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Boulder asks its residents: Will pot shops ruin the neighborhood?

Cities and towns all over Colorado are flummoxed over how to regulate the state's booming medical marijuana industry. Several have instituted moratoriums on new dispensaries until they can hammer out some rules; even more have at least considered ways to slow the industry's growth.

In Boulder, a city with a pot-friendly rep that hosted the kick-off of Cheech and Chong's Get It Legal tour this month, the city council approved an interim ordinance in November aimed at reigning in the number of pot shops in town.

Now Boulder is asking residents to weigh in on the interim rules, which are set to expire on March 31, as leaders look to craft permanent ones.

A survey on the city's website asks Boulderites whether they think the interim regulations -- which prohibit dispensaries within 500 feet of schools and day cares and requires that the shops be at least 500 feet from one another -- are too strict, not strict enough or just right.

It also asks whether residents think dispensaries will "have any impact (positive or negative) on neighborhoods in close proximity" to them. In other words, will a medical marijuana dispensary cause the neighborhood to go to pot?

Residents have until Monday to complete the survey, according to the Boulder Daily Camera, whose website features an ad encouraging Boulderites to take it. The city's planning board is scheduled to review a proposal for permanent regulations on February 18, and the city council will do the same on March 2. The council will vote on the rules March 16.

Aye, aye, aye.

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