The results certified showing that voters in Grand Junction made their choice to ban medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits.
56.6% of votes counted are for the ordinance to ban dispensaries within city limits. 41.4% are against the ordinance.
The local medical marijuana industry is left in shock and tears after seeing the results. The thought of closing their shops is an overwhelming feeling for many involved, right now.
But, for the people in favor of the ban, they're ready for the city to move quickly in removing these dispensaries. "It took a lot of people to accomplish this," Betty Beidelschies with the Citizens For Liberty said.
Grand Junction now joins a handful of other Western Slope communities in outlawing the pot shops.
Marijuana advocates who have been outspoken in recent weeks declined to comment after the vote. But, they've made their fears very well known. "If we vote dispensaries out, then it's going into homes and there's no regulation on the caregiver model," Cristin Groves with the Mesa County Constitution Advocates told us on March 31st.
Dispensary opponents say the city is better off without them. They believe a lack of availability of marijuana will only protect their kids. "When this was established here in Colorado in 2000, it was meant for those patients that were truly ill," Beidelschies said. She believes the drug is getting out of control, locally.
But, local marijuana advocates say the drug won't go away, and that it's better regulated and safer inside these marijuana centers. "Whether or not they need it or not, that is between a doctor and a patient," Groves said during our interview on March 31st. "Unless they have a medical degree, I don't think they're qualified to make that assessment."
Regardless, this vote is forcing one side to re-group while their patients search for medicine.
At the same time, the other side is basking in victory, hoping they'll never have to debate this issue again. "Hopefully it's dead in Grand Junction, Beidelschies said. "And, hopefully [it's dead with] people across the state, [too]."
This vote ends months of speculation and confusion. Back in September, after a few public hearings on the issue, Grand Junction's City Council voted to ban dispensaries inside city limits. The medical marijuana industry appealed that decision, collecting enough signatures to place a question on the April ballot.
The ban on dispensaries goes into effect immediately. The city is still trying to figure out how they will initially enforce the law with so many dispensaries across town.