Marijuana activists look at ways to overturn Colorado Springs ban on recreational pot sales

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As we noted yesterday, the odds that recreational marijuana sales in Colorado Springs would be prohibited have been rising due to assorted political maneuvering involving city council members and Mayor Steve Bach. But many observers were still surprised yesterday when a majority of councilmembers voted for a ban. Now, local activists are looking at ways to reverse this edict -- and none of them are easy.

Colorado Springs has a nine member city council, over which the community's mayor has veto power. It takes a two-thirds majority to override such a veto, which Bach had publicly said he would use if the council approved recreational sales. With three members on record as opposing sales and four in favor, that meant the two undecided officials -- Don Knight and Val Snider -- needed to support sales in order to take a mayoral veto off the table.

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Val Snider.
But earlier this week, Knight announced that he would oppose sales -- and at a meeting yesterday afternoon, Snider unexpectedly joined in with a "no" of his own. As a result, the final vote against recreational sales was 5-4, and Bach didn't have to use his veto to stop it.

The reasons most often voiced for opposing sales involved fears about increased access to marijuana by children, the fact that the substance remains illegal federally, and the opposition by officials from the military -- an enormous presence in the Springs, home to the Air Force Academy.

For Mark Slaugh, Southern Colorado regional coordinator for Amendment 64, as well as a particpant on an A64 Marijuana Enforcement Division stakeholder committee and a consultant with the cannabis-related business iComply, the opposition of Snider and colleague Merv Bennett was especially frustrating. Why? Because as at-large members of the council, they're supposed to represent the city as a whole, rather than only a part of it -- and Colorado Springs and El Paso County narrowly voted in favor of the amendment.

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Don Knight.
In contrast, Knight's opposition came as no surprise to Slaugh.

"We gave him a tour of a dispensary, and afterward, his only comment was that it gave him a headache," Slaugh says. Still, he adds that Knight is "a pretty reasonable guy, and if we'd shot down the ban, he might have voted for a moratorium, which would have made it veto-proof against the mayor. But then two of the three at-large members did not vote in favor of the people. Bennett and Snider basically threw the at-large vote under the bus."

Afterward, activists huddled to talk about strategy moving forward, and Slaugh points out that "we have a few options. One is to issue a citizen referendum and gather signatures to overturn the ban."

Such a move can take place within thirty days after a decision is finalized, and Slaugh believes that if the pro-sales forces move quickly, the matter could be on the ballot in November.

The other approach? Pushing forward with what he calls "a full-on initiative." But such an action can't take place until November 2014 -- and Slaugh believes a referendum would require fewer signatures.

In either case, Slaugh says, "we'll have to go back to the voters again -- and we feel we're gaining more and more momentum on this issue. I think we'll have a good opportunity to overturn this horrible mistake they've made."

Continue for more about the Colorado Springs City Council voting to ban recreational-marijuana sales.



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47 comments
woodsnake4462838
woodsnake4462838

I for one am glad to see that the people that are in charge, still live  in fear! It's amazing to me, that the same military commanders, who just declared it's OK to be gay in the service with the stroke of a pen, now can't figure out how to schedule a drug test for its members. There should be no change to how the military does business. It was contrary to doctrine before, and it is still contrary to doctrine now.  Yes you can puff peter, but NO you can't blow a bowl of weed. If I am an employer who has a "no intoxication on the job policy" and I  have random drug testing, there is nothing new. If I run a restaurant, and pay minimum wage, and I don't already have a program, there should be nothing new. If your employer tests for prescription  drug abuse, there is no change. If YOU don't want to smoke pot, then don't! If your employer doesn't want you to smoke pot, then make your own choice! Really, how hard is this? I for one, am more concerned about HEMP being deregulated, so we could actually develop some actual textile manufacturing, or something called a REAL JOB THAT PAYS.  The biggest and best thing about the upcoming recreational use law, is no more clogged police/prison/jury/courtrooms involving a plant that grows in every state in the union, and on almost every continent on the planet. With the change, our law enforcement folks can better spend their time and resources on bad things, like, oh I don't know,  METHAMPHETAMINE manufacture? Human trafficking? VIOLENT criminals? Child molesters? POLITICIANS? 

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

Just curious Michael, why pick on COS?  You didn't even mention Thorton, Westminster and Centennial who also banned the sale.  Additionally, no mention of the several other metro communities that are on a wait and see basis.  Are you prejudiced son?

I'm also wondering, if all the dickweeds that badmouthed the Springs based on your report, would say the same things about the communities surrounding Denver?  

Marcus Netters
Marcus Netters

Well to be far C Springs rather have Meth Heads than Stoners.

Sara Conrad
Sara Conrad

Not surprised at all. CoSprings = conservative haven.

Brian Myers
Brian Myers

Its just the first in what I suspect will be many towns/cities that won't allow the selling of Marijuana .

