When it comes to marijuana, the power of the voter is finally sinking in.
So seem to read the answers of various Colorado Springs City Council candidates contacted by the Independent for their stance on Amendment 64. The measure — which passed in three of the city's six districts, according to a rough precinct-by-precinct analysis, and received more votes than any other ballot question in El Paso County — mandates the city either create a process to receive retail-marijuana applications by Oct. 1, or prohibit all the related facilities: grows, infused-products manufacturing, testing labs and stores.
What follows are those views as expressed in the candidates' own words. Those not listed were unresponsive to our requests for comment.
District 1 (northwest)
Yes: 49.8 percent; No: 50.2 percent
Tim Leigh (incumbent) is supportive. "While I'm not a fan and I don't use [marijuana], Amendment 64 is now constitutional law and I believe we must respect the vote of the citizens."
Joe Barrera is supportive. "The people of the state of Colorado have spoken, and it is their will, expressed by the passage of Amendment 64, that the sale and possession of recreational marijuana be made legal in Colorado."
Don Knight is opposed. He will "vote the will of the people of District 1."
Julie Naye is supportive. "If you're asking me if I'm for [Amendment 64], absolutely, for a number of reasons: I'm very pro-Constitution; and it's a victimless crime; and I am for legalizing everything, if you want to know the truth."
District 2 (north)
Yes: 41 percent; No: 59 percent
Angela Dougan (incumbent) is opposed. "I believe in the voice of the voters — and my district overwhelmingly said no to this industry."
Joel Miller is opposed. "Unlike alcohol, marijuana has no established legal driving limit and no statewide regulations on cultivation, testing or processing."
Yes: 59 percent;No: 41 percent
Brandy Williams (incumbent) is undecided, waiting to see what regulations the state creates: "One of the biggest concerns I have is doing all we can to keep it out of the hands of those 21 and under." Noting that MMJ centers could convert into retail stores, "that leaves an uneasy feeling in my stomach," she says.
Jim Bensberg is supportive. "I would respect the will of the voters, even though I voted against 64. I believe we can regulate and tax retail sales just like we do alcoholic beverages and products."
Tom Gallagher is supportive. "Not only can it produce revenue through sales tax on recreational retail sales, it could spawn a wave of entrepreneurial activity in the form of very lucrative consulting services companies."
District 4 (southeast)
Yes: 60 percent; No: 40 percent
Helen Collins is supportive. "Selling marijuana is now a lawful business. I don't want the City Council piling on to express its personal disagreement with the outcome of the election."
Gary Flakes is supportive. "I think that the citizens have voted for the recreational use of marijuana. I think that also we can have funding for our schools and at the same time it can generate revenue for the city."
District 5 (central)
Yes: 54.6 percent; No: 45.4 percent
Bernie Herpin (incumbent) is supportive. "The voters have spoken and A64 passed in El Paso County and Colorado Springs. I will vote to ensure we properly regulate the production and sale, as we did with medical marijuana."
Jill Gaebler is supportive. "The voters in District 5 overwhelmingly approved Amendment 64, and I will respect the will of the people expressed at the ballot box."
Al Loma is supportive. "[I] both believe in and support the federal and state Constitution. And [I] ought to because all City Councilors will swear an oath to defend the charter of Colorado Springs and the Constitution of Colorado."
Roger McCarville is supportive. "The voters approved Amendment 64. If elected, I will take an oath to uphold all the constitution all the time."
District 6 (northeast)
Yes: 47.6 percent; No: 52.4 percent
Ed Bircham is supportive. "Although I am disappointed that Colorado voters approved Amendment #64, my personal opposition does not afford me power to override the will of the people in our state."
David Moore is supportive. "Although there are still many unanswered questions, [I] ... will swear the oath to protect and defend the charter and the state constitution."
Andres Pico is opposed. "I voted against Amendment 64 and I have serious concerns about bringing that business sector into the city."
Jan Martin is supportive. "I would like to see us move forward with some city regulations and requirements."
Val Snider is supportive. "It's the law — we have to figure out a way to regulate it."
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