Palmer Lake residents plan to fight their City Council's ban on pot sales.
The city clerk, Tara Berreth, received a letter of intent Monday that seeks to circulate a petition to overturn the council's 4-1 vote on Aug. 8 banning the sale of marijuana for recreational use. Council members said they didn't want in their family-friendly town north of Colorado Springs to become the Amsterdam of El Paso County.
Other neighboring cities and counties have banned marijuana sales for recreational use, and they worried about being overrun with a drug-using element, they said.
Residents who favor the sale of marijuana for recreational use want to circulate a petition to get a question on the April ballot asking the town's voters to overturn the ordinance. They are waiting on the town clerk to tell them how many signatures they need to get the issue on a ballot, said resident Jim Adams, who did not file the letter of intent but plans to help circulate the petition.
Berreth said this is the first time she has received such a request, and she did not know how to proceed so she was researching the issue. She declined further comment.
Palmer Lake residents, who spoke during the Aug. 8 public hearing, were evenly divided on the issue.
But Adams said Palmer Lake residents voted in November to approve Amendment 64, which allows local governments to regulate marijuana retail sales the same way it would alcohol sales.
"This is a civil rights issue," he said.
It's the second citizen-led action in the Pikes Peak region stemming from a council's rejection of retail marijuana sales. Last month, a Colorado Springs attorney sued the city over the legality of its move to ban recreational marijuana sales. Dennis James Sladek contends that language in Amendment 64 allowing municipalities to "opt out" of marijuana sales conflicts with his right to sell a legal substance.