Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states — but come January 1, recreational use of marijuana will be legal in Colorado and Washington state.
In Colorado, that will mean residents over 21 will be able to legally buy up to one ounce of pot and grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use, even though the federal government still considers marijuana an illegal substance.
But not all cities in Colorado want to allow the retail sale of marijuana.
Keith King, president of the Colorado Springs city council, and Sal Pace, a county commissioner for Pueblo County join Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss their respective takes on the impending policy change.
Although King was one of the four council members who voted to allow the retail sale of marijuana — he said he voted to allow it because the majority of his district supports retail sale — he is glad it ultimately failed in the City Council.
Colorado Springs voted to ban retail marijuana sales in a 5-4 vote in the city council.
"Some of my conservative Republican friends see it as a time to be able to create businesses and want it to able to be entrepreneurs," King said. "I'm more of the concern that I think it's going to open up a problem that we're going to eventually have to deal with in our society, and I don't think it's going to be overall healthy, in the long run."
On the other hand, Pueblo County, which Pace represents, has allowed the retail sale of marijuana. In 2014, the county is going to license 10 recreational retail stores.
Pace is optimistic about these new businesses.
"There's been illicit marijuana use in our community for years," Pace said. "The difference is now we are getting rid of the black market ... We will generate tax revenue that we can use for public safety and roads and bridges."
This segment aired on December 27, 2013.
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