City of Manitou Springs Retail Marijuana Ban, Measure 2G (November 2014)

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A City of Manitou Springs Retail Marijuana Ban, Measure 2G ballot question was on the November 4, 2014 election ballot for the voters in the city of Manitou Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, where it was defeated.

If approved, this measure would have prohibited the retail sale of recreational marijuana in the city of Manitou Springs. This measure was spearheaded by a group called No Retail Marijuana in Manitou Springs, which was responding to the January 21, 2014, decision by the Manitou City Council to allow marijuana dispensaries to operate inside city limits, making Manitou Springs the first city in El Paso County to allow retail pot sale. The Colorado Springs council voted against it in 2013.[1]

While many city and county governments have decided to pass ordinances banning or restricting recreational marijuana retail, this measure was one of the first chances for voters to exercise a local vetoing power against Amendment 64, which was approved by voters state-wide in 2012.

The group No Retail Marijuana in Manitou Springs, led by business owner Tim Haas, circulated a signature petition to put this measure on the November ballot. The petitioners needed to collect at least 287 valid signatures. According to the city clerk's office, they turned in 465.[1][2]

Election results

City of Manitou Springs, Measure 2G
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No1,80364.97%
Yes 972 35.03%

Election results via: El Paso County Elections

Background

City and county ordinances

As of February 14, 2014, the following cities and counties have approved local ordinances temporarily or permanently banning retail marijuana since the approval of Amendment 64, legalizing marijuana on the statewide level.[3]

  • Weld County
  • Otero County
  • Morgan County
  • Garfield County
  • Fremont County
  • El Paso County
  • Douglas County
  • Cañon City
  • Castle Pines City
  • Colorado Springs City
  • Durango City
  • Erie City
  • Broomfield City
  • Estes Park City
  • Fort Collins City
  • Fort Morgan City
  • Glenwood Springs City
  • Grand Junction City
  • Greeley City
  • Lafayette City
  • Lamar City
  • Longmont City
  • Montrose City
  • Norwood City
  • Palmer Lake City
  • Paonia City
  • Pueblo City
  • Thornton City
  • Vail City
  • Wheat Ridge City
  • Windsor City
  • Woodland Park City
  • Dillon Town

Text of measure

Ballot question

The question on the ballot appeared as:[4]

As permitted in the Constitution of Colorado article XVIII section 16(5), shall the city of Manitou Springs, Colorado prohibit the operation of retail marijuana stores as defined in the Constitution of Colorado article XVIII section 16(2) by enacting an ordinance amending the Manitou Springs municipal code, leaving intact the constitutional protection for medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers provided by the Constitution of Colorado article XVIII, section 14?[5]

Support

Supporters

The group behind the initiative, No Retail Marijuana in Manitou Springs, was led by business owner Tim Haas, who employed around 120 seasonal and full-time workers and owned four businesses, including the Garden of the Gods Trading Post, at the time of the measure's defeat.[1][6]

Arguments in favor

Haas expressed concern that having marijuana readily available in the city could be harmful to the tourism industry that the city enjoys, as prospective tourists would no longer see the city as wholesome or family friendly. Manitou finance director Rebecca Davis said that about 47 percent of 2014 general fund revenue was expected to come from tourism-generated taxes, not including the $506,000 in city revenue looked forward to by the city from new on-street parking fees.[1]

Haas said, "I think part of Manitou's attractiveness is it's always been an eclectic group. It's an accepting community on a whole variety of different levels, and that's part of the reason that I really like Manitou." He went on, however, to say, "In my opinion, perception is more important than reality. And a lot of potential visitors from out of the state, their perception is this is no longer going to be family friendly."[1]

Haas continued, "[But] even if this petition isn't successful, I'll feel a lot better by at least having people have the opportunity to vote one way or the other. Even if they say, 'Yes, this is absolutely what we want,' so be it. At least we know the answer to that specific question."[1]

The No Retail Marijuana in Manitou Springs website listed the following arguments in favor of prohibiting the industry by voting yes on this measure:[6]

1. Family-Friendly Destination: Manitou Springs is a family-friendly destination dependent on traditional tourism.

2. Manitou’s Image: Retail marijuana sales will change the image of Manitou and directly impact the local economy.

3. Improvements Over the Years Going in Reverse: Manitou has made huge improvements the past decade and as a result we have seen increased property value and sales tax revenue. This will reverse if families choose not to visit the area because of retail marijuana.

4. Financial Impact to the School District: A large percentage of students attending District 14 schools are “Choice” students. If their parents choose to have them go elsewhere, their state and federal money will go with them.

5. Marijuana is Still Federally Illegal: This is illegal federally and with eventual new administration, the federal choice to not enforce laws may change.

