CA: Bakersfield Residents Poised To Vote On Medical Marijuana In The City

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The weed wars in Kern County are far from over.

Now Bakersfield residents will get a chance to decide if they want the medical marijuana industry officially in the city.

Buying or selling marijuana, medicinal or recreational, is currently banned in the city of Bakersfield.

You cannot sell or grow marijuana for commercial purposes in city limits.

But a medical marijuana advocacy group is working hard to change that.

Jeff Jarvis and Heather Epps, of Kern Citizens for Patient Rights, submitted close to 33 thousand signatures for a petition to allow the sale, cultivation, manufacturing and delivery of medical marijuana in Bakersfield.

“The whole goal behind this initiative was to provide safe access to the community that utilizes medicinal cannabis for medicine,” said Jarvis.

The city deemed those signatures valid and so this November, Bakersfield voters will get a chance to vote against their council, which reaffirmed a ban of all marijuana operations last fall.

That council action to ban marijuana led to a series of raids shutting down dispensaries all over the city.

Councilmember Jacquie Sullivan plans to advocate hard against the initiative.

“It’s not good for families, it’s not good for communities, and so we’re going to work hard to keep them out of our city,” said Sullivan.

Jarvis says seniors and veterans who use medical marijuana are already burdened.

“It’s like any medicine if you will–it would be–I would say very inappropriate for someone that was taking a heart medication to say ok you got to drive to Palmdale to get your meds,” said Jarvis.

Meanwhile at Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting, the county will be discussing potentially allowing 7 medical retail shops in its unincorporated parts.