Vote “Yes” on Question 300 to Ban Marijuana

Today is Election Day. If you still need to vote, you’ll need to hand-deliver your ballots by 7:00 PM. The drop-off location in Fort Collins is on the first floor of the Larimer County building at 200 W. Oak Street. Go here for more voter information.

The Chamber recommends “Yes” on Question 300 to ban marijuana dispensaries in Fort Collins and “Yes” on Referred Issue 1A to fund public safety.

Chamber Recommendation: Vote “Yes” on Question 300 to ban marijuana dispensaries

The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce supports citizen-initiated Question 300 on the November ballot. Question 300 calls for a ban on marijuana dispensaries, growing operations and the manufacture and distribution of marijuana edibles within the Fort Collins City limits.

The Chamber has two broad roles: advocate for business and free enterprise; champion the overall well-being of the community. In light of those roles, there are four general issues that led to the Chamber supporting Question 300:

  • Marijuana is illegal. Growing and distributing marijuana is against federal law. Condoning those activities locally does not change that fact.
  • Community reputation.Fort Collins is known as one of America’s most livable communities. Because other communities in Northern Colorado have banned medical marijuana dispensaries,Fort Collins is becoming known as a major center for marijuana distribution.
  • Character of the community. Openly permitting the sale of illegal drugs changes the nature of the community and hurts children. Since marijuana dispensaries opened in Fort Collins, drug-related suspensions in Poudre School District have gone up dramatically.
  • Workplace issues. Drug and alcohol use in the workplace have consequences for employers including safety, employee impairment and the resulting lost productivity, insurance, liability and employee relations. A permissive community culture that makes drugs more readily available impacts the workplace.

This is an emotional and divisive issue for the community but an important one.

Chamber  Recommendation: Vote  “Yes” on County Referred Issue 1A, “Jail Tax”

Referred Issue 1A asks county voters to replace two existing sales and use taxes which total 0.40% with one sales and use tax of 0.375%. The new tax would be effective January 1, 2012 for a 15-year period and would be used to operate public safety programs and facilities, operate the jail and alternatives to jail, operate mental health and treatment programs for inmates and make capital improvements as needed.

The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce endorses Referred Issue 1A for several reasons including:

  • The services are needed to keep the community safe.
  • The County and the Sheriff’s Department have done a good job with the resources they have been entrusted with. Creative use of pretrial services and alternative sentencing has been used to reduce incarceration rate while keeping Larimer County’s crime rate below state and national averages.
  • The need can be met while reducing the tax rate.
  • The tax is sunset so voters can hold officials accountable and repurpose the money in the future, if appropriate.

The Chamber and Elections

The Chamber taking positions on ballot measures may seem ‘controversial’ to some people. However, anything that impacts business and / or the business climate and quality of life of the greater Fort Collins area is important for business leaders to consider. To learn more about the Chamber’s role in lobbying government and participating in elections, visit here. Positions are always taken in the spirit of making the area a great place to work and live and are taken after much thoughtful deliberation.