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Marijuana: Springs ballot question hits snag, House votes for MMJ and more

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About that ballot question

Every Vote Counts (facebook.com/EveryVoteCountsRAG), the group pushing Colorado Springs City Council to add a recreational-marijuana question to this November's ballot, did indeed speak before Council last week. But what came of it was ... not much.

"They did come and requested we consider putting a measure on the ballot but it was just sort of left hanging," writes Councilor Jan Martin in response to emailed questions. "Nothing was given to us ... with suggested ballot language."

Councilor Jill Gaebler adds, "A few people spoke, but until they come to us to discuss the actual ballot wording and allow the City Attorney to review, it's all just talk."

EVC leader Mark Slaugh says the lack of concrete information was a product of "miscommunication and scheduling conflicts" with City Council, and that the group indeed is planning on floating a question designed to undo the Springs' ban.

"You're correct in that they never had a copy of the ordinance," he writes via email. "We have been trying to track down meeting times to present it and many have been too busy to coordinate their schedule with mine. The effort is still underway and we hope they will allow us a choice."

Extraordinary enactment

The U.S. House of Representatives invigorated marijuana advocates everywhere last week, approving a measure that would bar the feds from acting against states' medical-marijuana laws. The amendment was attached to the Commerce, Justice & Science appropriations bill.

"None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used ... to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana," it read. The vote was 219 to 189, drawing the support of 49 Republicans, including Colorado's Rep. Mike Coffman. Local Rep. Doug Lamborn voted against.

The full funding bill still has to be considered by the Senate; we left a voicemail with Sen. Mark Udall to determine his support, but it was unreturned as of press time. In an emailed statement from his press office, Sen. Michael Bennet says: "Generally, Senator Bennet believes the federal government should find ways to honor and respect Colorado state laws dealing with legitimate medical marijuana use," it reads.

Even if the amended bill were signed into law, it's unclear what the effect would be, as Vanderbilt University law professor Robert Mikos told the Denver Post last week. "It would be difficult to predict what this means."

Puff, puff, puff ...

Hit the Lazy Lion (2502 E. Bijou St., thelazylion420.com) at 4:20 p.m., Saturday, June 7, to prove your puffing prowess at its Bong-a-Thon. The person fastest to smoke a gram gets free tickets to the 31st Colorado Invitational Bong-a-Thon in Denver on Aug. 2.

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