Once the horse has left the barn… once the steam has left the kettle…

Some of Colorado Springs’ city fathers would like to put the Genie back in the bottle. NEWS FLASH: You can’t put the Genie back in the bottle. Their thinking feels pot induced. Because I like to get along now, I thought I’d ad my own pot induced ideas to their conversation.

My First Good Pot Induced Idea: If the issue is that pot businesses are too widely disbursed across the city in a helter-skelter fashion and therefore too unruly and hard to manage, police and tax, the city fathers (and mothers) should consider converting one geographic area of the city into “The Pot Zone”.

Converting one specific area into a pot zone is easily accomplished with the wand of legislation from the Colorado Springs City Council who could annex the land known as “No Man’s Land” from west 31st Street to Manitou Springs. There are numerous precedents for special of zones. I recall the Vietnamese war demilitarized zone, for example.

The financial implications of a Pot Zone are enormous. Because of Adam Smith’s invisible hand in the free market, The Pot Zone’s assessed value would likely double overnight. (Similar increases were witnessed in Denver, Pueblo West, Trinidad and every location where recreational pot was approved for sale.) Increased assessed values produce greater tax collection which can be used for new infrastructure and other critical improvements which would normally come from urgent other spending priorities. Locating all the pot business in one zone would make policing and taxing much easier.

My Second Good Pot Induced Idea: With the controversial land swap for Strawberry Fields, Colorado Springs will receive full ownership of the Incline. But that’s all we get. We get a berry plant with no fruit. We get an empty bottle of wine. We get a warm Budweiser. We retain the liability and Manitou collects the benefit. Manitou gets the elevator and we get the other part.

If I were King of the World, or if I was simply someone with power in the city, I’d sell the Incline to Manitou Springs; and here’s the pot connection, Manitou could fund the purchase with their pot tax.

Selling the Incline to Manitou would be a win-win. Colorado Springs would no longer be saddled with potential latent unknowable liability and Manitou Springs could legitimately brand the Incline as The World Famous Manitou Springs Incline.

Manitou has not effectively managed the asset (The Incline) to their advantage (yet). But they will, eventually. Their merchants complain that Incliners don’t buy merchandise. It’s said they simply drive into town, park, hike and leave.

Manitou could set-up parking for the Incliners, where they park remotely, ride a shuttle to the east end of their downtown shopping district (which could become the new trailhead) claiming the start of the Incline is the east end of the downtown.

Folks would hike up & down the Incline “through their downtown” passing cool places to eat and drink and buy a T-Shirt. Manitou’s merchants would prosper and the city’s tax revenue would increase and that increase (think of TIFF) could be used to fund Incline improvements.

Oh, and lest we forget the parking problems on Ruxton Avenue; they would be eliminated. Ruxton Avenue parking would be reserved for residents only.

In the long run, you cannot legislate social mores. And you can’t legislate away the fact that we have medical and recreational marijuana. But, you can get really creative in how you regulate, tax and police and benefit from the fact that marijuana is here and it’s not going back into the barn, the kettle nor the bottle.

If you want to join the conversation call 719-337-9551 or email Tim@HoffLeigh.com

Pay attention. Be informed. Make a difference. Keep it real.