Tomorrow is a big day for medical marijuana supporters in Colorado, with nearly a dozen cities voting to either ban dispensaries or tax the industry.
The cities considering bans include Fort Collins – a college town an hour north of Denver with about two dozen marijuana dispensaries – and the skiing hamlet of Steamboat Springs. Breckenridge, Commerce City and Frisco are among the towns with measures to tax medical marijuana on the ballot.
While most of the towns are relatively small, the outcome of the elections could provide a good indication of which way the wind is blowing when it comes to public opinion about medical marijuana in the state. Colorado’s MMJ industry operates under some of the strictest regulations in the country, which has prevented some shady players from opening up shop under the guise of providing medicine (something California is having a problem with now). But there’s been a backlash in several cities as pot shops have flourished across the state, with some residents fearful that the industry has grown too quickly. A growing number of towns are banning dispensaries as a result.
A large chunk of Colorado residents, however, don’t have a problem with medical marijuana – and possibly even weed in general. Several groups are currently gathering signatures for a proposal to legalize marijuana, hoping to get the issue on the 2012 ballot after voters shot down a similar measure several years ago. These groups feel that the majority of Colorado residents are ready to give the green light to marijuana use.