The Home Front: Marijuana for PTSD, scrapping a downtown coal plant, Big Soda and Big Tobacco

A meeting of Weld County commissioners about whether they should change their county’s constitution turned into a shouting match, according to The Greeley Tribune. “Although the commissioners were business as usual during the first portion of the two-hour meeting, it took an abrupt turn amid the discussion of the charter committee. The conversation quickly devolved into accusations of hypocrisy and secrecy. Commissioner Sean Conway began shouting at the group; other commissioners, despite their best efforts, were visibly upset at the accusations. Hands waved, members and residents in the audience sniped at each other.”

Big Tobacco is rolling out the dough against a ballot measure to raise the cigarette tax in Colorado, according to The Fort Collins Coloradoan. “You might have seen it online or on TV: An ad warning Colorado voters of “powerful special interests” who want to misuse the state constitution by passing Amendment 72, a proposal that would dramatically increase the state’s tobacco tax. But who paid for the 29-second ad? A U.S. tobacco giant that reports has spent more than $65 million lobbying Congress since 2010.”

Utility and city leaders are planning the demise of the downtown coal plant in Colorado Springs, The Gazette reports. The Downtown Partnership, “development leaders and clean-air advocates have lobbied to get Drake out of downtown, saying the unsightly plant and its white plume are in plain view from Interstate 25 and detract from an otherwise progressing downtown.”

Meanwhile, in Boulder, businesses say they were duped by Big Soda into joining an anti-tax campaign, The Daily Camera reports. “No on 2H, organized and supported by the American Beverage Association, debuted Sept. 14 and included in its announcement a list of 32 Boulder restaurants that reject what’s proposed on the city’s 2016 ballot: a $0.02 excise tax on distributors of most drinks with more than 5 grams of added sweetener per 12 ounces. … Some business owners are now asking to be disconnected from the movement, and they offered common reasons for doing so on Monday, saying they didn’t realize they were consenting to be part of official campaign material, and that the No on 2H solicitors didn’t accurately represent their interests.”

Colorado Mesa University, in partnership with Rocky Mountain PBS, published its first political poll today in the pages of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “It is the first poll done by a newly created Social Research Center at CMU, which is being formed in cooperation with the Pennsylvania-based Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College.” The college checked in with 540 Colorado voters on the presidential race, U.S. Senate race and ballot measures.

“A Mead resident was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree murder after deputies from the Weld County Sheriff’s Office found the body of a woman who’d been shot multiple times in the head inside a house,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The Weld County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Shawna Naimoli, of Thornton, and have scheduled an autopsy. The suspect, Ronald Budler, 49, is currently being held at the Weld County Jail, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.”

The Pueblo Chieftain delves into whether a local ballot measure would be a “de-Brucing,” in reference to Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights author Douglas Bruce, which “is the term used in describing a method for governments to be allowed to recover revenues without increasing taxes.”

In Steamboat Springs, council members debated balancing growth with open pace, reports Steamboat Today.

“Post-traumatic stress disorder would be eligible for medical marijuana treatment in Colorado under a proposed measure that was advanced Wednesday by a legislative panel,” reports The Durango Herald. “But the panel stopped short of advancing a bill that would have allowed for bring-your-own-cannabis social clubs and tasting rooms inside dispensaries. That issue is likely to come up again when the Legislature convenes in January.”

A “newly-released investigation into VA overruns details leadership failures as aesthetics were put above price,” and the VA was warned repeatedly, according to The Denver Post. “Cost overruns of more than $1 billion at the Veterans Affairs hospital under construction in Aurora were the fault of agency officials who ignored repeated warnings about its price and went ahead with plans to build a medical campus that one consultant compared to a shopping mall, according to an investigation made public Wednesday.”

And Denverite reports how African-Americans are seeking a foothold in Colorado’s white-dominated marijuana industry.