Manitou group asks to put pot back on ballot

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177098452A group of Manitou Springs citizens opposed to the city’s decision to allow the sale of retail marijuana has submitted petitions to put the issue back on the ballot.

The No Retail Marijuana in Manitou Springs group submitted “twice as many signatures as required for verification and referral to the ballot … to ensure that Manitou Springs opts out of retail marijuana sales as allowed for in Amendment 64,” according to a news release.

Now that the petitions are submitted, Manitou Springs City Clerk Donna Kast will work to determine that the petitions are sufficient, a 10-day process. If insufficient, the group will have a 10-day resubmit timeline.

The ballot question would only address retail marijuana policy in Manitou, leaving the city’s two medical marijuana dispensaries unaffected. The group needed 287 petitions for inclusion on the November ballot.

The group focuses on perception, concerned about the effects the retail marijuana policy — which would allow all visitors older than 21 years old to buy weed — might have on the business community, tourism and the city’s family-friendliness.

“As stated on our City’s web site, our community at the foot of Pikes Peak is a picturesque mountain community known for it’s friendly residents and historic charm” campaign treasurer Tim Haas said. “We are in no way attempting to pass moral judgment on the use of medical or recreational marijuana.

“We simply believe that the residents and businesses of Manitou Springs should not be the litmus test and the only community in the Pikes Peak Region to sell retail marijuana at least until there is more knowledge about the impacts on communities who sell retail marijuana.”