Government Tracker: Vail extends pot ban
Board: Vail Town Council, July 7 evening meeting.
Present: Jenn Bruno, Greg Moffet, Ludwig Kurz, Mayor Andy Daly, Margaret Rogers, Dave Chapin, Dale Bugby.
Issue: Second reading of an ordinance creating a 60-day extention of the town’s current moratorium on retail marijuana sales.
How they voted: 7-0 to approve.
Why was this needed? The town has temporarily banned retail sales of marijuana since the 2012 passage of Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana use and sales in Colorado. The current ban was set to expire, and town officials say they need more time to consider taking final action.
What’s likely to happen? While Rogers said she still wants more information — revenue collected, crime statistics and similar data — from other mountain towns about the pros and cons of retail marijuana sales, a majority of the council indicated they’ve learned enough. Chapin also proposed imposing a permanent ban before the current extension expires. Amendment 64 gave towns and counties the power to enforce bans on sales and growing, although personal use in private areas remains legal.
“The Vail brand is immensely invaluable,” Chapin said, adding that there are numerous sales outlets between Denver and Vail, as well as several stores in nearby Eagle-Vail.
Daly, long an advocate of a permanent ban, agreed with Chapin, saying “I don’t care” what’s going on in other communities.
“Aspen needs to do what’s right for Aspen, and we need to do what’s right for Vail,” Daly said.
What’s next? Town attorney Matt Mire will draft a proposed ordinance imposing a permanent ban on retail sales. Expect a vote before the current moratorium extension expires Oct. 6.
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Organizers turned to the same strategy that marijuana activists used to decriminalize pot possession in 2005: “We’re talking about not putting people in jail.”