado can ban all sales of ANY type, right? Whether it's a tobacco store, a porn shop, a strip club, or the local liquor store, every county has the right to decide what types of businesses are present within their jurisdiction."

Epic Legal FAIL!

You = know-nothing lying idiot.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ryan.cordova = FAILED to provide ANY evidence of cities or counties in Colorado with moratorium or bans on any other categories of retail.

Makes up laughably false bullshit about constitutionally protected porn stores and strip clubs being subject to bans.

Made up laughably false bullshit about cities/counties being allowed to arbitrarily ban any and all retail stores.

Ryan Cordova proves himself to be a lying legal imbecile once again.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ryan.cordova

What cities or counties in Colorado have "moratoriums"on strip clubs or porn shops?

[ cue crickets chirping ]

ryan.cordova
ryan.cordova topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @ryan.cordova "What other categories of retail stores have MORATORIUMS or outright BANS on them in Colorado?"

Your words, not mine. You asked what other retail stores (way to limit it down, eh?) have moratoriums OR bans, not which ones were only banned. Jesus fucking Christ, you lost this argument again, totally schooled.

Move on you pathetic old woman.

ryan.cordova
ryan.cordova topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @ryan.cordova OR moratorium you fucking idiot.

Seriously do you even read what you fucking type or does it just pour out of you like verbal diarrhea? 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ryan.cordova Hey moron, cities and counties cannot ban porn stores or strip clubs.

Guess why, numbnuts.

ryan.cordova
ryan.cordova topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @ryan.cordova Hahaha, keep thinking that. I'll wait just keep waiting for that evidence you have that proves me wrong....

You can also add fireworks sales to the list of retail stores that have moratoriums or outright bans on them.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ryan.cordova "Porn stores, liquor stores, tobacco stores, strip clubs, and head shops."

Legal FAIL!

Try again, loser.

ryan.cordova
ryan.cordova topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay Porn stores, liquor stores, tobacco stores, strip clubs, and head shops.

Other businesses currently under moratorium in Colorado include fracking, surface drilling, prison building, housing (Aspen has a remodelling moratorium in place, as well as a foreclosure moratorium for Bank of America),   and uranium mining.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ryan.cordova @DonkeyHotay 

What other categories of retail stores have MORATORIUMS  or outright BANS on them in Colorado?

ryan.cordova
ryan.cordova topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @ryan.cordova Why do you feel cannabis retail stores deserve a special status that no other business in history has of being completely free to build wherever and whenever they want?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ryan.cordova  Why is marijuana so harmful and dangerous that is must be Government Regulated like DEADLY Alcohol that maims and kills 10s of thousands of citizens every year?

ryan.cordova
ryan.cordova topcommenter

So why do you feel that cannabis is such a special object that it should be placed on an untouchable pedestal that goes against free will?

ryan.cordova
ryan.cordova topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @ryan.cordova @Monkey You do know that ANY city/county in Colorado can ban all sales of ANY type, right? Whether it's a tobacco store, a porn shop, a strip club, or the local liquor store, every county has the right to decide what types of businesses are present within their jurisdiction.

But really, what is your problem with democracy? Or is it just that you hate freedom that much?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ryan.cordova ... so where's your citation to Boulder having a moratorium on "fast food stores" ?

LOL!

Keep lying, stoner.

ryan.cordova
ryan.cordova topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay Boulder still has a moratorium on new dispensaries. P.S. Boulder also has a moratorium on fast food stores.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ryan.cordova ... the most liberal pro-pot city in Colorado is enacting a moratorium BEFORE A64 even becomes law ... 

WINNING! ... lol!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ryan.cordova @DonkeyHotay @tutonehcc 

You do know that 84 (EIGHTY FOUR) cities and/or counties have already BANNED medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado.

Are you really deluded enough to think that any one of them is going to reverse course and allow recreational pot shops?

ccapra
ccapra

@DonkeyHotay You forgot to add, it doesn't cure cancer, end world hunger or bring peace in the middle east.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines 

A64 = a continuation of Criminal Prohibition against 10s of THOUSANDS of marijuana users and growers in Colorado.

A64 will NOT reduce a SINGLE ARREST for Marijuana Crimes -- misdemeanors and felonies -- in Colorado.

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