Montrose City Council Says NO To Pot

Nov 9th @ 10:09 am in News by Scott Staley

This story came from THE WATCH Newspaper as written by William Woody

Two days after Colorado voters approved a controversial amendment legalizing marijuana for recreational use, the Montrose City Council said Thursday it is drafting a moratorium banning the commercial distribution of pot within city limits. The moratorium will likely be voted on at the Nov. 20 regular session of the City Council, said City Manager Bill Bell. Amendment 64, which allows people 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and grow up to six plants in their homes, also allows for marijuana to be taxed, as is alcohol, passed statewide with 54.82 percent to 45.18 percent, in Tuesday’s election. In Montrose County, voters rejected the amendment by nearly 2,600 votes, with a vote of 10,574 against, 7,976 in favor. “I think since our constituents voted against it, we should honor the constituents’ wishes,” Mayor Kathy Ellis said.

Both Colorado and Washington State passed marijuana legalization amendments; the Colorado amendment could take effect early next year. “We have the authority immediately to adopt a moratorium or to prohibit it,” said City Attorney Russ Duree, “or just to do nothing and wait and then it becomes that unfunded mandate, where the state will require that we adopt some sort of regulatory mandate or regulatory scheme to issue local licenses.”

Two years ago the city and county of Montrose banned medical marijuana dispensaries. The language used in that moratorium will likely be used in the upcoming recreational-marijuana amendment. “I just feel that what we went through with the medical marijuana,” said Ellis, “and I just think it would behove us to report to our constituents and say, ‘We will honor your wishes. “I think it makes sense to have a moratorium until we know more about it,” Ellis said. According to State law, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has until Jan. 5 to issue a proclamation certifying the amendment vote. It is possible that the federal government could step in and stop the amendment, through a court-ordered injunction.

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