Jail and Marijuana

Aug 2, 2011 | Economy, Elections

The local political scene will be interesting this fall with a proposed marijuana business ban and jail funding on the ballot.

The County Commission appears to be ready to ask voters to repeal two existing 0.2 percent sales taxes (0.4 percent total) that are due to expire in 2012 and 2014 and replace them with a 0.375 tax that would expire in 15 years. The money would be used to pay for the operation of the county jails, which tax proponents say are over capacity.

The Coloradoan has a good article by Robert Allen on the jail tax and they’ve commented on it in a lead editorial.

The second item is a City ballot measure that would ban from the city limits medical marijuana dispensaries and grow operations and businesses that infuse marijuana into food and other products.

There are currently 21 such businesses in Fort Collins. The city government has chosen to regulate them rather than ban them while other communities in Northern Colorado have banned them outright. Consequently, proponents of the ban (i.e., opponents of the marijuana businesses) say, Fort Collins has become a magnet for undesirable activities. Nonsense say medical marijuana advocates. They point to tax revenue, jobs and a service being provided to people who need it.

Proponents of the ban on medical marijuana operations in Fort Collins collected over 7,000 signatures to get the measure on the November ballot. They only needed 4,214.

As explained here by Kevin Duggan of the Coloradoan, the City Council will discuss the issue at its August 16 meeting. The Council could adopt the ordinance as presented or refer it to the ballot for voters to decide.

Like I said, it will be an interesting fall.