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Council member Miller may be deciding vote on a November recreational marijuana ballot question

Published: June 13, 2014, 4:52 pm, by Monica Mendoza

It appears that it will come down to council member Joel Miller whether Colorado Springs voters will get a chance to vote on recreational marijuana sales in November.

Council members Val Snider, Don Knight, Merv Bennett and Andy Pico said they are not interested in putting the question on the ballot. They prefer that citizens collect the 19,861 signatures and get it on the ballot themselves.

“I will not be moving to put it on the ballot,” Knight said this week.

This week, council member Jill Gaebler asked the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would ask voters if the city should regulate marijuana sales in the same way it regulates alcohol sales. She asked that the ordinance include language that if approved by voters, would direct the council to write rules and regulations by a certain date after the November election.

Last summer, the council voted 5-4 to ban recreational marijuana sales in the city.

Colorado voters approved Amendment 64 in November 2012. Colorado Springs voters approved Amendment 64 by 4,947 votes.

The state law allows adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow six marijuana plants on their property. The law also allows cities to regulate the sale of marijuana for recreational use like it does alcohol sales. But cities can opt out of the law.

Following the City Council vote to ban, a grass roots organization Every Vote Counts formed to get the ban overturned.

The council will discuss the possible ballot language at its June 23 work session meeting and could vote on the issue at its June 24 meeting. Any ballot question would need to be finalized by the end of summer and sent to the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s office, which needs final ballots completed by September, said Ryan Parsell, spokesman for the county clerk and recorder.

 

HOW THEY VOTED IN JULY

Voted to ban: Val Snider, at-large; Joel Miller, District 2; Merv Bennett, at-large; Andy Pico, District 6; and Don Knight, District 1.

Voted not to ban: Jan Martin, at-large; Jill Gaebler, District 5; Keith King, District 3, and Helen Collins, District 4.