Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Marijuana Petitions Submitted To City

Today, shortly before noon, proponents of the movement to place an initiative on the November ballot which, if approved by the voters, will permit "certain Medical Marijuana activities in the City of Costa Mesa".  You can read the text of the message that appeared on the petitions as well as the entire proposed ordinance HERE.

Several proponents stood before the main entrance at City Hall and presented their pile of petitions.  It was required for them to gather roughly 5,800 signature of registered Costa Mesa voters - 10% of the number of the total registered voters.  According to the proponents, they gathered 6,780 valid signatures.  Shown here with Acting Deputy City Clerk Christine Cordon in the background.

Robert Martinez
- a name with whom some of you may be familiar as the fellow who broadcast his weekly marijuana radio program from then-mayor Gary Monahan's pub several months ago, then had the program removed from the airwaves - was the primary spokesman for the group.  He's shown here reading the text of the item on the petitions.

The pile of papers were turned in to Interim City Clerk Brenda Green for processing.  She's shown here exchanging details of the process with Martinez and others. 

Once Green and her staff timestamped in each petition page those documents were taken to a private room where Green counted each signature in front of a representative of the proponents.  Once that was completed the documents will be delivered to Neal Kelley, Orange County Registrar of Voters, where his staff will certify each and every signature as valid.  If sufficient numbers of signatures are found to be valid this item will appear on the November 6th ballot.

According to Green, the counting is complete and she is leaving to deliver the 6777 signatures to the Registrar as I type this.  His staff will certify each signature to the point where they reach the minimum for placement on the ballot - 5811.

Green also tells me that the city will pay for this item to be on the ballot if it qualifies, but the numbers are unknown at this time.  The Registrar's office determines the cost based on several variables that cannot be quantified at this time.

I think you'll find this initiative to be an interesting document.  Here are some of the highlights as presented in the petition language: (the emphasis below is mine)

  • It authorizes the establishment of storefront, mobile and agricultural medical marijuana operations, not operated primarily for profit, in the City.
  • No approval is given or required by or from the City to establish such operations.
  • The City cannot ban such operations.
  • The City cannot punish property owners for such operations.
  • It specifically exempts such medical marijuana operations from being required by the City to obtain a business license, special site plan or variance.
  • It prohibits the City from cooperating with county, state or federal law enforcement agencies in enforcing laws contrary to the Initiative.
  • It basically "grandfathers-in" ten (10) medical marijuana establishments deemed to be in good standing and free to begin operating.  Go to the link above for the identities of these establishments
  • Inspections of these establishments for normal fire and other safety inspections, appropriate parking per square footage and similar requirements for a private club may be performed so long as these are not different for any other business or private club in the City.
  • Storefront locations are prohibited within 1,000 feet of a public or private school where K-12 grade classes are held.
  • It requires medical marijuana establishments to have a closed circuit video camera system for security purposes; an active centrally-monitored burglary alarm system and proper lighting.
  • If found in violation of any of those regulations the City may fine the establishment a maximum of $1,000 per week per infraction but may not order the closure of the establishment.
  • The City would be limited to one inspection a year to insure compliance with these regulations.
  • The City may not impose any further regulations or regulatory procedures on medical marijuana activities, unless they are approved by a majority of the City of Costa Mesa voters in a regularly scheduled or special election.

Each of those items I highlighted are very problematic for me.  It looks to me as though any of these kind of facilities will operate beyond any reasonable application of the law.  If this item is certified and placed on the ballot I will vote NO.

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Anonymous Daves Not Here said...

How will this change anything in the eyes of the Feds? Last week there was another DEA/US Marshals raid on one of these local weed shops with plenty of cash and dope being snatched up away from the dope heads.

8/01/2012 05:44:00 PM  
Anonymous MMM In Nov said...

Finally something you and I agree on.

8/01/2012 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

I had hoped for more from this petition also. I am on the fence about this issue. I know there are people that can benefit very much from this; however, I still believe it should be regulated far more than a clinic or storefront will be willing to do.

I voted to get it on the ballot, as I believe it should be put to a vote, but what I see so far is not encouraging.

8/01/2012 08:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Pot Prohibition is a Failure
(Tune: The Little stream of whiskey)

Prohibition is a failure, as anyone can see,
For pot is sold in every town in California,
The G-man will arrest you, he’ll lock you up in jail,
He’ll smoke up all your maryjane, and turn you out on bail.

I’m goin’ back to Juarez, for to join the drug cartel,
Where dope is grown in open fields, and gets you stoned as hell;
Where the men may smoke and gamble, and the women quarrel and fight,
And paranoia’s rampant, and a man’s killed every night.

Now the growers up in Humboldt, in the woods by day and night,
They harvest sinsemilla, they’re sure they have the right.
They carry AK-forty-seven, Glock, and Bowie knife,
And the man who tries to raid them, he sure will lose his life.

A city dude can grow some dope that anyone can do,
You take a bucket of clone plants, and a big cow chip or two
Then you light up all your grow lights, and wait a month or so,
With a toke or two on a Saturday night, you’ll sing that home, sweet home.

Now the homeboy on the corner, he wants to make a buck,
He’ll gladly sell you a joint or two, he does not give a durn,
So if your doctor’s busted, or your co-op has been shut,
Go see your local gang member, he’s glad to help you out.

Then at the next election, I’m sure you all have seen,
We’ll have new city councilmen by twenty and thirteen;
And if we do not get them, I’m telling you and you,
We’ll grow our own marijuana, and have a toke or two.

--As submitted to Costa Mesa City Council previously. I explained to them at the time that there were three reasons why I was not likely to be sent to Alcatraz for marijuana use: first, I don't use the stuff; second, Alcatraz is no longer a penitentiary, but a state park; and third, I know the mayor, and what federal agent would dare go against such power?

'Nuff said.

8/01/2012 10:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

The irony is the fact that the local City Council and it's power base meets... at a bar. How'd that Prohibition end?

They can shut the dispensaries down and it won't matter - people can still get their weed/dope/meds whatever you want to call it. This is only holding off the day it's all ultimately regulated and taxed, so why not just get it over with.

I'd rather be on the road with stoned drivers than drunk drivers.

8/02/2012 06:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Caution: Danger Lies Ahead said...

The FBI arrested Cudahy's mayor, a city councilman and the city's head of code enforcement on federal bribery charges. Court documents allege the men accepted $17,000 in bribes in exchange for their support to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the city.

The case represents just the latest in a series of corruption abuses by city officials. They’re troubled cities, all having gone through a fairly substantial demographic shift -- highly immigrant, low-voter threshold … and with a population largely being asleep in terms of what democracy means or should mean.

"The allegations in this case describe a corrosive and free-wheeling attitude among certain officials in the City of Cudahy," said André Birotte Jr., U.S. attorney for the Central District of California. "The Department of Justice will aggressively investigate and pursue cases like this to ensure that the integrity of good government is protected and preserved."

"Money makes the monkey dance," Perales, Code Enforcement Division, told the informant.

Conde and Silva "are not your typical ... council people ... They’ve dealt with, uh, you know, people that throw money down," Perales said.

8/02/2012 06:59:00 AM  
Anonymous LMC said...

This represents some of the WORST the MMJ community has to offer.

8/02/2012 09:06:00 AM  

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