• Pacific Grove Will Weigh in on Medical Marijuana…Again

    medical marijuana 11When Measure 215, the Compassionate Use Act, passed in California in 1996, Pacific Grove voters were proven to have voted for it by more than a two-to-one margin. “Yes” votes were 5540 and “no” votes were 2347.

    In 2010, when it came down to having a medical marijuana dispensary in the city limits, the then-seated city council scampered in the other direction, first passing an emergency moratorium banning dispensaries while the matter was studied. They said, in light of a preponderance of testimony in favor of the dispensary, they wanted staff to give them proposed regulations and to watch for the outcome of court cases in other cities. Then, a few months later, when the moratorium was expiring and testimony against marijuana in general outstripped pro-dispensary testimony, they voted 5-1 to ban dispensaries in the city limits, noting that Federal law supersedes state law and thus city law. And despite what the voters indicated they wanted, the council had taken a vow to uphold federal and state law as well as city law.

    Three of the council members seated then are no longer on the council. The lone dissenting vote was Robert Huitt’s, whose impassioned speech in favor of the Compassionate Use Act still echoes off the walls of City Council chambers.

    Back then, legalization of various marijuana-related activities and would have allowed local governments to tax and control these activities. Even so, the sale of cannabis would have remained illegal under federal law. Prop. 19 was on the November 2010 ballot, and it was defeated 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent. Where the rest of the state voted no on marijuana legalization, Pacific Grove voted yes. 9322 voters, 6922 ballots cast; 74.25 % turnout. 4009 voted yes, 2719 voted no on Prop. 19. Today, it appears that a proposition in favor of recreational use of marijuana will once again be on the ballot under the The Marijuana Control, Legalization & Revenue Act.

    And tonight, Wed., Jan. 6, 2016, the council faces the question of Compassionate Use once again.

    California has acted on Compassionate Use, passing the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, requiring a State license for all medical marijuana businesses – dispensary sales, delivery service, cultivation, transport or distribution. Such businesses may only operate if they have both state and local permission. Civil and criminal penalties have been set up for operating without a state license.

    Each city must establish a land use ordinance regulating the cultivation of marijuana by March 1, 2016. If the city does not, the State department of Food and Agriculture will be the sole licensing authority for medical marijuana cultivation applicants.

    What will Pacific Grove do?

    posted to Cedar Street Times on January 6, 2016

    Topics: Front PG News

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