Perhaps you’ve been approached in the last week or two near Malibu supermarkets by a signature gatherer (typically paid) requesting your support to sign a petition allowing in Malibu legal delivery of marijuana for medical usage. Three local residents identifying themselves as “Safe and Legal Access” are trying to drum up support for commercial pot deliveries in the city, now that Californians approved adult usage in November 2016 with the passage of Proposition 64. However, Prop 64 still allows for local regulation and taxation.
The Malibu City Council addressed the issue back in December when it voted, 3-2, to ban recreational sales and deliveries. Currently at Malibu’s two dispensaries, cannabis can only be purchased with a doctor’s recommendation. When The Malibu Times asked if the issue was to be revisited, Council Member Lou La Monte—who voted against recreational sales and deliveries along with Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner and Rick Mullen—said Malibu was among the majority of cities in Los Angeles County to ban nonmedical cannabis purchases. It’s legal in only four cities, although the city of Los Angeles is one.
Now, though, with a movement growing to allow marijuana to be delivered, the council may be forced to reconsider or if petitioners have their way—a vote in this November’s election.
Although she has financial interest in the matter, the owner of 99 High Tide Collective on Pacific Coast Highway, Yvonne De La Rosa Green, said that’s not the only reason she supports the petition. She passionately spoke about “people who currently cannot get access to this natural medicine” adding, “it would stop the black market and help the people who need it the most.”
Green described those people as seniors, the disabled and those who are very ill.
“These are the people who need delivery, and ever since delivery was banned by three city council members, we have a full-on black market in Malibu. People have to get their medicine and if they cannot they have to go through other means and those means right now are the black market.”
Green claims unregulated cannabis can be dangerous.
“People don’t know what’s in this medicine. People are taking a chance. There could be toxins or pesticides in it because it’s not regulated or tested,” Green cautioned. “The people who need it the most are the ones being hurt by this ban here in Malibu. They’re the ones who are suffering.
“Eighty-five percent of Malibu voted for Proposition 64, which allowed adult use and delivery,” Green added. “The three council members that voted against it and created a ban are going against the will of the people.”
When questioned by The Malibu Times about marijuana delivery, Wagner said he is reserving judgment until he reads more about California legislative Senate Bill 1302 that’s winding through the State Capitol.
“If that is passed, it will be the law of California, which would override any county or city municipal rules,” Wagner explained. “I would like to be able to read 1302 in its entirety and I would also like to be able to read the measure that the dispensaries have proposed for the ballot.”
Part of 1302 states “this bill would prohibit a local government from adopting or enforcing any ordinance that would prohibit a licensee from delivering cannabis.”
As far as Green is concerned, the change can’t come soon enough.
“As a dispensary owner and healer I have to see these people come in every day suffering,” Green said. “People with illnesses, diseases, people who are dying and need this medicine.” Green described a woman who recently came in with her disabled child in a wheelchair suffering with seizures, but the two had to leave without a purchase because they could not physically make it into the building.
Green concluded by mentioning a 2.5 percent tax she termed “critical.”
“Right now, we’re losing taxes that the state would be giving us. We’re missing out on millions of dollars,” Green said. “God willing, if we get enough signatures, we will go on to the November ballot where it goes once again to a vote of the people, which is the most democratic process we have available in the United States.”