Tuesday, November 1st, marks this year's election date. While there is a lot at stake across the county, Measure 2B is on the minds of most in Palisade.
Thanks to elections earlier this year, dispensaries are already outlawed in the city of Grand Junction and unincorporated parts of Mesa County. Voters in Fruita are likely to take up the issue next April. But, all eyes must first be focused on wine country.
"It's going to be what it's going to be, there's nothing we can do about it," Desa Loughman, owner of Colorado Alternative Healthcare, the only dispensary left in Mesa County, said.
The talk of the town this week will determine the fate of her shop and any others planning to move to Palisade. Signs both for and against the proposed ban are spread out all across downtown.
"This is the best way for patients [and] this is the best way for the community to handle this," Loughman said of declining the ban.
Seeing what has taken place across Mesa County, Loughman is cautiously optimistic as she anticipates the results of the vote. "It's the safety of the patients that should be everybody's priority, not a moral issue or discrepancies on how you feel."
On the other side, Loughman's opposition, Diane Cox, has successfully lobbied for bans in the past. Her group, Safe and Healthy Mesa County, backed bans in Grand Junction and Mesa County and the group is now targeting Palisade.
"We're concerned and we want everybody to just put out their own ideas and let the voters decide and not try to frighten people and intimidate them," Cox said during an October 18th interview. Despite multiple calls, Cox declined to respond to our requests for another interview on Wednesday.
Cox's group believes dispensaries paint the wrong picture for local kids and that a ban would protect them.
No matter what side of the fence that you find yourself on, the issue is very controversial. That is why town officials are expecting a large turnout this November.
The question surrounding Measure 2B is such a hot button issue that some people are wondering why it is not on their ballot. Town officials say only Palisade residents living inside town limits will be voting on this issue.
In 2000, Colorado voters legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Ten years later, the state gave local communities the power to regulate the industry or ban them all together.