Steamboat City Council approves November ballot question on marijuana


Ballot language

Shall the city of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, ban the cultivation, manufacture and sale of medical marijuana, including the operations of medical marijuana centers, optional premises cultivation operations, and the manufacture of medical marijuana-infused products, unless such person does so as a patient or primary caregiver as authorized by Art. XVIII, Sec. 14 of the Colorado Constitution and pursuant to regulations enacted by the city; further authorizing the city to codify this ban in the municipal code.

Yes or No.

— Steamboat Springs voters will decide in November whether to allow medical marijuana businesses to continue to operate in the city. Now they have a question to consider.

The City Council, by a 6-0 vote, approved a ballot question Tuesday night that, if approved by voters, would ban the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries, grow operations and infused product makers in Steamboat. It wouldn’t prohibit the cultivation and use of medical marijuana by patients and caregivers in compliance with Amendment 20.

The ballot question was one of two issues City Council members considered relating to the future of medical marijuana businesses in Steamboat during a meeting at Centennial Hall that remained tame. Unlike the May 17 meeting, when the City Council unanimously supported putting a question on the ballot after defeating a motion to ban medical marijuana, few supporters and opponents were in attendance.

City Council members dismissed, by a 5-1 vote, two other possible ballot questions. One would have imposed an additional 5 percent sales tax on medical marijuana sales. The second would have imposed the tax and dedicated the revenue to youth education and programs to mitigate the impacts of medical marijuana in the community. They opted to review those issues if the ban fails.

And, by a 5-1 vote, the City Council delayed action to the June 21 meeting on the second reading of a revised ordinance to regulate Steamboat’s medical marijuana businesses. City Council member Scott Myller opposed the motion. Council member Meg Bentley didn’t attend the meeting.

Colorado voters approved the use of marijuana for certain medical conditions with a doctor’s recommendation in 2000 by voting in favor of Amendment 20. It also was supported by a majority of Routt County voters.

Medical marijuana dispensaries have operated in Steamboat since 2009, when three opened late that year. The City Council approved an ordinance in January 2010 that defined rules for their operation in Steamboat.

There was some confusion about the revised medical marijuana ordinance council members were being asked to consider Tuesday.

City staff attorney Dan Foote said that since last fall he had been preparing a revised ordinance that put the city in compliance with Colorado House Bill 1284, legislation created to regulate the state’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry. But Foote said he changed the ordinance after the idea to ban medical marijuana businesses came up April 5. At that meeting, Steamboat Springs Police Department Capt. Joel Rae and Dr. Brian Harrington, of Yampa Valley Medical Associates, voiced support for a ban.

Foote said the new ordinance would permit the three existing dispensaries to operate in compliance with Amendment 20 as well was zoning and land use regulations imposed by the city. He said it did not recognize the definitions of medical marijuana commercial operations created by House Bill 1284.

City Council members ex­­pressed concern that the new ordinance would make it difficult for the dispensaries to operate legally after July 1, the deadline imposed by House Bill 1284 for municipalities to act on medical marijuana.

“I guess my intent as we moved through this process of getting out and letting the voters decide was keeping the status quo until the November election,” City Council member Bart Kounovsky said.

City Attorney Tony Lettunich said if the City Council approve an ordinance allowing the commercial operations defined by House Bill 1284, it could place Steamboat in a difficult legal position if the voters approved a ban. Lettunich said he would try to craft an ordinance that allowed the existing dispensaries to operate while legally protecting Steamboat.

Also Tuesday, the City Council:

■ Approved $49,600 in additional funding for the Bike Town USA Initiative, including $19,600 to pay an executive director and to host another bike summit and $30,000 for marketing efforts. The funding will come from excess revenue collected to date. City Council opted to review a $103,000 request for road striping for bike lanes and increased signage for city streets.

■ Denied a request for supplemental funding for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s summer marketing plan.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email


1999 4 years, 11 months ago

So now I'm paying for an executive director of BTUSA???

do we get to vote on that? maybe we don't want BTUSA?

Good grief. How did they ram this through?


mmjPatient22 4 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, isn't it grand?

