Manitou Springs: Come for the Cliff Dwellings; Stay for the Pot


Michele Sullum

KDVR, the Fox station in Denver, reports that at least 56 Colorado cities and counties have imposed bans or moratoriums on recreational pot shops since voters approved the marijuana legalization initiative known as Amendment 64 last fall. Amendment 64, while legalizing possession and home cultivation throughout the state, explicitly allows local governments to prohibit marijuana sales within their jurisdictions. So far at least 32 have opted out, while another two dozen or so have said pot stores may not open before a certain date—March 31 in Arvada and May 4 in Aurora, for example. Fort Collins, a city of 150,000 or so north of Denver, is considering a moratorium as well. The biggest city to ban marijuana outlets is Colorado Springs, which last week joined several other jurisdictions in the southern part of the state, including the unincorporated area of El Paso County, in just saying no to commercial distribution of cannabis for general use. (Colorado Springs does have several medical marijuana outlets, however.)

For pot smokers in southern Colorado who were beginning to wonder if they would have to drive up to Denver to buy legal marijuana, Manitou Springs—which, like Colorado Springs, is located in El Paso County—may offer an alternative. A little town familiar to anyone who has visited Pike's Peak, the Cave of the Winds, or the Manitou Cliff Dwellings (above), Manitou Springs is about half a dozen miles from Colorado Springs, the state's second-biggest city. Manitou Springs Mayor Marc Snyder recently told the Colorado Springs Gazette the city council seems inclined to allow pot stores. "For me," he said, "it goes likes this: We want to honor voters of Colorado and El Paso County and specifically Manitou Springs. My belief is we will move forward with some type of licensing." More than two-thirds of voters in Manitou Springs favored Amendment 64, compared to barely more than half in the county as a whole. "That is a pretty strong number," Snyder said. Under Amendment 64, municipalities that plan to welcome marijuana retailers are supposed to designate a local licensing authority by October 1, so that is considered the deadline for imposing bans. Stores are expected to start operating in January.

Unlike Amendment 64, Washington's legalization initiative, I-502, does not authorize local bans on cannabusinesses, which as in Colorado are supposed to start receiving licenses in early 2014. But the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that some towns are trying anyway. The Kennewick City Council, for example, is considering a six-month or one-year moratorium. According to the Tri-City Herald, "The longer moratorium would require the city [to] show the state it has a work plan toward issuing licenses." That implies a permament ban would not be allowed under I-502. Brian Smith, a spokesman for the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which is charged with licensing and regulating pot shops, told the Post-Intelligencer a city council's vote against marijuana retailing would not stop the board from issuing licenses to qualified applicants, "but they would have to meet local city ordinances to open." And what if local ordinances impose prohibitive restrictions? Smith said the issue will "shake out over time and go through challenges."


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  1. Generic first comment.

    1. usual lame retort


      1. Basic racist rejoinder.

        1. random, gross SugarFree link [not a link] to gay scat tractor squirrel porn

  2. Brian Smith, a spokesman for the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which is charged with licensing and regulating pot shops

    And when are they going to get around to this already, god damn it?!?

    Not that I need that, I have my own supply, I just want to see pot shops all over the place.

    1. Heathen.

      You just want to see pot shops all over the place, don’t you!

      Oh. Never mind.


    2. Washington: Come for the Pot Shops, Stay for the Steven Wright Jokes!?

      1. “I spilled spot remover on my dog. Now he’s gone.”

        1. Do you have any proglodyte remover?

  3. The usual brainless neo-Puritan twits. This will result in (a) Manitou Springs harvesting a windfall as people flood in from Colorado Springs to get their pot and (b) probably a net increase in pot smoking in Colorado Springs.

    Why do I say that? Because I grew up in a dry county. The way it played out was, if you have to drive a half hour each way to get a sixpack, you don’t get a sixpack, you get a couple cases. And when you (and all your friends) are stockpiling booze, well, that stockpile isn’t going to drink itself. Bottom line: you buy more booze at one time, you have more booze in the house, you drink more booze.

    1. I lived in a dry county for many years. It’s exactly like you are saying. Being a dry county did not stop anyone from getting liquor, it just lost the dry counties a lot of tax revenue. That county and several others have since gone wet.

