Ban on Medical Marijuana Will Be Recounted

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It was one of the most controversial questions on the ballot, and the race is so close that it will automatically be recounted.

Opponents of Question 1A, which would have banned medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated parts of El Paso County, questioned its constitutionality and attempted to block the voting process with a lawsuit. While their request for the votes to not be counted was overturned, in the end it may not have mattered.

At midnight Wednesday, Question 1A appeared to have passed. As of 2 p.m., additional ballots counted overnight have pushed the "no" votes slightly ahead, 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent.

There is a 331 vote differential between those who voted "yes" and those who voted "no," but with the numbers separated by less than 0.5% , the race will automatically be recounted.

El Paso County's Web site is showing that all precincts have been reported, with unofficial results.

But for now, it appears medical marijuana dispensaries may remain legal in all of El Paso County.

About 70 dispensaries and grow operations that are in unincorporated parts of El Paso County would have been affected and the close margin left business owners and their patients on edge.

"We were nervous," said Eric Hatch, owner of Hatch Wellness Center. He was watching closely because his business, which includes a dispensary and grow house, is in the county and was in jeopardy of being shut down.

"We worked everyday till the election," Hatch said.

Hatch says they tried to educate voters on the benefits of medical marijuana. "If you don't allow dispensaries it goes back to the neighborhoods and houses," Hatch said.

Medical marijuana patients like, Megan Higgins, were also relieved to see Wednesday mornings results. "I was so afraid that I wasn't going to be able to see my same caregiver. I was up all night worrying about it," Higgins said.

The results right now are still unofficial and it will take about two weeks for the Clerk and Recorders Office to certify them. And because they are so close, less than 1 and a half percent, by law there will be an automatic recount.

We're told that recount will take place in a couple of weeks once the results are official.

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