(Frederic J. Brown, AFP/Getty Images)

Police clamp down on Manitou Springs pot rally over food permit

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. — A peaceful pro-pot rally in Manitou Springs was disrupted by police on Saturday after police said vendors did not have permission to serve food.

One pro-marijuana group said the police intentionally shut it down while the police said it comes down to paperwork. The rally was being held 10 days before the election.

Vote ‘NO’ on 2G supporters said a vote against the amendment would keep recreational pot sales in Manitou. A vote in favor of 2G would halt the sale of recreational pot in the city.

Map: Colorado recreational marijuana shops and medical dispensaries

“I don’t care either way,” councilman Sarge MacDonald said. “I always tell every citizen vote your conscience, vote your belief, just get out there and vote. But, I support these people because they wanted to put on this event. I escorted them to city, and they did everything they were told to do by every department. This is a big fiasco right now.”

Police said they did not stop the rally. They said they only stopped vendors from selling food because those vendors did not get proper permits from the city, KRDO-TV reported Sunday.

“It’s a zoning issue with the city. Whatever permit they had wasn’t through the city of Manitou Springs. They had a permit to have the rally, that was all they had a permit for, not to vend,” said Odette Saglimbeni with the Manitou Springs Police Department.

People who counted on making hundreds of dollars at the event before they were told to pack up disagreed.

“Freedom of speech is supposed to be open in the United States and to be shut down the way the city of Manitou has done to us is completely wrong,” vendor Richard LaPlant said.


Information from: KRDO-TV