Boulder considering smoking ban on Pearl Street Mall

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BOULDER, Colo. -- Lighting up could soon be costly in parts of Boulder.

City Council members are expected to approve a proposed smoking ban on Pearl Street during Tuesday's City Council meeting. It's a ban that's been in the works for a while and could carry fines of up to $500 for first time offenders.

That's not the only ban on the agenda.

City Attorney Tom Carr is now advising a temporary ban on all retail marijuana stores in the city.

The move is in response to Amendment 64 which passed statewide in November.

Carr is hoping to learn from the experience of setting up medical marijuana dispensaries. He says instead of setting up shops first and changing things as state laws come in, he'd like the city to put the process on hold. That way they can be sure city rules follow the state guidelines from the beginning.

He says the ban would only last a year or two noting the community passed amendment 64 with 66% of the vote.

"Well we're really talking more about a breather than a ban. The issue really for us is more how do we do it? How does the City of Boulder accommodate this in a way that fits in to our community with 20 thousand college kids? We want to do that responsibly and get it right," Carr said.

Smoking is also a hot topic on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder. The student government there is discussing a proposal asking the university to implement a campus-wide smoking ban.

Chris Schaefbauer is the Student Government Director of Health and Safety. He said the resolution proposed by the student government is simply a health policy.

"Our goal is really to be able to protect the health and wellness of the students, the faculty, and the staff so that we can really support the mission of the University which is to help people learn," Schaefbauer said.

He says staying healthy is key. The student government is hoping a University policy would go into effect in July of 2013.

Students can sound off about the proposal at the student government meeting on Thursday.