Every vote matters. In November 2012, Amendment 64—legalizing recreational marijuana use and retail sale—passed in El Paso County by 10 votes. 141,686 votes No. 141,696 votes Yes. Amendment 64 passed by just 10 votes. Every vote matters.
And we know Amendment 64 passed with bipartisan support, because only 111,819 people (presumably all Democrats and Independents) voted to re-elect Barack Obama as President, while 141,696 people voted for Amendment 64. Roughly 30,000 more people voted for Amendment 64 than voted for President Obama.
Rejecting the will of the people, however, on July 15, 2013, El Paso County Commissioners (including one commissioner who would later run for Mayor of Colorado Springs) voted 4-1 to prohibit retail pot sales in the unincorporated areas of the County. One week later, on July 23, 2013, the Colorado Springs City Council (including one councilmember who would later run for Mayor of Colorado Springs) voted 5-4 to prohibit retail pot sales in Colorado Springs. So, after the people said Yes, the local governments said No.
Ramah, Palmer Lake, and Canon City (to name a few) all let their citizens vote for whether or not to allow retail pot sales in those cities. But on September 9, 2014, the Colorado Springs City Council (including the councilmember who would later run for Mayor of Colorado Springs) voted 6-3 to block efforts letting the people of Colorado Springs vote again for whether or not to allow retail pot sales in the City. Rather than letting the people vote again to either reaffirm or reject their previous decision, the Colorado Springs City Council chose instead to just deny us that choice.
So, in summary, Amendment 64 passed in El Paso County, but was refused by the County Commissioners. Amendment 64 passed in Colorado Springs, but was rejected by the City Council, then rejected by them again when a motion was made to let the people vote once more upon this issue.
I think that’s wrong. While I don’t necessarily support retail pot sales in Colorado Springs, I do think the final decision about this should be made by the people, not the government. Democracy is a glorious force, and I believe our local governments should not be overruling it, as they have been.