Emerald Fields retail marijuana customer Jacob Turek sniffs a sample in Manitou Springs’ second and final recreational marijuana shop, which opened in 2015. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

Will Colorado’s second-largest city vote on recreational cannabis sales in 2018?

Advocates for legalized recreational marijuana sales in Colorado Springs are setting their sights on a 2018 ballot proposal, since the chances of getting on El Paso County’s November ballot are slim.

A set of proposed stormwater fees sidelined any pot proposal for this year. And while most City Council members have said they want voters to decide on recreational marijuana sales, many say this year is too soon.

But Citizens for Safer Neighborhoods is prepared to petition the issue onto the county’s ballot in November 2018, said spokesman Mike Elliott. The group would need to collect about 20,000 voter signatures by next August.

Since Colorado Springs voters approved Amendment 64 in 2012, allowing recreational marijuana sales across the state, support for local recreational sales has only increased, Elliott said. And while he said he’s confident the group could collect enough signatures, “We would prefer to work with the City Council to outright opt in, or they could put it to a vote.”

Council President Pro Tem Jill Gaebler said such a petition likely would only represent marijuana industry interests, and she would prefer to work with advocates, citizens and Mayor John Suthers to craft legislation in the community’s best interest.

Read the full story at Gazette.com.

This story was first published on Gazette.com