Glenwood City Council wants to put pot shop hours question to voters
Glenwood Springs City Council has decided to send the question of whether to extend marijuana shop hours later into the day to yet another special city election.
A local dispensary owner created a petition to extend dispensary and medical marijuana store hours in Glenwood Springs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. after being denied by Planning and Zoning.
On April 6, Glenwood Springs City Council voted to allow the special election on June 13, instead of having council decide the matter.
“Not that the Post Independent’s poll is gospel or scientifically valid, but I don’t think people actually care a whole lot about this,” Mayor Jonathan Godes said in reference to a current online poll asking, “Should Glenwood Springs marijuana shops be allowed to stay open later?”
The leading response has been, “Aren’t there more pressing matters facing our community?” Running a distant second is the response, “Yes, they should be allowed to stay open until 10 p.m.”
Godes added that this is the fifth election in 16 months involving city voters, and the second special election.
“I think we get elected to make some of these decisions,” he said. “I don’t think all these things should have to go to a special election every time.”
The rest of Council felt that deciding whether to extend the business hours of an industry that the Glenwood Springs Police Department claimed had no correlation between crime and open hours was too much power for them to assume.
Instead, they voted to let democracy shine with a special election to determine closing times. This comes after a disappointingly low turnout for the April 4 City Council election, at just under 31%.
City Clerk Ryan Muse said the special election will cost anywhere between $10,000 and $12,000.
Council voted 5-2 in favor of the special election, with Godes and Councilor Marco Dehm voting against. Three of the council members who voted in favor of the special election will soon lose their seats, Tony Hershey and Charlie Willman due to the results of the recent election, and Paula Stepp, because she did not seek reelection.
“Glenwood Police evaluated call data in geofenced areas with proximity to existing marijuana businesses and found no correlation between crime rates and the presence of such establishments,” the Council packet stated.
The statement also said that the Glenwood Police Department was not opposed to later dispensary hours.
Post Independent reporter Cassandra Ballard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-384-9131.
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