Trinidad passes moratorium on retail pot shops, lifts ban on medical sales

TRINIDAD, Colo. - Trinidad City Council passed a moratorium on retail marijuana sales Tuesday night, then lifted its ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.

Council passed the moratorium by a 5 to 2 vote. The moratorium is in effect until June 30, 2014. Councilman Joe Bonato and Mayor Bernadette Baca Gonzalez voted against the moratorium.

The majority of people who spoke at Tuesday's meeting didn't try to convince council to change its stance on the moratorium. Instead, they tried to persuade council to lift its ban on medical marijuana establishments. By a vote of 4 to 3, council chose to lift the ban.

Baca-Gonzalez, Bonato and Councilman Franklin Shew voted against allowing medical dispensaries to operate in city limits.

Baca-Gonzalez said fewer than two percent of the population in Las Animas County uses medical marijuana. She argued that asking people to drive to Pueblo County to purchase medical marijuana isn't unreasonable because she says people already drive up to Pueblo County to give birth and undergo dialysis or chemotherapy.  

Council will decide March 2014 where to allow medical marijuana establishments to operate in the city.

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