4

Marijuana and Colorado Springs cops: Should dispensary taxes be used to fund police?

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

One of the main arguments for the marijuana-legalization measure that Californians will vote on today is the tax revenue that legal pot would bring to struggling communities -- ones like Colorado Springs, which may launch a police squad funded by a new pot of pot money

While the community is seen as one of the most conservative around (and, true to form, El Paso County, in which the city is based, will be voting on whether to ban dispensaries outright in the November 2 election), so far Colorado Springs has been downright liberal in spending the $50,000 a month sales tax revenue it's been collecting from MMJ businesses. A perfect example: The city council may launch a new police unit funded solely through medical marijuana money -- one dedicated to policing the marijuana industry.

The development of a pot-fueled police force seems like a no-brainer. After all, what better way to use MMJ revenue than to monitor the MMJ industry itself? If approved as part of Colorado Springs' 2011 budget, the unit would involve three detectives and a code-enforcement officer dedicated to making sure the municipality's dispensaries, now officially called medical marijuana centers, are up to snuff. Hard to imagine many people would oppose the move, although we expect such forward-thinking concepts to emerge from the People's Republic of Boulder, not ground zero for Focus on the Family.

And as long as dispensary sales are going to bankroll the squad, maybe its official name should reflect that. How about Kush's Keystone Kops?

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana lawsuit: Jessica Corry on why dispensary ban shouldn't be on El Paso ballot."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.