As Colorado makes plans to implement Amendment 64, which legalizes small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, Jeffco might be forging its own path.
County Commissioner Don Rosier spoke out at the last commissioners’ meeting of 2012 about what he sees as the conundrum of Amendment 64, saying that if the county accedes to provisions of the law, it might be in conflict with his oath of office.
Rosier said that when a county commissioner takes the oath of office, he swears to uphold the constitutions of Colorado and the United States.
“Our laws contradict federal laws when we look at marijuana, Rosier said. “It does put a unique twist in our oath of office. I believe there is a discrepancy there. I struggle with it.”
Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 64 in the Nov. 6 election, after legalizing medical marijuana in 2010. The state now must put guidelines in place for businesses that will sell recreational marijuana by the middle of this year, but Rosier said it wouldn’t be prudent for the county to wait to make decisions about the new industry.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are banned in unincorporated areas of Jefferson County. Rosier said the county must start from scratch when it comes to creating regulations regarding Amendment 64’s further acceptance of pot use.
Several counties in Colorado are looking at banning shops selling marijuana for recreational use, and commissioners in Douglas County recently voted to do so. Unlike in Jeffco, however, a majority of Douglas County voters were opposed to Amendment 64.
While he personally was opposed to the amendment, Rosier said Jeffco voters’ support for 64 should be taken into consideration.
"That's be going against the voters. At the same time, I feel it would be very prudent, just my opinion, not to jump into just allowing dispensaries without full and due diligence," he said. "We need to investigate all the issues, as far as zoning and regulations that can go along with it."
Contact Ramsey Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-933-2233, ext. 22.