El Paso County Commissioners Give Initial Approval to Ban Pot Businesses

December 18, 2012

The El Paso County board of commissioners today gave initial approval to an ordinance that would ban recreational marijuana businesses in unincorporated parts of the county. KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports.

More than a dozen people turned out to urge commissioners to reject the ban. Many said the board should wait for the state to draft regulations implementing Amendment 64, the new measure legalizing recreational marijuana use. But Commissioner Dennis Hisey says he wants to avoid lawsuits from thwarted marijuana entrepreneurs.

"We get this out there right now I don’t have to worry about uncertainty. I don’t have to worry about people investing money and then expecting to be able to use that as a reason for why we have to let them be in business."

Commissioners approved the ban 4-1 with Commissioner Peggy Littleton voting no. She said she didn’t want to subvert the will of her constituents. The ban would not affect medical marijuana operations or bar personal marijuana use. A final vote is expected mid-January.