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Dacono voters support marijuana legalization

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By Ben Wiebesiek

DACONO — Dacono and Carbon Valley voters mirrored the narrow margin by which voters countywide opted in supporting a ballot question to legalize possession, cultivation and sale of marijuana for recreational purposes.
        Amendment 64 passed with 54.9 percent of voters — 1.3 million total — signaling support for the measure, with 45 percent against (1.07 million).
    The passage of Amendment 64 comes in the face of numerous government groups voicing formal opposition to the measure.
    “The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will. This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper in a statement as results were trickling in. “That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly.”

    After the last voting centers had turned in tallies, Weld County reported preliminary results showing support in the precincts in Dacono.
    After counting 1,344 ballots (88 percent of the registered Dacono voters in the precinct), the precinct reported 737 in favor of Amendment 64 and 607 opposed. One small section of Dacono – the neighborhood west of Glen Creighton Drive – resides in a larger precinct centered around old town Frederick, but the measure passed there as well.
    Two precincts in Carbon Valley rejected the amendment.
    One was a precinct including parts of Firestone and Frederick between Bell Rosa and Godding Hollow parkways. But here the measure was rejected by 10 votes.
    Another precinct voted against the amendment with a margin of less than 1 percentage point: Firestone North and West of St. Vrain Ranch Boulevard.
    Brad Henson, owner of Dacono Meds, personally voted against the amendment, but he suggested its passage might make Dacono City Council take a second look at a recent ban on medical marijuana dispensaries set to go into effect at the end of the year.
    “We don’t know what’s going to happen. Since the amendment passed, you wouldn’t believe how many calls we got from around the world yesterday. We got flooded,” Henson said. “I would say we easily got 300 to 400 calls from people around the world looking to come to Colorado. People are planning vacations around this.”
    Henson said he’s going to stay focused on the medical side of the emerging marijuana industry.
    A petition and signatures were submitted two weeks ago requesting a special election for Dacono voters to consider the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.
    Henson said that according to state regulation, a business has to pursue one avenue of operations: either as a medical marijuana dispensary, or a recreational retailer.
    “There’s a lot of things that are going to have to be done at the state level before I’ll even look at it,” Hensons said.
    The composition of Dacono’s council also changed with the last election. Lori Saine has won a seat at the Colorado House of Representatives. While Saine was on council, she voted in favor of the dispensary ban. Council’s vote in June passed the restrictions 4-2, with councilmen Kevin Plain and Steve Bruno voting against the ban.
    Geneiveve Schneider was elected to Saine’s seat this year, and she told residents during a candidate forum that she opposed the ban.
    “We need to stay out of private business, we don’t need to be revoking business licenses and we need to be consistent and good to our word,” Schneider said. “The dispensaries have been responsible in our community.”