I just hope we get more pompous, self-entitled, ego-maniacs on 2-wheels that weave in and out of traffic, on PACKED roads during rush-hour traffic, like they own the ENTIRE road. No signaling or indicating which way he was intending to go, barely glancing over his shoulder, and proudly sporting a red "Honey Stinger" jersey whilst almost causing multiple accidents. A little courtesy goes a long way with a lot of people around here. But I guess when you're that awesome you don't really need to worry about all of those other imbeciles, do you?


addlip2U 4 years, 11 months ago

How about that "public art work" vote? Promoted by Routt County Riders organization, same one as promoting BTUSA.
What a way to deface a beautiful building! Did anyone thought what it will take to keep up the "art" looking fresh once it start to fade and peel off? Do "they" expect the tax payers fund that too, since it is a "public" project?


Scott Wedel 4 years, 11 months ago

I think we have to say that we called it regarding Bike Town USA. Money for a director, a meeting and more money for marketing, but zero money for actually doing anything.

I think it is obvious that the real challenge facing Steamboat is that it is not yet a member of Marketing Town USA. Marketing Town USA is the premier organization for towns seeking to demonstrate their intent to market themselves. Nothing indicates a pathological desire for marketing more conclusively that Marketing Town USA's $100,000 annual fee to be listed on the Pathological Marketing website.

As the current director of Marketing Town USA, I am proud to say that the City of Steamboat Springs has gone far and above the minimum requirements to qualify as a Marketing Town USA. Not only does the City of Steamboat Springs spend large amounts of money on marketing, it takes the extra step of adopting marketing initiatives promoting Steamboat Springs without actually doing a single thing to improve the city's infrastructure for that initiative.


1999 4 years, 11 months ago

another bike summit?

I went to the first one and it was basically a bunch of people walking around patting each other on the backs talking about how great thay are.It's truly sickening that we are giving more money to the marketing sham.

steamboat is a great bike town without all this marketing BS



bill schurman 4 years, 11 months ago

So the gutless council puts the MJ issue on the ballot. Didn't the majority vote not to ban dispensaries ?? Now if the ban is successful those holding cards can grow their own ?? Gosh if that happens what if they give or sell the weed ?? Think of it, MJ all over Steamboat, kids getting high, turning to coke, meth, heroin. Oh my, what have we done ?? There goes Steamboat's reputation as a "family" town. The tourists will shun Steamboat. We'll all go broke. Oh, the hysteria of it all. Well I was moving out of this druggie town, now I'll have to stay to exercise my right to vote. I thought the smoke in the air the other days might have been MJ smoke, but the TODAY said it was just a forest fire in AZ thank goodness for that. Go for it ladies.


mmjPatient22 4 years, 11 months ago

Anyone at the Pilot care to explain why my comment was deleted?

Was it the mere mention of Honey Stinger?

I didn't curse or even call anyone any bad names.

Kinda surprised.


mmjPatient22 4 years, 10 months ago

Seriously, can you folks at the Pilot please tell me what I did that was so wrong that it warranted removal? I mean, what if I do it again without knowing what I did wrong, because y'all wouldn't tell me what not to do? Then, wouldn't you, at least technically, be implicatable in contributing to my wrong-ness?

I'm honestly not trying to be a pain in the rear(hopefully "rear" is PG enough for everyone).


Jeff_Kibler 4 years, 10 months ago

mmj, give the topical tincture a try. Excellent efficacy, lower paranoia quotient.


Brent Boyer 4 years, 10 months ago

mmjPatient22: Your first comment had been flagged by a user and was subsequently taken down. Your posts questioning why it was removed pushed me to look at it again. I have re-posted it above. In general, we give strong consideration to removing posts that other users have found to be offensive or in violation of our policies. In this case, I don't believe the post was either of the above. It shouldn't have been removed to begin with.

My apologies, Brent


Scott Wedel 4 years, 10 months ago

Well, just got one of the bike group's maps and they need to hold another meeting to determine the difference between a trail and a street. And for a Safe Routes to School map, I most certainly would not have color coded some of those trails as "safest trails" because some have slope and loose dirt which often enough claim a rider.


mmjPatient22 4 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Boyer-

I can barely explain what it means to me that you went through and did that for me. In short, thank you very much. I wasn't trying to tack myself to the cross or anything, but I was honestly confused about what had taken place. You have earned the respect that you have from me Sir and that makes you part of a select few individuals. It seems that year by year there are fewer and fewer people who end up proving themselves to be made of the things that make high-caliber people, and for me that's a cryin' shame. I'm of the belief that this world is in dire need of more people that choose to be respectable, dignified(even if only slighlty and on occasion) and hold their view of integrity up to a very bright, shining light. We live in a time when idle chatter, celebrity gossip and flat-out BS all over reality TV have wreaked all too much havoc on our ability to relate to actual reality, if I may humbly opine(albeit on a bit of a tangent).

