One of our readers asked me to have a look at the information that the Santa Ana City Council will be reviewing and voting upon at tomorrow night’s Council meeting, regarding the medical marijuana dispensary ballot initiative that may end up on the ballot in November, 2014.
You can read the info yourself by looking over the Council’s agenda, however note that the medical marijuana info is way back towards the end of the document.
The initiative specifies that the dispensaries will be allowed in the City’s commercial, industrial and professional office zones, but they cannot be closer than 600 feet from any public or private schools, grades K-12.
The initiative calls for a minimum of 22 authorized medical marijuana dispensaries and the City may add more if the population gets over 330,000, at a rate of one per 15,000 residents. That’s a lot of dispensaries!
The initiative is very flawed, as follows:
- There is no prohibition on the consumption of marijuana within the dispensaries
- There are no requirements for separate ventilation systems
- Minors are allowed in the dispensaries if accompanied by a parent or guardian
- There is no requirement for security guards
- There is no limitation on hours of operation
- No differentiation between dispensaries that grow pot and those that don’t
- No limits on the number of patients
- No requirements that the production of edible products laced with marijuana be regulated by the County Health Agency
- No restrictions on special events and promotions
- No restrictions on the sale of ancillary products
The Planning Agency’s report includes examples of the downside of marijuana dispensaries, including armed robberies, burglaries, trash, and of course constant pot stink.
The Council has several options that they will consider on Monday night, including:
- Calling for an election and placing the measure on the Nov., 2014 ballot
- Placing the measure on the ballot and seeking declaratory relief
- Directing staff to place a competing measure on the ballot
- And in the future they may take legal action based on another case, in Riverside
The only upside to this measure is that sales of medical marijuana will be taxed. The downside however, as outlined above, is considerable. I cannot recommend voting for this measure.