El Paso County voters reject marijuana expansion in new Gazette poll

By: Dan Njegomir, The Gazette
October 25, 2016 Updated: October 26, 2016 at 5:06 pm
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Interior of Studio A64, a Colorado Springs cannabis club Monday, September 19, 2016. The club is one of several that received Cease and Desist letters last week. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

Recreational marijuana may come to Colorado Springs someday, but that is certainly not the mood of voters today, according to a new Gazette telephone poll of 600 likely El Paso Country voters.

When asked, "Do you believe recreational marijuana sales should be expanded in Colorado Springs?" 62 percent of respondents in the county-wide survey answered "no," and 32 percent said "yes," with the rest undecided.

Of those surveyed who live inside Colorado Springs city limits - where a city-imposed moratorium prohibits retail sales of recreational marijuana - 61 percent were against expanded pot sales vs. 33 percent in favor. No marijuana questions are on this year's local or state ballot, but the question was posed as a potential hot topic.

Even among those surveyed in Manitou Springs - the only city in El Paso County where recreational marijuana sales are legal - 67 percent said they were opposed to expanding recreational marijuana sales next door in Colorado Springs.

Observed veteran pollster Floyd Ciruli, the survey's author from Colorado polling firm Ciruli Associates: "That is a pretty strong statement that there is no taste among voters for Colorado Springs changing its ban on recreational sales."

El Paso County's pushback at legal marijuana, in the middle of pot-friendly Colorado, comes as a counterpoint to recreational legalization initiatives on the ballot this fall in California and four other states. Polling shows those proposals stand a good chance of passing.

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