COLORADO SPRINGS — In November, voters will have the choice to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in Colorado Springs. Today, City Council passed a resolution opposing the measure.
Questions 300 and 301 relate to the legalization of recreational cannabis in the Springs and a 5% sales tax that would go along with it.
The resolution passed by a vote of 6-3, with councilmembers Bill Murray, Yolanda Avila, and Nancy Henjum opposing.
Councilmember Dave Donelson sponsored the resolution. He says he's worried about things like Colorado Springs' placement as one of the best places to live, the harms of cannabis use, the number of dispensaries that could sell recreationally, and "destroying the health and social fabric of Colorado with negative side effects" according to the resolution.
"This will give city councilmembers the opportunity to go on record, opposing or supporting, the ballot initiative legalizing retail marijuana. Before citizens vote, I believe they deserve to know where their city council stands on the issue," said Donelson.
Anthony Carlson is the campaign manager for Your Choice Colorado, the group that collected 98,000 signatures to get the two questions on the ballot this year.
He thinks that city council has more important things to do with their time and feels as if they're sharing messages of "reefer madness".
"There's a lot of more important things our city council can be taking on to make sure we're taking care of the challenges of this city, rather than wasting time today talking about an initiative that's in the past," said Carlson.
The city council resolution does not affect ballots for voters this November.
Here's what is on the ballot:
City of Colorado Springs Ballot Question 300 (Vote Yes/For or No/Against)
Shall the ordinances of the City of Colorado Springs be amended to:
- Authorize the regulation of retail/recreational marijuana establishments in the same manner as medical marijuana;
- Repeal the prohibition against retail/recreational establishments; and
- Authorize medical marijuana establishments to also be licensed as retail/recreational marijuana establishments without raising the cap on the number of locations set forth in City Code §2.2.104?
City of Colorado Springs Ballot Issue 301 (Vote Yes/For or No/Against)
SHALL CITY TAXES BE INCREASED $5,600,000 ANNUALLY BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2023, AND BY WHATEVER AMOUNTS ARE RAISED IN YEARS THEREAFTER, BY INCREASING THE RATE OF SALES TAX ON THE SALES OF RETAIL/RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA WITHIN THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS BY A RATE OF 5%, SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF FUNDING PUBLIC SAFETY PROGRAMS, MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES, AND POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER TREATMENT PROGRAMS FOR VETERANS; AND SHALL THE CITY BE PERMITTED TO COLLECT, RETAIN AND SPEND ALL REVENUES DERIVED THEREFROM AS A VOTER-APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE AND EXCEPTION TO ANY CONSTITUTIONAL, STATUTORY AND CITY CHARTER REVENUE AND SPENDING LIMITATIONS WHICH MAY OTHERWISE APPLY?
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