      1. Wouldn’t you like to deprive all counties of tax revenue?

        1. The sales tax is about the only tax I will support. Because you know, not all Libertarians hate roadz. I would like to deprive all of them of income and property tax.

    2. It should be noted that there’s a reason that Colorado Springs is sometimes called The Evangelical Vatican. The fact they opted out is absolutely no suprise whatsoever.

    3. except Manitou Springs is a suburb of Colo Springs…not even close to a half hour away. I gre up in Colo Spgs, it has always been a very conservative town, with military bases, retired military, and Focus on the Family. Manitou was always the hippy ‘burb next store.

  4. Just wait until the jurisdictions that banned it see all of the taxable bucks being generated in the areas that didn’t and they will change their mind really fast.

    If there’s one thing that will change any politicians minds about any subject, it’s revenue.

    1. I used to think that, dude, but the fact that we’re in a financial meltdown and the politicians themselves absolutely won’t even consider legalizing pot (both CO and WA were initiatives, and didn’t come from the legislature) for a potential tax windfall, and where it has been legalized there is still a ton of resistance (as this article describes) tells me that they love CONTROL far more than worrying about revenue. They’ll just jack up taxes or steal from somewhere else.

      1. You are correct, sir

      2. Of course they love control. But, they have a million other things they can use for that, like Obamacare.

        It’s because of all their buds in the DEA that they won’t do it. Without MJ, the DEA wouldn’t have all that easy work and seized assets.

        Eventually, they will cave though, once they see WA and CO rolling in tax dollars. Also, public sentiment has swung far over into the + category on legalizing pot.

        Nationally legalized pot is inevitable.

      3. They also hate to admit they’ve been wrong all this time and have basically flushed trillions of dollars down the toilet for their WOD. Place they hate dogs.

  5. …so I asked him, “If I were driving a car at the speed of light, and I turned on the headlights, would anything happen?”

    And he said, “I don’t know.”

    So I told him, “I don’t think I can work here…”

    1. Everyone knows the answer to that. If you are driving at the speed of light and turn your headlights on, Warty will appear and a 1000 year reign of terror and rape will descend on the hapless residents of the multiverse.


    1. Manitou people are just generally friendly and accommodating.

      I got really lost on a hike and stumbled into Cave of the Winds from a much higher no-trespassers area. As I was contemplating where to attempt a sheer 6′ descent a teenage employee came out to yell at me I could do that. I explained that as the sun was setting and it had taken me two hours just to find this facsimile of civilization the idea of jumping, breaking an ankle, and then being carted away to a hospital en route to jail sounded like the best of available options. He helped me down and only laughed me off when I asked how much the admission fee was.

  7. And, after taking a couple hits off of your pipe, be sure to visit the arcade in Manitou — very cool, with many strange and ancient games that are still functional and playable.

    1. Yeah I love that place, and I gotta put out a shout for the best breakfast place in the Rockies: Adam’s Mountain Cafe. Used to be in an old rickety house-type establishment, but moved into new modern digs right next to the arcade. So the sequence should probably be:
      Adam’s Mountain

  8. the penny arcade is still there? yeah, my first dates in Jr High and high school wre there…awesome place. take the trains too, at least the Manitou one, the one up Pike’s Peak is a little pricy since you can drive up the mountain. My granpa actually helped organize the first race up that peak, way back in the day. My stepmom’s family (parts of it) is one of the founding families, came out there with General Palmer (or so the family stories say…you now how those can get exagerated, but I think its true just judging from the pieces of land that they own) Supposedly my great grandma walked out there next to a covered wagon. She died in the ’80s and it blows my mind to think of what she saw in her lifetime; from Little House on the Prairie to the Space Shuttle in one life

    1. Saw something online a week or two ago about a woman who flew into NYC in the 60s. She had lived in Oregon since she was five or six, and her family had traveled there via a Conestoga wagon. She went to Oregon in a covered wagon and returned on a jet airliner.

  9. Dude is talking some serious smack!

    1. Ha! AnonBot calling me a liar!

  10. Just because I didn’t click on the big boobed cougars want to date me ad, does NOT mean you should put up the gay men dating site ads. Bot cool Reason.

    1. So straight to the from the gay ad to the single & christian ad? You guys are covering all the bases.

  11. And all the people trying to stop marijuana sales are all alcoholics.

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