Lakewood voters overwhelmingly support recreational pot

Ballot Question 2B rolls up a huge lead in early returns

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Voters are overwhelmingly supporting Lakewood Ballot Question 2B. Early returns show voters in favor of 2B by a 66% to 34% margin with 88,0429 votes counted as of Nov. 5. If passed, the ordinance will allow the cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana in the city of Lakewood (Official Jeffco Clerk and Recorder count here).

The citizen-initiated ballot question, backed by Ascend Cannabis Company, would give currently licensed Lakewood medical marijuana vendors in good standing, the ability to sell recreational pot and edibles and operate commercial grow houses in the city. The ordinance would prohibit marijuana vendors not currently operating in the city to open new operations.

“I think Lakewood voters are super informed, they know what they want for their community and they spoke overwhelmingly,” said Lakewood Mayor, Adam Paul. “It was citizen initiated and I always support what the citizens have to say. The result is democracy in action.”

As for projected tax revenues recreational sales will bring. Paul said the numbers are unclear, but any amount will be good for the city.

“We’re facing a $17 million shortfall and those revenues will go toward parks, police and public works,” he said.

Lynea Hansen, spokesperson for “Vote Yes for a Stronger Lakewood,” a pro-2B committee was happy with the early returns.

“It’s an overwhelming victory and I think the voters spoke pretty clearly as to what they want,” she said. “Our next step will be working with City council and the city to get this all implemented.”

“I feel terrible," said Larry Van Thun, part of a group that opposed 2B. "I still feel very strongly that the wording was obfuscated."

Van Thun said there should be a legal challenge on the ballot issue wording.

"The fact that the vote was so overwhelming is a sign that people didn’t know what they were voting for, because it was so opposite from the previous vote that denied recreational sales," he said.

If approved, 2B will become effective Jan. 1, 2021.

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