Ordinance on marijuana in public buildings fails Tuesday

Colorado Springs City Council votes 6-3 on second reading

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Members of the Colorado Springs City Council reversed a decision they made two weeks ago to ban marijuana possession in all city-owned buildings.

The council voted to allow such possession while continuing to prohibit marijuana use.  The decision includes medical and recreational marijuana.

Several council members said they began to rethink their previous vote because they didn't fully consider the effect of medical marijuana in the proposed ordinance.

"Some people have to self-medicate and it's not fair to deprive them of that when marijuana is legal," said Councilwoman Jill Gaebler.  "It's prescription medication."  

An amendment to the proposed ordinance would have allowed medical marijuana, but not recreational marijuana, in more than 130 city buildings.  However, the council rejected the ordinance out of concerns about enforcement and possible legal challenges.

"The city already has avenues for dealing with employees who violate the drug policy," said Councilman Andy Pico.  "I don't think we need (the ordinance)."

"I didn't vote for marijuana," said Councilman Joel Miller.  "But it's legal.  If people keep it hidden, in their pockets or something, don't try to use it indoors and don't use it in public view, there shouldn't be a problem." 

By an 8-1 vote, the council decided that marijuana possession should remain prohibited at the Colorado Springs Airport.

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