El Paso County Commission votes to ban retail marijuana sales

Filed under: Daily News |

El Paso County Commissioners voted yesterday to ban retail marijuana sales after the practice won statewide voter approval with the passage of  Amendment 64 last month.

Amendment 64 legalized the retail sales of recreational marijuana but allowed local governments to ban the practice.

Commissioners voted 4-1, with Peggy Littleton dissenting, to approve an ordinance that would prohibit marijuana cultivation  and retail stores in unincorporated areas.

The ordinance will go before commissioners for second reading and final approval Jan. 15.

Members of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance’s applauded the commissions action, saying tha allowing retail marijuana sales could damage the region’s ability to attract defense companies.


2 Responses to El Paso County Commission votes to ban retail marijuana sales

  1. With the county, it is not difficult to arrange your schedule to be at all the ‘public input’ parts of the public process in matters of this importance.

    Staci Lynne Holdt
    December 20, 2012 at 11:53 am

  2. Mrs. Holdt

    The county did provide the required notice on their website of the resolution to ban the use of marijuana on a recreational basis in unincorporated parts of the county. If fact, ample advance notice (more of a warning) was given when shortly after being re-elected, on 06 Nov. Commissioner Lathen declared the county would hear a resolution to ban this use with no public input prior to the date of the resolution being heard.

    The disappointing side of this is there has been no joint city-county agreement on this subject as this was a one-sided decision on the part of the county commissioners without either the city or the county benefiting from the report by the Governor’s Task Force.

    On Tue 18 Dec 2012, in open public session, speakers from within the public overwhelmingly requested the commissioners hold off on a decision until the Governor’s Task Force had time to provide guidance from the State. The commissioners opted to again ignore the public and voted 4 to 1 on the ordinance, Peggy Littleton abstaining.

    What is alarming is the prearranged provision for a microphone to be provided in the very back upper loge of the hearing room so that Joe Reich, purporting to speak on behalf of the newly formed Regional Business Alliance, out of view of the public and the cameras – purporting to represent the Alliance stated their support of the ban:

    ”But Joe Reich Jr., a member of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance’s Military Affairs Council, said the matter required swift action. He said the council has “grave concerns” about the ability to attract additional high-tech and defense companies to Colorado Springs after passage of Amendment 64.”

    Read more: http://www.gazette.com/articles/county-148683-marijuana-facilities.html#ixzz2FgxLcGz5

    While I seriously doubt the RBA would act in such a highly irresponsible manner and render a decision on such an important issue, prior to state level guidance, the impression Mr. Reich was speaking on behalf of the Regional Business Alliance was left heavy in the minds of those in attendance.

    Again, this points to the need for the formation of a qualified panel of non-aligned, non-political accountants and economists who can act as a high level of coordination between the city the county and the various civic organizations within the region in order there be a regional strategy. The present ‘scattered and disjointed’ level of local government tends to have a negative impact on voters when funding issues for needed improvements come before voters. With the extension of PPRTA and the much needed .23 cent tax measure for the Sheriff Dept, the score still stands at 24 out of 28 funding measures being defeated. Increasing levels of unfunded regional needs, and no employers moving to the area to add to the employment rolls is creating a new era where the terms ‘insolvency and chapter 9 reorganization’ are entering into local discussions.

    This matter will come up for a second reading on Tuesday, 15 Jan 2013.

    Rick Wehner
    December 21, 2012 at 7:27 am