Ban momentum?

Since our calls went unreturned, we can't say whether the anti-MMJ group Let Us Vote COS (letusvotecos.org) is experiencing success gathering signatures to place a dispensary ban on the November ballot. But a recent "call to action" taken verbatim from the group's website suggests a new tactic.

"Citizens and Friends of Colorado Springs, it's time to stop this insanity that is and will destroy our city," the site states. "Please tell the City Council to let the citizens of Colorado Springs vote on whether they want to ban marijuana dispensaries within the city limits. City council has the authority to refer this measure to the November Ballot."

An all-City-Council e-mail address is then listed, as well as Mayor Lionel Rivera's phone number.

So, Mr. Mayor, any contact?

"I've been receiving e-mails, along with all of City Council, urging us to put something on the November ballot," he said Tuesday, adding, "We're just now starting to get e-mails from the other point of view."

Let Us Vote COS actually has until Dec. 27 to collect the 11,470 signatures needed. Of course, the city clerk's office would have to see signatures earlier if the group wants to take the issue to a vote this year.

"They've got a task to try to get the number of signatures to get it on the November ballot, and I still think my preference would be, if they want to put it on the ballot, put it on the April ballot," the mayor says.

"It's a city election; we'll have candidates running for mayor, and running for City Council, that can state their preference [on the MMC issue]. It certainly would be a big issue for the election and I think probably get a lot more attention, and a lot more focus, from the citizens of Colorado Springs versus a November election."

Still searching ...

We at the Indy are nothing if not mulishly stubborn, so it's with that in mind that we return to the topic of the seven searched grows — from which no arrests have been made, or charges filed — from May this year.

As of Thursday, July 8, it's been 58 days since the grows were searched by Colorado Springs Police Department — with the help of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — and roughly three weeks since the Fourth Judicial District Attorney's office received the case files. D.A. spokeswoman Kathleen Walsh has told us the decision to file charges has no time estimate, with the info still "under investigation."

We filed a Colorado Open Records Request with CSPD requesting some information: all communication between the police, Homeland Security and the 4th Judicial District Attorney's office; how much the city was charged by the feds for the use of a plane, heat-imaging equipment and the services of two Border Patrol agents; or a cost estimate of the mission if the city was not charged.

Here's what we found out via CSPD Sgt. Darrin Abbink:

No communication records are available, as all communication between the three departments "[has] been by telephone or in person, and as such, there are no records to supply."

Luckily, there was no bill for services rendered from Homeland Security. Less lucky is the absence of a cost estimate for this surely expensive mission.

"The U.S. Department of Homeland Security would be the appropriate agency to contact reference the costs of their assistance," Abbink says.

So we did. And guess what? No comment, because it's an ongoing investigation.

"[And] just so you know, if you FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] something, and it's an ongoing investigation, they're also going to tell you that they can't provide any information," says Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Kelly Ivahnenko. "Due to the integrity [of the case], and making sure that we don't have any impact, there's not much we can say."

So, apparently the "ongoing investigation" will go on, as will our incurable curiosity.

Bud shake

• As of the July 1 deadline, Colorado Springs issued 451 licenses: 176 for medical marijuana centers, 204 optional grow licenses and 71 infused-products licenses. It earned the Springs $225,000 in revenue.

• The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (www.cdphe.state.co.us) has issued new patient application forms that comply with guidelines set out in House Bill 1284 and Senate Bill 109. Old forms will still be accepted through July 9, but returned to the applicant thereafter.

• Grace Midencey's Happy Farms bakery did not apply for an infused-products license. Midencey says she plans on taking a year to see "how things go with the MMJ industry, before putting that kind of heart and money into it."

Send MMJ news to bryce@csindy.com.


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