As the list of of Colorado counties and cities that are banning recreational marijuana sales continues to grow, another small town will also go without legal weed, but not because of a lack of interest; rather due to a lack of staples.
KRDO first reported about local marijuana advocate Tim Klob's petition where he helped gather nearly 600 signatures to put a measure on the November ballot to allow recreational marijuana sales and industrial hemp grows in the southeastern Colorado town of La Junta.
“I see this as a game changer for our economy," Klob said to KRDO. "There’s no other industry knocking on our door right now."
Unfortunately for Klob and for the citizens supporting the measure, the petition effort failed because Klob inadvertently violated Colorado law when he didn't staple each petition volunteer's affidavit with the signatures they collected when he turned the documents in to the La Junta city clerk's office. Though all necessary materials were included in the documents, the lack of staples voided the petition through a technicality.
Klob and La Junta are now back to square one.
This week, Grand Junction became the latest major Colorado city to ban retail sales of recreational marijuana by its city council members, even though several citizens requested that the issue be put to a public vote.
Colorado Springs, the state's second largest city, voted to ban recreational pot shops last July and became the largest community in the state to opt-out of the state's new marijuana laws.
In the state's capital city of Denver, which opted in on retail sales of marijuana, a two-year moratorium on new pot business licenses was recommended by the City Council.
The United States government took a historic step back from its long-running drug war last week, when Attorney General Eric Holder informed the governors of Washington and Colorado that the Department of Justice would allow the states to create a regime that would regulate and implement the ballot initiatives that legalized the use of marijuana for adults.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed several historic measures to implement marijuana legalization in the state, establishing Colorado as the world's first legal, regulated and taxed marijuana market for adults back in May.
Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 last November making the limited sale, possession and growing of marijuana for recreational purposes legal for adults 21 and over. A64 states that adults can possess up to an ounce of pot, can grow as many as six marijuana plants at home (with only three flowering at any given time), but that home-grown marijuana can only be for personal use and cannot be sold, however, adults can gift one another up to an ounce of pot.
A64 allows adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use even in those cities or counties that have banned retail sales.
Colorado's 271 municipalities and 64 counties must decide by Oct. 1 as to whether they will allow for legal recreational marijuana sales.
Recreational pot sales in Colorado cities that opt-in can begin on Jan. 1, 2014.