11:43pm

Tue November 1, 2011
Election Results

Smoke Has Yet To Clear On Question 300

Vote counting ended early in Fort Collins Tuesday night due to inclement weather. At 10 pm, Question 300 was leading in the preliminary elections results. That left proponents declaring victory – and opponents waiting until a final vote count.

State lawmakers gave cities and counties the ability to decide whether or not they want to allow medical marijuana dispensaries and growing facilities last year. And as of last night – supporters of banning dispensaries in Fort Collins were leading 53 to 47 percent when vote counters called it quits.

That led the group Concerned Fort Collins Citizens to high-fives and handshakes. Spokesman and former mayor Ray Martinez thinks voters heard his group’s message – and understand that banning the city’s 21 dispensaries won’t hurt medical marijuana patients.

“This does not affect people who are using medical marijuana who are in bad shape and need it for health, and those who have been using it for years,” says Martinez.

But Steve Ackerman, a dispensary owner and spokesperson for the No on 300 campaign, says it’s the patients who would lose most.

“Marijuana is a widely used drug, it is present in every community, and medical marijuana is something that helps patients. ”

If the ban is approved, medical marijuana dispensaries owners will have 90 days to shut their doors. Ackerman says right now there are no plans to legally challenge the ban if it’s approved. Vote counting is expected to resume Wednesday morning.