Again, I thank you Sir. What a stand-up guy!


mmjPatient22 4 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Kibler (or Keebler, if I can have a little fun too),

Thanks for the attempt at humor. Didn't really do much for me, but it's the thought that counts though, right?

Have you ever tried the tincture? Highly recommended, no pun intended. Might help you come up with some better material.


Kevin Chapman 4 years, 10 months ago

Trying to defend one biker that i don't know, would be like defending a automobile driver that i don't know. It just does not make sense. There are bad bikers just like there are bad know, the really obnoxious drivers that have trucks that they never take off road and only get the biggest one they can to try and make up for inadequacies in their uhhhum "personal lives". You know, the drivers that can't seem to fit their big ole trucks into that tiny little parking spot. Biking consumes less and has health benefits at least. As far as the medical marijuana? Put it to a vote! Now put down the pipe and go be productive- or at least go for a bike ride.


rhys jones 4 years, 10 months ago

Bill -- As I'm sure you know, each cardholder has the right, under the Colorado Constitution, to possess up to 6 plants, plus up to two ounces of smokeable medication, as can their designated caregiver. They can trade and sell back and forth freely, within those limits. That's just cardholders; I claim no expertise at caregivers, providers, or suppliers.

The only thing that will change is whether we have to go to a store, or our friend and fellow patient Buzz, at his garage condo. You are correct; many closets will bloom. Plus the city won't get their cut.

Nice job, ladies. If you are successful, you only cost the city money, nothing else.

I tried to stay out of this fray, but just couldn't help myself. All is well. Ciao!!


rhys jones 4 years, 10 months ago

And nice job City Council!! You just let a fanatical sect bully you into possibly cutting your own wrists, with respects to your responsibility for the Steamboat budget and to our citizens. You could have put that movement through the normal petition process, where it would have surely died, but NOOOOOO....


jerry carlton 4 years, 10 months ago

Rhys Stay here year round and run for city council. Easy to criticize, harder to be part of the solution.


bill schurman 4 years, 10 months ago

Yo, jlc, the COUNCIL did vote not to ban MJ dispensaries. 'Nuff said. Should be end of story.


Scott Wedel 4 years, 10 months ago

Rhys, Or you could pretend they saw how the anti-SB700 group got organized during the petition process and so is subtly sabotaging the anti-mmj crew by putting it on the ballot without requiring a petition drive. So now this group in which the two leaders have completely different arguments that contradict each other have their issue on the ballot while in chaos.

I think putting this on the ballot will have a huge impact on the city council elections. Now mmj will be the biggest issue and no candidate will be able to avoid taking a position (well, at least one may be able to claim both sides of the issue) and so whichever sides wins will also probably have a majority on the city council.


rhys jones 4 years, 10 months ago

Jerry --

I've been here for many round years, just took the last winter off. Other exigencies. And now I am back, for the foreseeable future.

You wouldn't want me on City Council. I'd have the cops on horses and bicycles. Lincoln Avenue would be a pedestrian mall, US 40 rerouted over an elevated roadway over the north skirts of town. We could build that next week. (I hope I am not being taken in full seriousness) And the PAVEMENT!! Seems that causes more problems than it cures, getting slick in winter, always in need of repair... that comes up, as we return to our roots, and the dirt beneath. Automatic traction, next time it snows. Just run a blade over it now and then, and you're good to go. Simplify, people, simplify!!

I did sit through a good part of the last Council meeting, and I don't see how they do it. Sit there, hour after hour, while one special interest after another steps up to the podium and pleas their request for money or whatever. While the cause may be laudable -- and that is NOT a given -- after a while, they started resembling con men, to me. I come from a workaday world, where one gets paid to produce, and I am not used to asking for money for free. So to see these people so glibly make their presentations, some backed by slides and movies, was just foreign to me. I wondered if these variably-polished presentations were reserved for City Council, or if they were also flown before the Lions, the Optimists, and the Chamber. Does the private money buy into the return-on-investment scheme as well as the public money does?

