A64: 1, Colorado Springs: 0
KC Stark faced down a Colorado Springs administration bent on closing his downtown social club, triumphing last week when City Council voted 5 to 3 to uphold A64's successful closure appeal to the Planning Commission. The club has been an integral gathering place for marijuana advocates, who saw it as their "Liberty Hall" and marched outside City Hall before the meeting.
The vote came after some tense moments, though, especially when Stark, angry that no individual has ever been identified as having been hurt by the club's existence, went after City Council and President Keith King. "I'm not here to beg for your acceptance — I demand it," the entrepreneur said, adding later: "You cannot take away my rights, period. You are overstepping your authority."
Of course, it wasn't Council that brought the original zoning complaint and related cease-and-desist notice — it was the Colorado Springs Planning Department. When previously questioned about who the original complainant was, director Peter Wysocki only said that it was internally generated, leading one Councilor to tell the Indy that they suspected it was being pushed by Mayor Steve Bach.
As Councilor Helen Collins put it at the meeting: "I think Mr. Wysocki was used as a fall guy, and I don't really agree with that." She added, "I do believe that we really need to get updated on regulations." Toward that end, Council directed staff to come back with a potential ordinance for related facilities.
Another bill, work-group
The Colorado Legislature is nearing the tail end of its session, but before that comes it's looking at ways to create an equivalency between marijuana derivatives and straight bud. Find the specifics here. The Marijuana Enforcement Division has announced formation of a working group "in advance of a formal rule-making process in order to discuss and consider reasonable amounts of active THC in retail marijuana products in proportion to product serving size."
The group will meet publicly at 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 30, in Aurora. Find a list of participants and more information at tiny.cc/6ft1ex.
• The latest poll from Quinnipiac University shows that 52 percent of Coloradans think marijuana legalization has been good for Colorado; 54 percent say driving has not become more dangerous because of weed; and 15 percent admit using it since Jan. 1.
• According to the Associated Press, Colorado will attempt to seek matching federal funds for child drug-use prevention programs by taking $3.5 million from its marijuana cash fund and sending it through the General Fund and on its way to a separate department. Sponsor Sen. Pat Steadman said the transfer "is what I'm calling money laundering."