Group petitions to end commercial pot sales in Pueblo

pot petition
Citizens for a Healthy Pueblo carry signatures in to the county courthouse / Mike Duran -- FOX21 News

PUEBLO, Colo. — The Pueblo pot debate continues.

One group handed in a petition on Thursday, June 16, asking to opt out of the commercialization and promotion of recreational marijuana.

That petition collected almost 4,500 signatures – nearly 2,000 more than they need to meet the 5 percent threshold required in Pueblo.

Charlene Graham said, “Many people have gone to the powers that be and ask for things and voice their opinions to just not be heard so it’s time to be heard.”

Advocates for commercial weed say state legislature just passed new rules requiring a 15 percent threshold.

“When I look at the law and what’s happened, 55 percent of Puebloans voted in favor of Amendment 64,” said Jim Parco, co-owner of Mesa Organics. “The people have spoken.”

Daniel Oldenburg, Attorney for Citizens for a Healthy Pueblo said, “Everyone’s quick to say we legalized it, we’re done with it but they forget that Amendment 64 also had this opt out clause and we were asking for a vote to opt out. We never got that vote.”

Graham has lived there for 20 years. She volunteers with Citizens for a Healthy Pueblo, the group working to end retail pot sales.

“One of the problems we’ve had with it is the people who come here thinking they can get jobs but they’re here to get marijuana and now they’re in our community and they’re zapping up a lot of our resources,” said Graham.

But Parco was born and raised in this community and he says taking commercial marijuana out of Pueblo could be devastating to the economy.

“I saw the steel mills close in the 1970’s and I saw the devastating effects that it had and it took us decades to get where we are.” Parco said, “I look at where we are now and I look at the growth in building permits, I look at the growth in housing revenues, sales prices.”

The next step in the process will be a legal hearing on Monday, June 20.

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