One reason I abandoned legal aspirations, in college, besides this cool new TV camera they got, was my realization of the whorish aspect of the profession. Many aspiring attorneys do the debate circuit, in preparation for the courtroom, as did I. At those tourneys, you don't know which side of the assigned issue you will draw, pro or con, so you had to be equally prepared for either, all angles covered, opposition anticipated, blah blah. It's not about RIGHT or WRONG -- it's who can put together a better argument!!

The main difference between college and real life is that in college, right is defined by morals and ethics. In real life, whoever's paying the bills must be right!! And thus deserving of your finest effort.

My brother tried to get a shady client off once, whose establishment was charged with violations of -- decency laws? He claimed that the word "manipulation" NECESSARILY implied the hands, owing to its root -- main -- the French "hand" -- and thus this act did not qualify, since the girl used her FEET!!

Is that classic, or what? A good lawyer is hard to come by!! I never heard how that worked out. He won other cases before the 10th Circuit, so he wasn't a total shyster. Sorry, Dave, thought these folks would get a chuckle out of that. He's Up There now. Prescription drugs.

Anyway, no thanks, none of those games for me, but thanks for the thought!!


Scott Wedel 4 years, 10 months ago

Now, this a downhill event in a place that has fun with bikes. Now when we set something up like that then we deserve to be called a bike town.

And with the UCI official at the finish, apparently it is an officially sanctioned event.


Cory Prager 4 years, 10 months ago

Scott Thanks for the sweet video. With the expansion of new directional trails we are looking forward to more gravity events in the future.


Rob Douglas 4 years, 10 months ago

As Veronique de Rugy points out in her National Review (and Reason Magazine) piece: "...our prisons are packed with nonviolent offenders who are incarcerated for victimless crimes as a product of a war on drugs that has failed. It is really a tragic story." While it is time to stop the medical marijuana farce currently underway in this state, it is also long past time to stop the asinine "War on Drugs" that is doing more to destroy lives in this nation than the drugs themselves. Most of all, it is time to recognize drug addiction as an illness - not a crime - and treat it as such. Here's the piece cited above: And, here's the longer piece from Reason:


mtroach 4 years, 10 months ago

One thing no one hits on during this anti-MMJ tirade is that the Doctors that are against this should find a way to close the loopholes that recreational users are going through to get MMJ cards. Bad doctors prescribing MMJ to users without a real cause are as bad as doctors that over prescribe pills. I will contend it's not the MMJ industry that controls access to MMJ it's doctors. If a doctor ran an ad that said "Come out to Rex's to be evaluated for your Oxycontin needs, you will only be charged for your visit if you need Oxycontin" I bet someone would stop that. Why is it allowed for MMJ?

Doctors are leading this anti-MMJ charge when their industry is really the problem.


rhys jones 4 years, 10 months ago

So if drug addiction is a disease, and pot is a drug, how funny is it that the cause is also the cure? Quick, put it on the list!!


1999 4 years, 10 months ago

drug adiiction is neither and illness or a's a choice.


Scott Wedel 4 years, 10 months ago

mtroach, The difficulty with doctors trying to close the loophole allowing doctors to write recommendations is that it is the same loophole used by the prescription drug industry and doctors to write prescriptions for drugs never approved for that purpose or to prescribe drugs when not medically required.

There is a huge issue of over prescribing antibiotics which creates drug resistance strains that kill people and add many billions in health care costs.

Far easier for them to try to ban mmj than it is for them to reform their profession.

But that is hardly the overwhelming opinion of all doctors because many doctors believe their professional opinion and the doctor patient relationship is more important than what some third party thinks. And thus, that they should be able to write prescriptions for off label uses or recommend mmj to patients.


freerider 4 years, 10 months ago

To Rob Douglas , and any other ignorant marijuana citizens

before opening you pie hole next time about MMJ here's a lesson for you

To say MMJ is a farce , makes you sound stupid and ignorant , you know nothing about this subject so I have provided you with a link ... if you can process this information you might actually learn something


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