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City passes moratorium for recreational pot sales

By Jim Haug Herald staff writer

The Durango City Council on Tuesday approved a moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses through June 30, 2014.

Ann Perkins Parrott, owner of Bookcase in Durango, during a public hearing urged the council to allow sales as early as January for the sake of generating additional commerce. January is the earliest date a city in Colorado could allow the sale of recreational marijuana under Amendment 64 to the state constitution.

“We can certainly use the tax dollars,” said Parrott, who clarified that she was not interested in selling marijuana or smoking it herself.

Recognizing the popular support for Amendment 64 in Durango, councilors said they were not out to delay the sale of recreational marijuana indefinitely but wanted to give staff members time to research and put together local ordinances.

The city also has to wait for guidance from state regulations.

“Our hands are tied,” Councilor Keith Brant said.

Going by experience, City Attorney David Smith did not expect state regulations to be ready until the end of the year.

The city would need two months to pass its own ordinances.

The city could always end the moratorium sooner if warranted, officials said.

“I don’t want to give anyone any undue optimism,” Councilor Dean Brookie said.

Brookie also said he thought he would never see the day when the police, Boy Scouts and “Rasta” Stevie Smith would be in the same room for a discussion about marijuana.

The First Presbyterian Boy Scout Troop 501 were at the council meeting to be honored for 75 years of scouting.

jhaug@durangoherald.com

An earlier version of this story misstated the Boy Scout Troop honored.

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