Garfield County commissioners speak out on marijuana measure
September 6, 2012
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Garfield County commissioners are on record opposing Amendment 64, which would legalize and regulate recreational use of marijuana in ways similar to alcohol.
“I am very passionate about this, and could talk about it for quite a long time,” Commissioner Mike Samson commented at the Sept. 4 Board of County Commissioners meeting.
Rather than elaborating, though, he simply read into the record a resolution opposing the measure, which will be on the Nov. 6 Colorado ballot, and the commissioners passed it unanimously.
The resolution is similar to one recently passed by Mesa County commissioners.
“Passage of Amendment 64 would result in increased use of marijuana, harming our children and the educational environment,” the resolution states in part.
Passage of the measure would also “harm Colorado’s image as a healthy place to live, work and raise a family,” the commissioners assert, and it would put Colorado at odds with federal laws prohibiting marijuana.
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Commissioners are allowed take a position on state ballot questions, acting county attorney Carey Gagnon advised. But the county is not allowed to expend public resources to actively oppose ballot questions, she said.
Amendment 64 would allow anyone age 21 or older in Colorado to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana for consumption. Retail sales, manufacturing of marijuana products and growing facilities would be regulated by the state, similar to how it is done for alcohol.
Colorado would be the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use, should voters approve the measure.
Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario supported the commissioners in opposing the amendment.
“Colorado would be the first, most liberal place in the country, even on Earth, regarding marijuana … even more than Amsterdam [Holland],” Vallario said.
“We see no reason to legalize it,” he said, noting that the Colorado sheriff’s association opposes the amendment as well. “It would just create more problems for us.”