Medical Marijuana Shops Win Zoning Debate

Council Limits Where Medical Marijuana Shops Can Do Business

POSTED: 10:27 AM MDT Jun 16, 2012    UPDATED: 10:07 AM MST Dec 14, 2010 

After three-hours of debate Tuesday night, Colorado Springs City Council voted unanimously to adopt a less-stringent zoning requirement for the city?s nearly 170 medical marijuana dispensaries.

The planning commission recommended a 1,000-foot buffer zone from grade schools, 24-hour drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, residential childcare facilities and colleges.

Owners of medical marijuana shops and their worried it would put most out of business, if passed. About 35 people spoke out against the 1,000-foot buffer zone, with only two in support of the planning commissions idea, including UCCS and Colorado College.

The colleges worried that their young students would be influenced by the close access to pot. The Catholic Diocese also asked council to include churches in the buffer, but were denied.

Around 9 Tuesday night the council agreed to reduce the buffer to 400 feet. The packed room erupted in cheers. Council also agreed to remove pre-schools and colleges from the list.