Underdog6
Underdog6

Colorado Springs is about to see a repeat of America's experience with Alcohol Prohibition.  We now have  a city where adults who can legally possess and privately consume but NO place to legally purchase.  This is a perfect repeat of alcohol prohibition where Production, Transportation and Sale of alcohol were illegal, but individuals could possess and consume..   .....  we know how well that worked out.

Street dealers must be celebrating.  


Kyle Meyer
Kyle Meyer

I moved to the wrong city. Colorado Springs is run by a bunch of idiots.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

All you freaking, brain-dead morons are just jealous.  We have our own fourteener - what do you have?  Let me think - smog, traffic and a whole bunch of liberal leeches.  And for the geniuses who believe Denver will get the business, have you ever heard of Manitou Springs?

OwsleyStanley
OwsleyStanley

Someone needs to start a delivery service from Security, Widefield, Fountain, Manitou etc. "Pot delivery into District 9."

Dustin Rule
Dustin Rule

Guess they don't plan on turning the street lights back on either.

Heaven Northrop
Heaven Northrop

Nope colorado springs is fantastic at refusing to make the city any money no big loss to Denver Metro area everyone will just cone here to buy we coukd use the extra money. Thanks Colorado Springs for making us so much money!!

Eason Polson
Eason Polson

i think its great! that stuff smells awful!

Schittphaiç Magü
Schittphaiç Magü

Didn't you get the memo? According to the self-proclaimed "champions of liberty" a.k.a Libertarian douchenozzles, this is akin to "paradise." Springs residents --and those elsewhere in "reel Murkah" (where basic services have been reduced or entirely scrapped) -- are "free" from the "tyranny" of lighted streets, competent public school teachers, and regular garbage collection, and instead, enjoy the "freedom" of suffering the consequences of OTHERS' irresponsible behavior and just good ole fashioned unfortunate circumstances that we have little to control over. LMFAO

HotaSucksDonkeyBalls
HotaSucksDonkeyBalls

Colorado Springs has never been the brightest nor the most open minded. I foresee mass migrations of marijuana dealers rushing to take advantage of the tax free black market and high demands. You would think a city nearing insolvency might think through their priorities more thoroughly.. 

Blake Kimmel
Blake Kimmel

not surprised one bit, what a weird town

Mane Rok
Mane Rok

...it's the fucking Springs...home of hypocritical pastors and the drone commanders. C'mon now.

Ben Trayvon Reel
Ben Trayvon Reel

As a guy who sells weed I'm glad they made this decision. More money for me

Gabriel Black Elk
Gabriel Black Elk

It will buy new school buses maybe even give some teachers some raises they deserve or maybe even open up a couple of Drung & Alcohol programs for those who need help shaking off a habit. That needs to be brought up to them. I hope they see it soon.

Jenny Castaneda
Jenny Castaneda

Seems like they should be banning the liquor stores 1st!

Liz Lopez
Liz Lopez

No and I'm not surprised when martial law hits that the whole place is going to be one big death camp. #UAF

Æriĉ Çicconē
Æriĉ Çicconē

How envious of the tax revenue will they be once the first year's totals come in from Denver, Boulder and other cities?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

                                   *** Get REGULATED, Bitches! ***

This is EXACTLY what YOU bargained for with that festering turd A64 !!

Reap what ye sow, clueless stoners.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Brian Myers ... reality FAIL!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Underdog6 ... because you're too stupid and/or lazy to grow your own, eh stoner?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Kyle Meyer 

HipTip: Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

hth.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@Schittphaiç Magü    So, shitpacker, sounds like you know absolutely nothing.  Typical loud-mouthed, liberal retard.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Schittphaiç Magü Memorable post, Magu. Thanks.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Blake Kimmel That's one way of putting it. Thanks for posting, Blake.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Eric Ciccone = another ignorant bong-sucking stoner

The Sales Tax revenues from the most popular cities to allow marijuana -- Boulder / Denver -- have come in at a pathetic 1/2 of 1% of total sales tax revenues.

The BIG LIE of massive $$$ windfalls from legal pot has been exposed.


fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @fishingblues   Gosh, donkey boy, really?  I wasn't aware the Taliban was active in Colorado.  You're soooooo knowledgeable.  

Do your little donkey legs sometimes trip over your huge donkey head?

lorena.town
lorena.town

@DonkeyHotay  Ummm.... they haven't started selling it yet so I'm not sure where these numbers come from. Maybe you have a link to back this up? We have to approve the tax on it (thanks to TABOR) and if that passes than the cities that allow it will start letting already in place Medical MJ clinics sell recreational MJ too starting in January.  Perhaps you have information I don't? 

lorena.town
lorena.town

@DonkeyHotay And lest you wish to insult me as a stoner, I'm a drinker not a smoker so please use the appropriate insults to show how much more intelligent you are than me. 

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