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Mayor: Pot Ordinance Needed Ahead Of Vote


Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
Depending on what polls you read, marijuana advocates may be blowing smoke about the chances of a November legalization initiative in California.

One poll, released by the California Public Policy Institute last week, signals voters are split on the measure, with 49 percent in favor and 48 percent opposed.

An April 19 poll, released by the Smith Johnson Research and commissioned by opponents of the measure, found 56.3 voters are opposed to legalization while 36.5 percent of voters supported it.

The measure was certified for addition to the ballot in March with more than the 433,971 signatures needed to qualify.

If California voters pass the measure legalizing marijuana use for all adults older than 21, cities are on the hook to decide how residents can grow, sell and use the drug.

The new law would take effect Wednesday, Nov. 3, if it passes that Tuesday.

It would behoove Grass Valley to have an ordinance on the books in anticipation of that passage, likely or not, said Mayor Lisa Swarthout.

"My fear is that, if we don't put something in place, we'll be stuck with whatever happens the next day," Swarthout said. Such a scenario could include stores peddling pot as soon as the initiative passes, Swarthout said.

No 'gray area'

An ordinance is needed to govern how the city would police the sale, cultivation and use of marijuana, Swarthout said. The initiative also leaves cities to decide how to tax pot sales.

"We don't want any gray area in Grass Valley," Swarthout added. She would like to see an ordinance come before the city council before November.

In February, council members extended by one year a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries opening in town. The moratorium was intended to give city staff time to craft a medical marijuana ordinance.

A new moratorium could be needed while city staff build a new policy in regards to the potential law, Swarthout said.

Local law enforcement is opposed to legalization and any dispensaries – medical or otherwise – in Nevada County, said Grass Valley Police Chief John Foster.

"My hopes are that voters would read the poorly-written initiative and vote no on it," Foster said.

Some city residents are opposed to legalization and wouldn't want to see dispensaries in Grass Valley if the initiative passes, they said.

"I don't think it's going to do society as a whole any good," said Robin Laritz, a city resident.

Medical marijuana is "a sham" because it's a step toward legalization, and if legalization passes, dispensaries shouldn't be opened in the city, said Dale Knowell, another city resident.

"I'm against it. I just don't like this drug situation," Knowell said.

NewsHawk: Ganjarden: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: TheUnion.com
Author: Kyle Magin
Contact: TheUnion.com
Copyright: 2010 Swift Communications, Inc.
Website: Mayor: Pot ordinance needed ahead of vote

* Thanks to MedicalNeed for submitting this article


New Member
I would add my comment that Cannabis is much safer than alcohol and most controlled prescription drugs in terms of potential for overdose, creation of a dependency or organ damage. Just recently such popular drugs as Tylenol Motrin and Benadryl were "recalled" due to potential serious, even fatal, side effects. And yet, there is an active disinformation campaign going on with respect to "medical Cannabis".

Also, I would comment that Cannabis use has been shown to suppress violent behavior (Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook, 4-th Edition, page 267), and this is extremely important from the point of view of the individual, as well as public, safety.

Since Cannabis use suppresses violence by inducing a calm, relaxed state and also improves the "negative affective state" that many people occasionally have, its use may also prove to be a "barrier", rather than "gateway" to alcohol and hard drug use.

I would also comment that Anti-Cannabis laws on this country seem to encourage young people to experiment with alcohol and/or hard drugs for the simple reason that Cannabis, which is much less dangerous, can be detected in drug testing for much longer than, say, ******, other opiates, *******, or ***************s.

This is why many people may tend to try those hard drugs with very high "addiction liability" and then get addicted. This is the true story behind the so-called "gateway drug" theory.

Removing marijuana from the same group with ****** and ******* will finally send the right message to young people as to the dangers of the latter, or otherwise some people may assume that *******, ******, other opiates or ***************s are JUST AS dangerous (or non-dangerous) as Cannabis, while they are infinitely more dangerous.

I believe we need to show the public BENEFIT from legalizing Cannabis, not just the absence of harm. I further believe that stressing Cannabis potential to suppress violence and, hopefully, curb the hard drug abuse and addiction is a PUBLIC SAFETY issue, and we are on the right side of it!
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