Today, Tuesday October 1st, marks one of the first deadlines for communities in how they choose to regulate retail marijuana. Colorado towns and counties are supposed to decide whether they’re going to allow the growing, buying and selling of recreational pot next year… And many communities around the state have decided to put their decision on hold.
Reporter: Snowmass Village is one of the towns that has decided to wait on moving forward with retail marijuana. The town council discussed the issue last week, on Monday September 23rd. Town Attorney John Dresser is concerned about having pot shops in a ski town. He’s noticed news reports of people getting arrested for medical marijuana while camping on Forest Service property.
John Dresser: “They’re saying we’re not going to make an enforcement issue, but then if you’re on federal land, they are doing it. And I would just point up the hill to you and say we gotta a lot of federal land around us.”
Reporter: Dresser also notes Snowmass Village signs federal transportation grants which require the community to follow federal law. But, Mayor Bill Boineau adds, locals did play a part in the push for making marijuana more available.
Bill Boineau: “I don’t want to change the name of Snowmass to “Snowmassterdam.” But I think it is something that was voted by the people of Colorado, and the people of Pitkin County and Snowmass.”
Reporter: In the end, the board approved an Emergency Ordinance essentially hitting a pause button for any business that wants to be a part of retail marijuana. People wanting to open a retail marijuana shop can still apply, but won’t be considered until July of 2014. A spokeswoman for the town of Snowmass Village says it’s a way for local officials to buy time in determining what their rules and regulations are going to be long term.
Denver Post reporter John Ingold is keeping an eye on how the state is getting ready to regulate marijuana like alcohol. He recently went over other pot questions people are asking. [APR Reporter Elise Thatcher interviews Ingold, included in audio above.]