It's one of the most divisive issues our community has seen in years, and a county ballot measure will gauge public opinion come Nov. 2. Here's what our announced candidates for mayor had to say on medical marijuana.
Brian Bahr Owner of Challenger Homes
Old North Gate Road
Is the MMJ debate a big deal, or much ado about nothing? I certainly think that there's a lot of citizen interest in this issue, and I can understand both sides have a vested interest in the outcome of where we end up with this.
Do you think locals should vote on whether or not it belongs here? I believe that we should let the local citizens decide whether or not it belongs in their community. That's my position on it.
How are you going to vote on the county MMJ issue in November? Personally, I will vote against having it in our county. I believe that medical marijuana has the potential to add revenue to our city and to our county coffers, but I believe that morally we should be discouraging our youth and others from being around that. ... But I do also respect the rights of the voters in Colorado to make it legal.
Do you know anybody who's used MMJ to manage his or her health? I don't.
If you suffered from chronic pain, would you consider using it? No.
If you are not elected, what advice would you give the mayor-elect concerning medical marijuana? I would again encourage that they allow the citizens to decide what goes into their community.
Ken Duncan Unemployed
South Academy Boulevard
Is the MMJ debate a big deal, or much ado about nothing? I do think it's a big deal, in terms that it needs to be discussed. Quite honestly, I'm for medical marijuana. ... The biggest concern for me right now is the number of dispensaries popping up all over the place. I don't want to cheapen the validity of its medicinal purposes. I like to see this happening. Quite honestly, I'm clean and sober — wasn't always that way, don't mind saying that, it's just the truth.
Do you think locals should vote on whether or not it belongs here? I'm always for a vote. I do not like to see government make their decision based upon what they think is best. We elect them to do somewhat that, but no, I prefer a vote on just about everything.
How are you going to vote on the county MMJ issue? I would vote against a ban.
Do you know anybody who's used MMJ to manage his or her health? At this point, no, I do not.
If you suffered from chronic pain, would you consider using it? Yes, I would.
If you'd been mayor this past year, how would you have handled the MMJ issue? I think I would've embraced it, but I may have been on the side of regulating dispensaries just a little stronger.
Buddy Gilmore Co-owner of Shape Technologies
Is MMJ a big deal, or much ado about nothing? I think it's much ado about nothing. The long answer is, I'd like to see the Council and the county commissioners work within their purview and provide the right kind of voices that support the amendment that we passed 10 years ago.
How are you going to vote on the county MMJ issue? I guess I would vote against [banning centers] right now.
Do you know anybody who's used MMJ to manage his or her health? No.
If you had been mayor this past year, how would you have handled the issue? I would be pushing the Council to step up to the plate, and rather than having it go to vote, I would rather the people look at next April, and if you don't like the way our City Council is handling the issue, then vote them out and put somebody else in there.
If you're not elected, what advice would you give the mayor-elect concerning MMJ? I would ask him to provide a level of leadership that spends a little more time with the Council members and helping to develop some good ideas that support the folks that need the medical marijuana, as well as supporting the folks that don't want the dispensaries close to our schools or our churches.
Dave Munger President, Council of Neighbors and Organizations
Do you think locals should vote on whether MMJ belongs here? I think medical marijuana certainly belongs here — I mean, we've settled that issue at the state level. I think in general, when there's a controversial issue, I'd prefer to have the public have an opportunity to discuss it at length, and putting it on the ballot would certainly guarantee that.
How are you going to vote on the county MMJ issue? You know, I haven't decided that. Since it deals with the unincorporated areas, I'm going to give that some more thought.
Do you know anybody who's used MMJ to manage his or her health? Yes, [for an] arthritis condition of one sort or another.
If you suffered from chronic pain, would you consider using it? I'd certainly consider it.
If you'd been mayor in 2010, how would you have handled the issue? I would've taken a more comprehensive approach. I would've tried to be more inclusive. ... I would've also wanted to give more direction to city staff in the preparation of the proposed ordinance. The other thing I would've done is make sure that the dispensary owners, or prospective dispensary owners, were fully informed about existing zoning regulations.