July 20, 2010

Alameda County Democrats Endorse Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Although the Executive Board of the California Democratic Party decided to remain neutral on July 18, 2010, the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee endorsed the ballot initiative to legalize the sale of marijuana at its meeting on July 7, 2010, with only one member opposed.

The initiative will appear on the November 2, 2010, ballot as Proposition 19, the California Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010.

The resolution passed by the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee reads:

Whereas, controlling and taxing cannabis, like we do with alcohol and cigarettes, will generate billions of dollars in annual revenue for California to fund what matters most to Californians: jobs, health care,ยท schools and libraries, roads, and more.
Whereas, California should stop arresting thousands of non-violent cannabis consumers, freeing up police resources and saving millions of dollars each year, which could be used for apprehending truly dangerous criminals and keeping them locked up, and for other essential state needs that lack funding.
Whereas, if a controlled and taxed cannabis market operated on the same level as the California wine industry, it would generate tens of thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in new yearly wages for workers.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee endorses the California Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, appearing on this November's statewide ballot, and
Be it further resolved that the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee urges the California Democratic Party to endorse the California Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, appearing on this November's statewide ballot, at its Executive Board meeting scheduled July 16-18, 2010.

After the passage of Proposition 215 in 1996, San Leandro took no action regarding the marijuana dispensaries that were permitted under the new state law until 2004 when the City Council enacted a moratorium on marijuana dispensaries in December to prevent one from opening in San Leandro. Subsequent ordinances were passed in January 2005 and January 2006.

However, the moratorium on marijuana dispensaries ended as of December 4, 2006, because the State of California places time limits on urgency ordinances like the ones San Leandro enacted to prohibit marijuana dispensaries within the City. According to the City Attorney, marijuana dispensaries cannot be licensed in San Leandro because they possess and distribute a federally-controlled substance. San Leandro Municipal Code Sec. 2.2.420 permits the Finance Director to reject a business license application if there is "reasonable cause to believe...that a proposed business will not comply with any applicable laws..." This seems to give the City of San Leandro the flexibility to ban or license marijuana-related businesses depending on the current climate.

Even before California voters decide whether to legalize marijuana in November, the City of Oakland will decide on Tuesday whether to permit four large marijuana growing operations that could generate millions in tax revenues. Meanwhile, discussions about a possible growing operation in San Leandro have faded as quickly as they appeared.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at July 20, 2010 1:25 PM | TrackBack
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