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Douglas County Mulls Banning Growing & Selling Pot

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – Amendment 64 may never take effect in Douglas County.

While voters across the state approved making marijuana legal earlier this month, county commissioners are pushing a local ban on growing and selling pot.

There is a loophole in the amendment that allows certain towns and counties to opt out of major elements of the law as long as it’s done within a month of Election Day.

Douglas County voters have never supported the legalization of marijuana, so county commissioners worked to opt out as soon as they could.

“We’ve had four elections, and four elections have clearly stated that our citizens didn’t want to have any issues dealing with marijuana, period, passed in Douglas County,” County Commissioner Jack Hilbert said.

It would still be legal to own an ounce or less of marijuana, but growing and selling it won’t be legal.

Douglas County said they are acting now to avoid the creation of a licensing agency required for sales. Otherwise the county would have to wait two years to ban and shut down businesses that had already started. Medical marijuana dispensaries were closed in the same fashion in the county.

“Then you’re actually sending a message to people so they don’t have to come in and think they have a grandfathering status with that particular right,” Hilbert said.

The Department of Revenue says that Douglas County will miss out on funds raised by the direct sale of marijuana. An additional excise tax of marijuana is intended to fund the school system. The Douglas County School Board didn’t say they’d except money raised by Amendment 64, but Hilbert says they should, even without their county housing the industry.

“We are going to have impacts because of marijuana. Even the fact that we don’t allow it to be sold and grown, we’re still going to have impacts and costs as a result of it,” he said.

There are still a lot of questions to be answered about the taxes for Amendment 64. The Department of Revenue doesn’t even know how Douglas County will be able to avoid receiving some of the tax revenue because of the amendment.

The second reading on the ban will happen on Dec. 18 in Castle Rock.

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