Will Colorado’s Second-Largest City Finally Legalize Marijuana?
After roughly a decade of enjoying the legalization of recreational marijuana and collecting record numbers of revenue from tax dollars, the state of Colorado still has one extremely notable city holding out on legalizing recreational weed and that, of course, is Colorado Springs.
At a population of over 471,000, Colorado Springs is the second-largest city in Colorado, second only to Denver. However, the Olympic City has resisted legalizing recreational marijuana and consequently, its neighboring cities of Pueblo and Manitou Springs have been reaping the benefits in tax revenue.
Despite strong resistance from local government officials in Colorado Springs for roughly a decade, there is a glimmer of hope as strong efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in the city have mounted in preparation for this November's ballot.
Who Wants Recreational Marijuana to be Legal in Colorado Springs?
The biggest voice for the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado Springs appears to belong to a group by the name of Your Choice Colorado Springs. In fact, on Friday, June 17th, Your Choice Colorado Springs submitted a petition to the Colorado Springs Clerk and Recorder's Office with nearly 100,000 signatures pushing for two measures regarding the legalization of marijuana to be put on the ballot for November 8th.
Your Choice Colorado Springs campaign manager Anthony Carlson had this to say about the push:
Every year our community loses a minimum of $15 million to neighboring communities through lost tax revenue. This November, the choice to allow recreational cannabis sales and to bring those tax dollars home will finally be taken out of the hands of a few politicians and given to the voters of Colorado Springs.
In addition to tax revenue, supporters of legalization have used the way that marijuana can be used to treat PTSD as a benefit for the community, which has a large military and veteran population.
Who Doesn't Want Recreational Marijuana to be Legal in Colorado Springs?
Resistance to legalizing recreational marijuana in Colorado Springs has been strong for quite some time even while much of the rest of the state has seen record numbers in tax revenue.
One argument against legalizing recreational marijuana in the city has to do with the heavy military presence. Colorado Springs is not only home to a large population of veterans, but also active members of the military stationed at bases like Fort Carson, Peterson, Schriever, and the U.S. Air Force Academy. According to some, military leaders are largely against recreational marijuana and simply don't want it around.
Regardless, groups like Your Choice believe that Colorado Springs has had recreational marijuana prohibition in place for too long, that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, and hope to make a change in policy for the city this November.