As El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark says, not every precinct in her west-side district voted for Amendment 64 in November. But most did, and by some of the largest margins in the county.
Yet when it came time to consider a ban on recreational-marijuana facilities in the county's unincorporated areas, Clark sided with three other commissioners and voted in favor.
With the fundamentals of representative government in mind — not to mention the fact that Commissioner Peggy Littleton voted against the ban, partly because her district also supported the amendment — we asked Clark why. In an interview with the Independent, she offers a variety of reasons: concerns about the tax issue getting resolved by the Legislature; wanting to send a message about the county's intent to be very deliberate when handling the issue; and ...
"And I am also sensitive to other commissioners," she says, alluding most specifically to Commissioner Amy Lathen, whose largely unincorporated district opposed the amendment. "So if something's going on in my district that impacts my constituents, a lot of times my other commissioners will look to me to say, 'We'll kind of follow your lead.'"
Deferential turf agreements aside, Clark says she'd be hesitant to act right now regardless.
"To me it's not about the [tax] money," she says. "It's really about making sure we're consistent with whatever we zone; and however we approach it, to make sure that we're in compliance with state and federal law."
Clark doesn't rule out the possibility that her, or the board's, position could change, as each sees what comes down the pipe, but she won't guarantee it either.
"Now, personally, I don't agree with it. I didn't vote for it; I didn't support it; I think it's gonna create more problems for our state," Clark says. "But, on the other hand, I will look at everything [later]."
• The Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council (csmcc-net.org) will have its quarterly mixer at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Warehouse Restaurant and Gallery (25 W. Cimarron St.). Expect a legal panel of Coloradans addressing the potential impact of Amendment 64; the event is free to attend.
• Denver's Cannabis University (cannabisuniversitycolorado.com) announced in a press release that it is now offering a Hemp Agriculture Seminar. "An experienced agronomist teaches the most current in hemp agri-practice," it reads. Cost is $450 for two attendees.
• In this issue you should find a copy of ReLeaf, our free guide to local marijuana. If yours is missing, come get one from our offices at 235 S. Nevada Ave., or find it here.