CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. — The debate over legal recreational marijuana is lighting up in Cripple Creek.

“It’s a mining town it has always been, I grew up there as a child,” said Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell. “I remember it being a safe place, a wonderful place to grow up.”

Cripple Creek is a town of about 1,200 people and known for being a historic mining district. According to Visit Cripple Creek, the city has nine casinos all within walking distance. Jackson Kaczmarek, a security guard at Colorado Grande Casino, said legalizing retail marijuana will bring in more business.

“If it’s all a one-stop shop up here, I think it’ll be perfect for not only the casinos, but for the businesses,” said Kaczmarek. “So I think this is the perfect way to go.”

Another worker at Colorado Grande, Tanner Elliott, said it would be good overall to the city.

“While it seems like it might be something that leads to hardcore stuff, it’s been proven to show medical purposes,” said Tanner Elliott. “If it brings in the revenue, it can help us out business-wise.”

Sheriff Mikesell is concerned about how close marijuana stores would be to schools.

“The schools aren’t more than probably a quarter mile from any establishment that you would build in town,” said Sheriff Mikesell. “I think it sets a poor example for students that are dealing with the pressures of drugs in our county.”

If Cripple Creek City Council votes against it, the issue will be decided by the voters of Cripple Creek.