Let Us Vote ... later
Steve Wind always felt good about Let Us Vote COS' chances of getting an MMJ ban question on the ballot — maybe too good. It missed the Aug. 6 deadline to qualify for the November ballot, and he knows why.
"I guess probably we were a little bit overly optimistic," Wind says. "You know, we only had a month, from the time getting the petition to the deadline. So, being overly optimistic, we didn't get the amount needed for the November ballot. So we're pressing forward, and we will be getting enough signatures for the April ballot."
The group leader says he plans to turn in all collected material Dec. 15.
When pressed on how many signatures he had currently, Wind only repeated, "We had less than the 14,000 needed." Note: The actual required amount is 11,470.
I've received multiple calls and e-mails from center owners, worried the El Paso County Board of Commissioners will refer an MMC ban question to the ballot. Three conversations later, it seems that sentiment's about right. Commissioner Wayne Williams, who couldn't be reached, is rumored to support a referral; confirmed are Commissioner Amy Lathen and board chair Dennis Hisey.
"This originated in the ballot in 2000, obviously with Amendment 20. It was further defined on the ballot in 2006 when there was the question about 1 ounce of legalized marijuana, and that was rejected," Lathen says. "Now we obviously have the controversy over the dispensaries, and the grows, and the edibles, and so it seems to make a great deal of sense to go back to the ballot for further clarification from the people."
Hisey agrees, or is pretty sure he does.
"Boy, wouldn't everybody like to know what I'm thinking, including me," he says, laughing. "I guess I'm leaning towards referring it to the ballot. We've actually been encouraged by citizens on both sides of the issue during our public meetings to refer it to the ballot, and I'm not sure what that means, but I assume it means they both think they'll prevail."
Dissenting are Commissioners Sallie Clark and Jim Bensberg, whose districts include Colorado Springs.
"Generally speaking, I'm inclined to keep the regulations we have in place, and let the marketplace sort itself out," says Bensberg. "I think what we've had thus far has worked well in unincorporated El Paso County. We've regulated to four commercial zones, and I have not heard any complaints about the businesses in El Paso County that are operating under our guidelines."
Still unconfirmed is who can vote in a county election that only affects the unincorporated areas. County Attorney William Louis says other counties have interpreted the wording of House Bill 1284 as allowing only unincorporated citizens to vote, versus the entire county; both options will be presented to the board, he says, and the commissioners will choose.
All will be decided today, Aug. 12, starting at 9 a.m.; check the IndyBlog for meeting updates.
Not in my ...
Is it just me, or is this a little bit ... much:
"I've cried and cried and cried, and I'm going to cry some more because this is a huge problem."
That's Lakewood resident Lynn Nagel to Denver TV station KMGH. And the dolorific issue causing Nagel's grief?
"The mom learned, just a few weeks ago, that a dispensary will be moving into the vacant orthodontist office on the other side of her fence," says the recent report.
I know — I'm one leg deep in sackcloth just writing it. I call her reaction: Not in My Home Rule Municipality.
But is there reason for Nagel's concerns? Do patients, like she fears, drive through stationary objects, not to mention deliberately and maliciously medicate at her? What kind of neighbors are MMJ centers?
In a random and decidedly unscientific effort, we asked three businesses that question. Here's Samantha Sowles, receptionist at South Nevada Avenue's Windshields Express:
"They've been really good — really considerate. We had a bit of a parking problem, because we have a small parking lot, and they made a huge effort to make sure their customers weren't taking our parking."
She's talking about Natural Remedies MMJ (408 S. Nevada Ave., naturalremediesmmj.org). But, she adds, each of the three centers within rock-throwing distance have been great.
An employee at Rockrimmon's Shelter Insurance, who declined to be named, says neighboring Pure Medical 2 (207 Rockrimmon Blvd., Unit C, 264-0800) has been quiet. "It's like they're not even there," she says. Pure Medical is the center about which District Attorney Dan May had previously filed a citizen complaint.
My Wireless' regional manager David Urquhart says downtown's uHeal Apothecary (101 N. Tejon St., #102, uhealapothecary.com) is discreet, with no patient problems.
"They do a good job, and as far as smell or anything goes, we don't have any issues," Urquhart says. "Overall, I think they're good neighbors."
uHeal, for its part, says it has received smell complaints from lofts located above, but air purifiers seem to have fixed the issue.
The Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council (csmcc-net.org) has outgrown its former home and has moved to 313 N. Tejon St., #9, above Tony's Bar, through the red door. A celebratory open house will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 13. See "Noted" for more.
Send MMJ news to firstname.lastname@example.org.