On this week's Local Motion, we've decided to highlight political stories aired on our regional newscast. 

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Republican challenger Bob Beaupre squared off in an hour-long debate Thursday, hosted by the Coloradoan and 9News. In front of a packed audience in Colorado State University's Lory Student Center, the candidates discussed a wide range of topics from marijuana to curbing higher education costs, birth control and same-sex marriage.

Marijuana Plant
Marci Krivonen/Aspen Public Radio

Recreational and medical marijuana facilities are allowed in Ridgway. The town has one hybrid storefront that sales medical and retail pot. A town ordinance passed last month puts new restrictions on marijuana grow operations in Ridgeway.

KVNF's Laura Palmisano speaks to the town's Mayor John Clark about the new rules. 

Marijuana Plant
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Ten months into legalization, marijuana continues to be a divisive issue at the state and local level.  

“I think any governor that looks at doing this before we see what the consequences are I would view it as reckless," Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says during Monday's debate. 

Politico's Manu Raju, the moderator, asks Hickenlooper if it was reckless to legalize marijuana in the state.

Colorado's new campaign to deter teen marijuana use tries to make the case that weed is bad for your brain.

One TV ad shows a group of teens lighting up inside a dark car as moody music plays in the background. The commercial cites a Duke University study that found a link between regular marijuana use and a lower IQ.

Gabriela walks into a large, dimly lit apartment, goes to a counter, buys a bag of sativa and sits on the sofa with her friends, joint in hand, like in Amsterdam. Except this is not Amsterdam. This is Barcelona, and the open sale of marijuana is illegal.

Colorado is trying to show teens about marijuana's risks, maybe. 

A car accident crushed Brandon Coats' upper spine when he was 16, leaving him unable to walk. His muscles still spasm, disrupting sleep and causing pain.

"If I'm out in public it's embarrassing," Coats says. "It's always uncomfortable. If I smoke marijuana, it almost completely alleviates it" — more, he says, than other prescriptions.

Coats smokes at night, and says he was never high when answering customer calls at Dish Network. "I was really good at my job," he says.

Washington State To Start Recreational Pot Sales On Tuesday

Jul 7, 2014

Legal marijuana sales are set to begin in Washington state as early as Tuesday after authorities began issuing retail licenses to stores.

The state's Liquor Control Board issued Monday the first 24 marijuana retailer licenses, the board said in a statement. The stores can now stock up on marijuana products and begin sales on Tuesday after the mandated 24-hour "quarantine" period.

Here's more from the panel:

Marijuana use in the United States has gone up as the public perception of the drug's risk has gone down, according to a new United Nations report. The potency of the drug has also increased,

Luke Runyon/KUNC and Harvest Public Media

Colorado made history when it opened up licensed marijuana retail shops this year. Aside from just legalizing the purchase of smoke-able marijuana, it also means pot brownies have the potential to be big business.

Food products infused with marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, THC, are available in stores across the state.

Doug Tucker

The first batch of Colorado's recreational marijuana stores opened this month on New Years Day in Telluride, Breckenridge and Denver among other places, marking the beginning of what's expected to be a multi-million dollar industry.


The first recreational marijuana shop west of Breckenridge along I-70 is now open for business in Carbondale.

KDNK's Ed Williams reports that long lines and high taxes are not deterring a steady stream of customers at the shop, called the Doctor's Garden.


  • Colorado Legislative Session Kicks Off with a New Senate President
  • Hunting Guides Facing Federal Charges for Illegally Maiming Big Cats
  • New Pot Shops Seeing Steady Demand, Limited Supplies
  • First Retail Pot License Approved in Aspen
  • Former KVNF GM is the New President of the NFCB
  • Coloradans Could See Northern Lights Tonight


  • Two Injured, One dead after Plane Crash in Aspen
  • GJ Airport Authority Board Chairman was asked to Resign
  • Legal Pot Buyers Could Face DUI Charges in Utah Weeks after Smoking
  • Without a Legal Precedent, State of Colorado Depositing Pot Revenue in Banks
  • CAWS Extending Animal Shelter Hours


  • Long Lines, Eager Customers Reported at First Day of Legal Pot Sales in Denver, Telluride
  • Town of Marble's Lawsuit Against 9th Judicial District DA Complicates Theft Case
  • San Miguel Power Association and DMEA Warn Customers about Scams
  • Western Slope Skies  - the Bright Stars of Winter
Marijuana Plant
Marci Krivonen/Aspen Public Radio

As Colorado ushers in legalized retail marijuana, law enforcement is preparing for how to handle it. Adults 21 years and older are now able to purchase recreational pot at shops around the state.

