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Colorado Springs voters vote against recreational marijuana

Posted at 12:38 AM, Nov 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-09 21:17:19-05

On Tuesday, Colorado Springs voters decided against recreational marijuana sales in the city.

Ballot issue 300 would’ve legalized recreational pot, and ballot issue 301 would’ve determined tax distribution.

“Your Choice Colorado Springs” is the campaign who pushed to get the measures on the ballot. The campaign says Colorado Springs forfeits up to $15 million in tax revenues annually to neighboring cities.

As results were coming in, News5 spoke to Anthony Carlson, the campaign manager for the effort. He said it’s become more difficult to be a business owner who owns a medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado Springs.

He brought up new state legislation that went into affect earlier this year, that limits how much medical marijuana someone can buy at dispensary. Since then, there’s been a significant decline in sales, and business owners are struggling right now.

He said Tuesday night’s results, mean their future in the industry remains questionable for many business owners.

“Unfortunately in real terms, what this means for a lot of those folks tonight, is they’re going to have to go back to reevaluate and continue doing business, because a lot of those folks were pushed up against the wall, and this was their last gas in being able to continue their business and continue being entrepreneurs,” said Carlson.

Those who are opposed to the measures believe legalizing the sale of cannabis will cause more mental health and drug issues among kids. Mayor Suthers and City Council have strongly oppose the sale of recreational marijuana since it was legalized in Colorado in 2012.

If the measures were passed, a 5% sales tax would’ve fund public safety, veteran services and mental health programs.

More info on the ballot issues can be found below.

City of Colorado Springs Ballot Issue 300:

An initiative from supporters of recreational marijuana is on the ballot in Colorado Springs as Proposition 300 for authorizing the regulation of recreational marijuana in the city, which currently only allows medicinal marijuana sales.

City Officials have expressed their disinterest and hope the city votes against the measure, City Council passed a resolution in October expressing their opposition to 300 and 301. While supporters of the initiative are arguing that the city is already losing large amounts of tax revenue that could be put back into community programs and projects.

As of 10:00 pm, Colorado Springs Ballot Issue 300 is sitting with 57% of the vote against the issue.

City of Colorado Springs Ballot Issue 301:

If the measure on recreational marijuana is passed ballot measure 301 is asking for the city to increase taxes by $5,600,000 annually with a marijuana sales tax of 5% that would generate revenue to solely be used in funding public safety programs, mental health services, and post-traumatic stress disorder treatment programs for veterans.

The city would also reserve the right to maintain any additional tax revenue generated through the tax to be used on voter-approved projects.

As of 10:00 pm, the Colorado Springs Ballot Issue 301 sits at 52% in favor of the amendment.

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