Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Manitou Springs pushes back against recreational marijuana

Posted by on Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 11:49 AM

click to enlarge Screen_shot_2014-02-05_at_9.45.00_AM.png

With Manitou Springs moving on recreational marijuana in the wake of the passage of Amendment 64 — looking to have two stores open by April or May — those who spoke in opposition to the city's plan want another crack at the overall question. 

To that end, the group No Retail Marijuana in Manitou Springs is collecting signatures to get a question on the November ballot. Here's the wording, as provided by group leader and Manitou businessman Tim Haas in an email to the Indy:
“AS PERMITTED IN THE CONSTITUTION OF COLORADO ARTICLE XVIII SECTION 16(5), SHALL THE CITY OF MANITOU SPRINGS, COLORADO PROHIBIT THE OPERATION OF RETAIL MARIJUANA STORES AS DEFINED IN THE CONSTITUTION OF COLORADO ARTICLE XVIII SECTION 16(2) BY ENACTING AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE MANITOU SPRINGS MUNICIPAL CODE, LEAVING INTACT THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS AND PRIMARY CAREGIVERS PROVIDED BY THE CONSTITUTION OF COLORADO ARTICLE XVIII, SECTION 14?”
Haas says the group, which has raised $1,360 to-date, needs 287 signatures to place the question on the ballot. 

"This is an organized effort that will canvas [sic] the entire town with volunteers," he writes. "I do not have a count on how many signatures have been collected but it is my hope that we will have most petitions turned back in by the end of February. I hope we will collect three times the number required."

In the meantime, here's the group's website, in addition to the postcard pictured above that was sent out to residents this week. The back of it, which is not pictured, reads "Use of medical and recreational marijuana will still be legal. This only refers to the provision in amendment [sic] 64 which allows communities to opt out of having recreational marijuana shops."

As for the group's philosophy, Haas offers this:

"Just for clarification I’d like you to know that we have moved forward with this simply because Council was unwilling to allow voters to voice their opinion on this specific issue," he writes. "Our group is not attempting to pass moral judgment on the decriminalization of recreational marijuana or the other issues passed in Amendment 64. We are simply asking for the voters of Manitou Springs to be able to vote on this specific issue as to whether Manitou Springs should be the only place in El Paso or Teller County selling retail marijuana.

"We believe that City Council over-stepped their authority by interpreting the results of 64 as a mandate for the City of Manitou Springs to allow rme’s. Further, we believe the cost to existing businesses, our schools, and our family-friendly community are to [sic] high to allow this without a fight."

There's also the Facebook page People Against Retail Marijuana in Manitou Springs, administered by Manitou resident Kari Kilroy.

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