Lamar Ballot Question 300 Defeated by Voters UNOFFICIAL NUMBERS

Ballot Box in East Parking Lot at Courthouse


1,300 ballots were delivered to the County Clerk’s Office as of the close of voting at 7pm Tuesday, so the outcome may change.

Question 300 was intended to alter the City of Lamar’s home charter rule. Initiated through a petition, the question prohibited various actions and sales of marijuana and marijuana related materials or accessories within the city limits to those under the age of 21. Proponents cited several reasons for the yes vote including statewide declining sales tax revenue from marijuana sales, the need to ration water supplies in Lamar if commercial growing is allowed and increased costs for law enforcement to deal with problems stemming from marijuana use. An information brochure pointed out the new ordinance would not prohibit personal use, medical use or statewide household marijuana plant limits, but would prohibit dispensaries and grow facilities as well as sale of marijuana accessories.

The vote was 869 in favor and 1,059 against, so the Question failed to pass.

There was opposition to the question, based on claims it was basically unconstitutional and some of the restrictions were too broad based. Colorado State marijuana laws were passed in November 2012, when Colorado voters approved Amendment 64 legalizing recreational marijuana possession for adults. The measure also required the state to establish a regulatory structure for retail marijuana. However, Lamar had been under a city council issued moratorium against legalized sales of marijuana for over a decade despite surrounding communities, such as Las Animas, approving the sale following the 2012 election.

Two years ago, Lamar voters approved the legalized sale of recreational marijuana in the town, but because of an error determining the number of petition signatures required to place the ballot before the voters, a local court determined the results were not valid.

Now, with the defeat of this question, there may be future attempts. Will the proponents of sales of marijuana again attempt to have their issue placed before Lamar voters or will those opposed make another attempt to restrict it? If either of these groups make an attempt to allow or restrict sales via an alteration of the city charter, this could develop into a see-saw battle every election cycle.

As always, a very special thank you to all of our friends and neighbors in the Prowers County Clerk and Recorders office who toil to allow free and fair elections for local residents.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesCountyFeaturedHot TopicsPolitics

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