Wednesday, December 19, 2012

County ban on marijuana businesses moves forward

Posted By on Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Commissioner Peggy Littleton
  • Commissioner Peggy Littleton

Yesterday, the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners gave the preliminary OK to two measures restricting the use and sale of recreational marijuana.

The first resolution, which passed unanimously, banned the use or possession of marijuana on county property. So regardless of Amendment 64, you still can't smoke a joint at the county courthouse or in a county park.

The second resolution, Ordinance 13-01, which will prohibit "the Operation of Marijuana Cultivation Facilities, Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facilities, Marijuana Testing Facilities, and Retail Marijuana Stores in Unincorporated El Paso County," passed by a 4-1 vote.

The lone dissenting vote came from Commissioner Peggy Littleton.

"I made my case yesterday: It did pass in the state of Colorado and it did pass in El Paso County," she says in an interview with the Indy. "In my district, Commissioner District 5, which encompasses almost all of the city, it passed by over 54 percent. I told my constituents, while I personally voted against [Amendment 64], I told my constituents that I would collect data and make well-informed decisions.

"At this point in time, it is pre-emptive for us to rule on this without getting information from the governor's council, which should have some of its findings in the middle or end of January."

In the wake of the passage of Amendment 64, Gov. Hickenlooper formed a task force to "consider and resolve a number of policy, legal and procedural issues, involving various interests and stakeholders, to implement the new constitutional amendment."

"I don't want to act in haste and repent in leisure," Littleton says. "I want to collect data and information and see how other governing bodies act and respond to this amendement."

The next reading of the ordinance will take place the second Thursday of January.

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