6. Increase in panhandlers: Panhandling will increase dramatically in the downtown area, further hurting the business area.

7. Crime Will Follow a Cash Only Drug Business: This is a cash business. A cash only business dealing with drugs will bring crime with it.[5]

Opposition

Arguments against

Those in favor of allowing retail marijuana believed it would actually bring additional tourism to the city, as well as additional tax revenue from the new industry. They advocated a "no" vote on this measure, which sought to ban dispensaries from the city.[7]

Bill Conkling, owner of medical marijuana shop Maggie's Farm, said, "I think there will definitely be some tourism with it."[7]

Aaron Bowles-Jacks said, "I believe it will be great for Manitou...bring plenty of business to the town, the family businesses, and it will help the schools here."[7]

Manitou Springs resident Eric Cook said, "It's something that's been in the making for a long time now. History has been said today and I'm glad to be a part of it."[7]

Manitou Springs Mayor Marc Snyder said, "I’m confident that the regulatory and licensing scheme that we passed will address at least everything that we can foresee. We’re going to try and keep a real tight lid on this and be ready to react in case we do experience any negative consequences.”[7]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Colorado

The group No Retail Marijuana in Manitou Springs, led by business owner Tim Haas, began circulating a signature petition in February 2014 to put this measure on the November ballot. The petitioners needed to collect at least 287 valid signatures and hoped to collect three times that many before June 1. The group succeeded in collecting 465 valid signatures, securing a place on the ballot for its initiative.[1][2]

The effort was a response to the January 22 city council approval of an ordinance allowing retail marijuana dispensaries in the city.[7]

Haas had this to say about the motivation of the group in putting this question to the voters of the city:[4]

Just for clarification I’d like you to know that we have moved forward with this simply because Council was unwilling to allow voters to voice their opinion on this specific issue. Our group is not attempting to pass moral judgment on the decriminalization of recreational marijuana or the other issues passed in Amendment 64. We are simply asking for the voters of Manitou Springs to be able to vote on this specific issue as to whether Manitou Springs should be the only place in El Paso or Teller County selling retail marijuana.

We believe that City Council over-stepped their authority by interpreting the results of 64 as a mandate for the City of Manitou Springs to allow rme’s. Further, we believe the cost to existing businesses, our schools, and our family-friendly community are to [sic] high to allow this without a fight.[5]

Similar measures

2014

Recreational

Approveda Washington D.C. Marijuana Legalization, Initiative 71 (November 2014)

Colorado:

Maine:

Approveda City of Lewiston Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)
Approveda City of South Portland Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Town of York Recreational Marijuana Legalization Measure (November 2014)

Massachusetts:

Michigan:

New Mexico:

Approveda Santa Fe County Marijuana Decriminalization Advisory Question (November 2014)
Approveda Bernalillo County Marijuana Decriminalization Advisory Question, Measure 1 (November 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Albuquerque Marijuana Decriminalization Measure (November 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Santa Fe Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative (November 2014)

Wisconsin:

Approveda Dane County State Legalization of Marijuana Referendum (April 2014)

Medical

California:

Approveda City of Santa Ana Council-Referred Medical Marijuana Regulation Ordinance, Measure BB (November 2014)
Defeatedd City of Santa Ana Medical Cannabis Restriction and Limitation Initiative, Measure CC (November 2014)
Defeatedd City of La Mesa Medical Marijuana Initiative, Proposition J (November 2014)
Defeatedd City of Encinitas Medical Marijuana Initiative, Proposition F (November 2014)
Defeatedd Nevada County Medical Marijuana Cultivation, Measure S (November 2014)
Approveda Butte County Medical Marijuana Ordinance 4075 Referendum, Measure A (November 2014)
Defeatedd Butte County Medical Marijuana Initiative, Measure B (November 2014)
Approveda Shasta County Outdoor Medical Marijuana Ordinance Referendum, Measure A (November 2014)
Defeatedd Lake County "Medical Marijuana Control Act" Initiative, Measure O (November 2014)
Defeatedd Lake County "Freedom to Garden Human Rights Restoration Act" Initiative, Measure P (November 2014)
Defeatedd City of Weed Permitting Licensing of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Advisory Question, Measure L (November 2014)
Approveda City of Weed Outdoor Marijuana Cultivation Ban Advisory Question, Measure K (November 2014)
Approveda Lake County Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance 2997 Referendum, Measure N (June 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Imperial Beach "Compassionate Access Ordinance" Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Act (June 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Napa Medical Marijuana Dispensary Referendum (November 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of San Jose Medical Marijuana Regulation Act of 2014 (November 2014)


Past measures

See also

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External links

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