COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Supporters of recreational marijuana shops are calling Mayor Steve Bach a hypocrite.
Bach asked City Council to ban the shops, but marijuana advocates said that goes against the mayor's pro-business stance.
A stern Bach made it clear to council.
"I'm just going to tell you this: It is essential that we send a message to our primary employers that we are not going to allow this," said Bach.
Bach said his reasons are threefold: public health, public safety, and jobs, citing research that indicates minors who smoke too much marijuana have problems with their long-term memory as adults, but did not say that marijuana smoking affects the health of adults.
Bach told the council on Tuesday that he has had conversations with law enforcement leaders who believe bringing the shops to town would increase crime.
Bach also said large businesses that employ many people in the community don't want to see the recreational marijuana shops in town.
Bach has said he wants local businesses to be successful, even pushing for downtown revitalization, which is why some supporters of recreational marijuana said they are surprised by the mayor's decision.
Mark Slaugh, an expert on marijuana law and regulation, said the public is mad.
"Most of the voters are pretty upset that he would go against the will of the people to regulate marijuana like alcohol," said Slaugh
Marijuana advocates said the recreational business could employ thousands of people.
"Let them know why it makes sense to get this off the street, and behind the counters -- so that we can tax it regulate it, check ID's and put it in childproof packaging," said Slaugh.
Banning recreational marijuana shops will not affect adult's ability to have and use up to 1 ounce of marijuana.
City Council will have a public hearing on this topic on June 27, at 1 p.m.