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Pueblo's marijuana museum fizzles 

click to enlarge Museum aside, Pueblo’s still got it. - BROOKE WARREN/HIGH COUNTRY NEWS
  • Brooke Warren/High Country News
  • Museum aside, Pueblo’s still got it.
Nearly a year ago, voters in the city and county of Pueblo rejected efforts to roll back retail marijuana sales by margins greater than the vote to establish them in the first place. After a heated campaign, the decisive defeat of Propositions 200 and 300 sent a message that Pueblo voters were not having second thoughts about recreational marijuana, which has been championed as the region’s new economic hope.

To ride the momentum, right after election results rolled in, some members of the pro-marijuana campaign announced plans to create the first ever National Marijuana Museum in Pueblo. Paired with the Institute of Cannabis Research at Colorado State University at Pueblo, which is now in its second year, a similarly themed museum would make Pueblo’s new media-hyped moniker — “the Napa Valley of Weed” — start to feel more earned than aspirational.

At the time, the spokesperson for the campaign, Jim Parco, who owns Mesa Organics (a recreational dispensary in Pueblo County) and teaches economics at Colorado College, said, “With Pueblo County as the leader in the national legalization effort, it is now time to lead the effort on improving education and knowledge of marijuana’s rich history — scientifically, socially and culturally.”

But now, coming up on that announcement’s anniversary, it seems the effort never quite took off. Parco emailed the Independent last week to say: “I think we are going to pull the plug on the idea. We can’t get traction from local politicians or businesses, which is really what this was designed to help, so I’m no longer pushing this idea further and am guessing that no one else is either.”

He went on to explain that right after last year’s election, when the idea was still fresh, he assembled a team of 10 volunteers to move the project forward. While “everyone liked the idea,” according to Parco, “no one would sign on to help develop, build or promote it.”

No doubt, it’s disappointing. “Having a museum like this in a community would do wonders to drive tourism,” he says. “Some other city will end up with it and benefit greatly. Just not Pueblo.”

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