Marijuana: Commercial pot shops prohibited in Douglas County as others consider bans

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A presentation, on full view below, outlines this history in detail. In 2000, voters in Douglas County voted against a constitutional amendment for medical marijuana. In 2006, a majority voted against the legal possession of marijuana for adults. In 2010, they voted to ban medical marijuana, and this year, 53.98 percent voted against A64.

"The votes of the people over those four elections made it very clear where our citizens stood," says Holmes. "This is what made the decision of the board that much easier.... It's fundamental to the board's decision."

Meanwhile, El Paso County has pushed ahead on a ban that is expected to go to the final approval stage in January. Boulder debated a ban and decided not to go forward with it; Weld County is in the process of considering an ordinance as well.

Those bans would all impact the unincorporated areas of the counties; cities and towns can also implement bans through local control. For example, the town of Parker has moved forward with such an ordinance. Holmes says she does not know of other municipalities in Douglas County that have passed bans.

"What's important for people to understand is that we're honoring the statewide vote," Holmes says, emphasizing that the ban is on commercial activity only. "We have to, it's a constitutional amendment."

A newly formed governor's task force is working on making recommendations on the framework for retail operations. And at least one of its members, Christian Thurstone, the addiction expert who we recently interviewed, says he hopes most areas implement bans.

"Anything that decreases the commercialization of marijuana is a good thing from the standpoint of adolescents," says Thurstone, who was very opposed to A64 on the grounds that it will increase teen pot smoking. "I think most of the state will probably follow suit.... We'll have to wait and see."

Continue for the full ordinance and the full presentation outlining Douglas County's past votes on marijuana.

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Sam Levin
Contact: Sam Levin