Counties in Colorado Already Moving to Ban Marijuana Retailers

Before the proverbial smoke has even cleared (pun intended) after legalization of an ounce or less of marijuana for everyone aged 21 years or older became official, some counties in Colorado are already moving to ban the next phase of Amendment 64’s implementation: legal and state-regulated marijuana retailers.

Officials in Douglas County, Colorado has already voted to ban commercial marijuana businesses, and proposed bans are progressing in Weld and El Paso counties. Commissioners in Larimer County are scheduled to meet on the issue January 14th.

yeson64_16-3009“The rules are so wide open, I don’t think we even know which way is up right now,” said Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter.

“The only thing that I might consider at this stage of the game is a temporary moratorium, not so that we can say, ‘No way, not in Larimer County,’ but so we can get our arms around the situation,” Gaiter said.

It’s not surprising that some counties feel the cons outweigh the pros in the early stages of legalization, especially the more conservative ones. But when marijuana retailers start popping up in other counties and the sky doesn’t fall, they will look closer at the issue. And when they see the tax revenues being generated, they will revisit the issue altogether.

Another Larimer County official agreed with Lew Gaiter. “That might be a wise thing until we have a level playing field and some certainty for people,” Commissioner Steve Johnson said about a temporary moratorium. “Our job is to carry out the wishes of the voters in the best way for Larimer County,” Johnson continued. “To ban the sale completely of something that according to state law people can legally possess and use is going to force them to obtain it illegally in the county, and that is not a good situation.”

That should be the biggest reason for counties to allow retail marijuana sales, to undercut the black market and reduce violence on the streets.

“There’s a lot of gray area around this that we need to define, but for me to say a hard, ‘No, no way, no matter what,’ I’m not there — or a hard yes under any circumstances, I’m not there either,” Gaiter said.

People in Colorado are in for a long road of rule-making and changing when it comes to recreational marijuana. There is no blueprint for legalization and in essence officials in Colorado and Washington are making the blueprint.

It will likely be several years before the full impact of legalization is felt in these states, and then we will be able to see how well the experiment is going.

– Joe Klare

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  • steve

    I don’t c aproblem tax it sell it and make money thats what this country needs and keep the cartel out,we don’t need to be in Mexico get out and put the men at the borders to keep out unwanted ones,The problem is in the parents not tellin the truth to their kids,and i know a few who didn’t tell the truth,i didn’t lie to my son i told him what it was and there is a time and place like alcohol,but i didn’t lie to him so that took the curiosity out of it don deal,,,

  • steve

    and don’t take it so serious,would u be fussin if it was alcohol or cigarettes???