The city of Colorado Springs has taken a stance against the sale of recreational marijuana within its jurisdiction. Your Choice Colorado Springs, the group working to include the sale of recreational marijuana on the ballot, submitted a petition initiative in January. The City Title Board approved the text of the proposed initiative that would legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in Colorado Springs last week. This means that supporters can start collecting signatures and, if they collect enough signatures, the initiative will appear on this year's ballot.
Medical and recreational marijuana has been a controversial topic in Colorado, a state with a century-long history. Efforts are already underway to introduce recreational marijuana into Missouri legislation through a public referendum. Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers has been vocal in his opposition to recreational marijuana dispensaries in Colorado Springs. Your Choice Colorado Springs, the group that filed the petition, includes Karlie Van Arnam, who ran for Colorado Springs City Council last year.
If the initiative were to be voted on and approved, only existing medical marijuana dispensaries that are already operating in Colorado Springs will be able to sell recreational marijuana. If approved, people who buy recreational marijuana in Colorado Springs will pay the city a 5% tax, in addition to any other taxes imposed, according to the text of the vote. The group needs 19,345 signatures before June 20 to be able to include the measure at the polls this year, according to a spokesman for the public relations firm that represents Your Choice Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs loses tens of millions of dollars in taxes a year because city residents buy recreational marijuana in Manitou Springs, Denver and Pueblo, according to a statement released Monday by the group that filed the petition.
A group of Colorado Springs residents filed a petition Monday to include the sale of marijuana on this year's ballot. The two dispensaries are the most profitable recreational marijuana stores in Colorado, due to a lack of competition and an abundance of local demand, according to a January release from Your Choice Colorado Springs. If approved by voters, people who buy recreational marijuana in Colorado Springs will pay an additional 5% tax on top of any other taxes imposed by the state or local government. The stance of Colorado Springs on marijuana legalization and regulation is clear: it does not support recreational marijuana sales within its jurisdiction.
However, if enough signatures are collected and it appears on this year's ballot, citizens will have an opportunity to decide whether or not they want to legalize recreational marijuana sales within their city.