The city of Colorado Springs has decided not to regulate or sell recreational marijuana. The decision came July 23 when City Council voted 5-4 to opt out of regulating marijuana.
The council listened to more than two hours of community testimony for and against recreational pot sales before the vote.
Some council members said they wanted to vote with the majority of the people in their districts and would therefore vote for the sale of recreational marijuana.
Others said it was a hard decision to make. They said marijuana is still illegal according to the federal government, and they couldn’t justify going against those federal laws.
Five council members voted for opting out of regulating recreational pot, and banning its sale in Colorado Springs as a result. Those council members are: Merv Bennett, Don Knight (District 1), Joel Miller (District 2), Andy Pico (District 6) and Val Snider.
Those that voted against the measure were: Helen Collins (District 4), Jill Gaebler (District 5), Jan Martin and Keith King (District 3).
"We have an opportunity to be the leader in Colorado and create regulations that work for cities," Martin said.
"I can't support legislation or activity which would violate federal law," Miller countered.
The decision isn’t the end for those supporting recreational sales. It can be put back on a voting ballot in 2014 and would essentially start the entire process over.
No changes will be made for medical marijuana businesses in Colorado Springs.