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Debate over recreational marijuana grows in Pueblo

A group of people in Pueblo County, Colorado, filed a petition that asks for a total ban on the recreational marijuana industry.

It caused a huge uproar with the people who make a living in that industry.

The Citizens for a Healthy Pueblo is the group asking for the ban, citing multiple reasons for this request. This includes concerns over how recreational marijuana is changing the community of Pueblo.

Growing Pueblo’s Future, a group of people who make their living off of different parts of the cannabis industry in Pueblo, spoke out against the Petition on Wednesday.

They said that if this ban were to come into effect, a lot of good hard working people would be impacted negatively.

“Just for our company alone I think it would hurt probably over two hundred and fifty families,” said business owner Jeff Ayotte.

He said every one of those individuals contribute to the economy of Pueblo.

“How many people go out to dinner every night? How many cars have we bought? How many houses have we bought in the county? How many kids are here,” said Ayotte.

Former Pueblo Sherrif Dan Corsentino said he supports recreational marijuana and that people should look at how sage legalization has made the industry.

“we have a regulated industry. We have an industry that is growing. It’s professional, it’s accountable and if we do it right the prosecution and law enforcement does not have to worry about the cannabis industry,” said Corsentino.

Some argued that without recreational pot, it would just open up the black market to fill the void.

“The Mexican drug cartels, they want to steal these jobs and I say we cannot let that happen. We need to protect the jobs that we have right here in pueblo,” said Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace.

One business owner says the way to defeat this petition is education.

“I really think we need to educate the public on what legalized regulated marijuana is. Show them the difference between illegal marijuana and regulated marijuana. We also need to educate the public on what legalized regulated marijuana is doing for our community,” said Ayotte.

The people who proposed the ban argued that the vote back in 2012 didn’t accurately represent what the people of Pueblo cCunty want and that those in rural parts of the county are extremely against recreational marijuana.

They said this issue should be decided by the voters once again.