Crested Butte says yes to pot sales but no to town’s regulations

RBC I A significant majority of Crested Butte residents believe marijuana legalization is good for the state and the town, but many are wary of rushing local rules governing retail establishments, a Wenzel Strategies survey shows.
The survey comes as the Crested Butte Town Council prepares to vote on an ordinance governing retail marijuana sales in this historic resort town.
A significant majority of 71 percent of registered voters in Gunnison County’s Precincts 3, 4, and 5, which includes the small resort towns of Crested Butte, Mt. Crested Butte and the surrounding unincorporated Gunnison County, said they believe last fall’s statewide legalization of marijuana is a positive thing for the state. Another 26 percent said it was a negative development.
And, a majority of 55 percent said they agree with the Crested Butte town council’s proposal to allow the retail sale of marijuana along two historic streets in town.
However, 55 percent of respondents said they disagree with the town council’s proposal to issue 17 permits for marijuana outlets that can be located in the commercial and national historic district of the town of Crested Butte.
Another 42 percent said they agreed with the proposal.
The survey also shows there is significant concern over the details in the local ordinance, as a plurality of 41 percent said they are less likely to support the current ordinance under consideration by the council, knowing it includes only limited regulations governing signage for marijuana shops that might open in the historic shopping district.
Thirty-eight percent were more likely to support the current ordinance.
Importantly, a significant majority of 64 percent of local registered voters said they agree that the town council should not rush ahead with adoption of an ordinance on the issue, but should instead take its time to consider the possibilities of unknown and possibly harmful effects it could have on the tourist haven.
This response from registered voters comes as a reaction to a comment to Town Council Member Glenn Michel that, should this ordinance pass, “Crested Butte will have some of the most liberal marijuana laws in the nation, if not the world.”
The telephone survey was commissioned by a group of citizens in Crested Butte and was conducted on Sept. 15. It included 303 registered voters. The survey carries a margin of error of +/- 5.61 percentage points.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Wenzel Strategies is a public opinion research firm based in Columbus, Ohio. Established in 2005, its clients include political candidates, governments, non-profit agencies, media, and corporations across the nation.