Lamar Marijuana Ballot Initiatives Tossed in Court Decision

Prowers County Courthouse

 

 

District Court Judge, Michael Davidson has ruled in favor of the Plaintiff in the case that claimed because of the flawed process in securing sufficient signatures on an initiating petition, the November 2nd election ballot questions allowing legal sales of recreational marijuana are invalid.

The Plaintiff, Wanda Rohlman, appealed the validity of the two initiatives, 2A and 2B to the court, claiming city officials failed to follow Article VI, section 6-2 in the City Charter.  Voters did approve those two questions which allowed the Lamar City Council to follow through on two ordinances, 1248 and 1249 to allow recreational sales within the city and to create a tax base for those marijuana sales.

The court proceedings showed that Lamar City Clerk, Linda Williams, erred when she told SOCO, the petition initiator they needed 221 names, or 5% of the total ballots cast in the past election.  The percentage should have been 15% and they had been certified by Williams, clearing the way for the ballot questions to be presented to the November, 2021 voters who did indicate they were in favor of legalization of marijuana sales and the subsequent sales tax.

Judge Davidson found in favor of Rohlman stating, as the city had violated the charter’s article and as such the two ordinances and subsequently the two ballot initiatives, 2A and 2B are invalid and should not have been posted to the November ballot for a vote.  Lamar Mayor, Kirk Crespin, said the council’s executive session during their March 28th meeting would focus on the court’s ruling and the next best steps the Lamar City Council could follow.
By Russ Baldwin

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