Jun 11, 2010 9:14 AM by Matt Stafford

Ballot question for medical marijuana in Colorado Springs

Progress for medical marijuana businesses in Colorado Springs could come to a halt.

Colorado Springs' City Council passed a pre-application process for licensing medical marijuana businesses at their May 25th meeting. Steve Wind was at the meeting, arguing against the industry all together.

"I want the people of Colorado Springs to vote on whether they want to have medical marijuanas here," Wind said, shortly after the council passed the ordinance for the pre-application process.

Now he's a step closer to seeing that happen, he and others are starting an initiative to get a question on the ballot of an upcoming election, asking if there be an ordinance banning medical marijuana businesses in Colorado Springs.

The exact wording is: "in accordance with the "Local Option" provision of Colorado House Bill 10-1284, Section 1, 12-43.3-106, shall an ordinance be enacted which prohibits MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES OR CENTERS, OPTIONAL PERMISESCULTIVATION OPERATIONS, AND MEDICAL MARIJUANA-INFUSED PRODUCTS MANUFACTURERS' LICENSES from operating within the city limits of Colorado Springs Colorado."

The group has already written a proposed ordinance along the same line. When the Initiative Ordinance Proposal was filed June 1st, it was signed by Wind, his wife Linda Wind and Ann Vaughan DeVere.

"I don't think you can take away someone's constitutional right, and I think medical marijuana, like it or not, is a constitutional right - right now in the state of Colorado," says Colorado Springs City Councilman Sean Paige.

Amendment 20, allowing for medical marijuana, was passed by Colorado voters in 2000.

However, for Wind and his group, they want Colorado Springs to have an individual say, and possibly put recently signed House Bill 1284's "Local Option" to ban medical marijuana businesses in individual communities to use in the Springs.

Wind declined to comment until after Friday's meeting with the Initiative Review Board.

"I think if those people want to follow their process, go and try to put it on the ballot, I say go for it, but I think the city has its own process in place," Paige says.

The city's process is a work in progress. Paige says more ordinances, on land use issues and business licensing, are in draft form for the Council to consider down the road.

As for Wind's process, he should have a better idea Friday.

The meeting with the city's Initiative Review Board will work on the language of the proposed ballot question. After that, the group will meet with the Title Board. If they get the okay from both, the group will have 180 days to collect at least 11,470 signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

Deputy City Clerk Cindy Conway says this would all need to be completed by August 6th to make the ballot this coming November. If completed by December 27th, 2010, it could be put on the ballot in April of 2011.



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