Colorado Springs City Council retains ban on marijuana retail sales

By Monica Mendoza Updated: August 14, 2013 at 8:11 am • Published: August 13, 2013 | 8:35 pm 0

Retail pot stores will not open in Colorado Springs.

The City Council on Tuesday reaffirmed its vote to ban retail marijuana sales for recreational use despite rumors that council member Val Snider would change his vote.

"I stand by my vote," Snider said just before the meeting.

Snider was swing vote last month in a 5-4 vote to ban retail marijuana sales for recreational use. Tuesday was the council's second reading of its ordinance.

Mark Slaugh, Southern Colorado coordinator of the Amendment 64 campaign and local business owner, asked council to reconsider its vote to ban retail pot stores. He proposed a compromise that the City Council - which said it was worried about children and military personnel having increased access to marijuana - allow only manufacturing, cultivation and lab testing of marijuana.

"Why does it have to be all or nothing?" he said.

Other residents did their best Tuesday in their three-minute pleas to persuade the council to overturn the ban. One resident choked back tears as she pleaded for the regulation of sales and to uphold the will of the voters. Colorado Springs voters approved Amendment 64 in November by 4,947 votes.

But none of the five council members opposed to retail marijuana sales budged.

Slaugh said residents will fight back. Citizens are organizing, he said, to get the issue on the November 2014 ballot. The group wants to ask voters, again, whether they support Amendment 64 and the regulation of retail marijuana sales for recreational use.

"We will organize all voters who said 'yes' on Amendment 64 and those who believe government should act responsibly and be accountable to the voters," he said.

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