The first retail enterprise won't open in the Aspen area until later this winter. Still, the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office there is preparing. Sheriff Joe Disalvo says he wants recreational weed to "succeed safely" in the resort town. He spoke with Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen.

Marci Krivonen/Aspen Public Radio

Across the state, more than three dozen retail marijuana stores opened for business on January 1st, marking a historic milestone for pot advocates. News reports showed lines outside of some Denver-area stores. And, people from around the country traveled to the state to purchase pot.


  • Denver Post Hires Marijuana Editor, Launches Pot Website
  • Boulder District Attorney Discusses Future of Industry
  • DMEA Customers to See Rate Increase This Year, San Miguel Power Association Rates to Hold Steady


  •  Montrose Prosecutor "Separated" from Job after DUI Suspicion
  • FAA Won't Use Colorado for Drone Testing
  • Colorado Lawyers, Law Enforcement Advising Drivers to Keep Pot in Trunk
  • Law Enforcement in Pitkin County Gears Up for Retail Marijuana Industry


  • Silt Officials Apprehensive about Town's New Pot-Friendly Image
  • State of Colorado May Be Willing to work on Western Slope Economy
  • Roaring Fork Valley Students to use Cloud-Based Technologies
  • Profile on Meg Olenick, a Carbondale-Based Winter Athlete
  • Ridgway State Park to Parcitipate in New Years Day Hiking Event
  • Boulder Researchers Working on "Smart-Plow" Technology


  • Northwest BLM Officials Recognized by Wilderness Society
  • Retail Pot Stores Set to Open January 1st
  • Arapahoe County Authorities might provide More Details in Shooting Case
  • Fugitive from Pueblo County Found in Oklahoma


  • Montrose County welcomes new county attorney
  • Home grown’s alright with me
  • Bald Eagles keep dying in Utah
  • Eco-Flight Gives Navajo youth another way of looking at things


  • State Democratic Leaders Won't Push Major Policy Changes
  • Grand Junction Airport Investigation Continues as Lawsuit is Filed
  • Colorado Issues First Ever Retail Pot Licenses
  • Colorado State University Researchers Take Part in Oil & Gas Studies


  • Civil Suit Filed against GJ Airport Administration
  • Grand Mesa Plane Crash Victims Were Looking for Lost Cattle
  • Future of Pot Shops in Mountain Village Still Undecided
  • Ouray Residents to weigh in on City Administrator's Performance
  • Future of Mining & Drilling Uncertain Across Western Slope
  • State Economy Has Some Bright Clouds


  • GJ Airport Board Fires Director Rex Tippets
  • Dog-Sledding Owner Charged with Animal Cruelty
  • State of Colorado Will Lower Medical Marijuana Patient Fees
  • Carbondale Set to Lower Retail Marijuana License Fees
  • Udall May Block Nomination of CIA General Counsel
  • State Lawmakers Reflect on Gun Laws


  • Military Plane Makes Emergency Landing at Montrose Airport
  • 3 Dead after Small Plane Crash on Grand Mesa
  • Colorado Denying More Medical Marijuana Applications in Recent Months
  • Spruce Beetles a Growing Threat in GMUG Forests
ChartiersValleyPatch (CC)

Today on Local Motion, a look back at some local ballot initiatives across our region and the state.

We talked with area reporters and people involved in contested issues this year about the elections, the outcomes, and what the results tell us about the attitude of Colorado voters this year.


  • Moffact County Officials Criticize BLM's Approach to Sage Grouse Plans
  • Garfield County Outlines Sage Grouse Protection Plan
  • Rocky Mountains Seeing More Horizontal Drilling than Rest of U.S.
  • Connect for Health Officials Working on Faster Insurance Applications
  • Basalt Residents Will See Vote on Retail Marijuana
  • Adams County Republican Joins Governor's Race 

Colorado voters gave a mixed reaction Tuesday on a pair of statewide tax increases. Voters didn’t want to tax themselves to pay for education, but were overwhelmingly willing to tax recreational marijuana to help rebuild schools.