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Woodland Park votes to prohibit sales of recreational marijuana

Published On: Jun 07 2013 09:29:00 AM CDT   Updated On: Jun 07 2013 08:35:26 PM CDT

City council members explain the close 3-2 vote.


The Woodland Park City Council Thursday night narrowly voted to prohibit the sale and production of recreational marijuana.

By a 3-2 vote, the council decided to ban the operation of marijuana cultivation facilities and sales, marijuana product manufacturing facilities, marijuana testing facilities, retail marijuana stores and marijuana membership clubs.

Mayor Pro Tem Eric Smith, Councilman Terry Harrison and Councilwoman Carrol Harvey voted in favor of the ordinance, which prohibits all but the possession of recreational marijuana.

Council members Gary Brovetto and Bob Carlsen voted against the ordinance. They were in favor of allowing sales of recreational marijuana.

That fact that marijuana remains illegal under federal law was a factor in the vote.  Harvey and Brovetto cited that as key, even though they voted differently.

"I didn't think we needed an ordinance," said Brovetto.  "The fewer ordinances and regulations we have, the better.  I'd like to see the federal government settle (the legality issue) and make it easier on us."

Harvey described the situation as "a quagmire" because there still is no method for recreational pot users to legally buy the drug.

"Organized crime has taken advantage to move in, unfortunately," she said.

Carlsen said the council's vote is inconsistent with the will of state voters, who approved legalizing marijuana by passing Amendment 64 last fall.

"I have a real problem with people who are for something, but not in their back yard," he said.  "People should be responsible for their own choices.  Individual responsibility as opposed to the government telling us what we can and can't do."

Brovetto and Carlsen compare the marijuana situation with Prohibition in the 1920s.  They consider marijuana to be not much different from alcohol and tobacco.


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