Thu. Oct 6th, 2022

No on Measure BB

By Deborah Tharp



Is the Santa Ana City Council doomed to repeat the mistakes of Los Angeles’ Measure D? Two years ago, Los Angeles’ City Council drafted Measure D, which trounced two competing citizens’ initiatives to regulate the medical marijuana market in Los Angeles. Many assume that Measure D was an extremely restrictive knee jerk reaction to what the council felt would be an overly permissive medical ordinance. Those who closely examined all three ordinances discovered that Measure D would create an unenforceable coercive monopoly, as opposed to the seemingly less restrictive but more empowering citizen created alternatives. The voters assumed that the City would be able to enforce its incredibly restrictive ordinance and have become increasingly disappointed as they realize that absolutely nothing has changed in LA. Hindsight is 20/20.

What happened?

LA’s ordinance did not allow for the operation of enough collectives in the city to meet the needs of the patient population. As a result, the market supported the continuing operation of non-Measure D compliant facilities. Those who qualified for a collective in LA and continued to try to cooperate with Measure D’s restrictions have found themselves burdened with costs and difficulties that destroy their ability to serve patients while those collectives who skirt the requirements simply operate outside the law without paying any of the associated costs.
Nothing changed with the exception that those who were willing to comply were damaged beyond repair and a few larger collectives who could pay to participate in a coercive monopoly failed to see the fruits of their scandalous behavior and have began to beg for enforcement from a city that does not have the funds to shut down 900 supposedly illegal collectives.
As above, so below.

Just as happened in Los Angeles, Measure BB will benefit no one but Big Business. Real estate companies have been going on an all out land grab in areas of the city that would qualify for collectives under either measure. Council members have gotten some surprisingly impressive donations from real estate holding companies who happen to possess land in these qualified areas. Some voters may vote for BB in hopes of controlling the medical marijuana collectives, but were the ordinance to pass, which it won’t, the result would be the same sad mess that has been occurring in Los Angeles, a mess that was completely motivated by the greed of council members, real estate companies and renegade collectives that do not respect the medical necessity of this issue.

There ARE good collective owners in this fight. These people fight corruption, fight for the rights of their patients and put their patients’ rights before profit. These activists combat outright greed and intimidation, even when they must face the long arm of the law. They are activists to the bone, and they are now putting their futures and their patient’s futures in the hands of the voters in 17 different cities.

I personally believe that the voters are more intelligent and savvy than the powers that be give them credit for.

In the case of Santa Ana, I know that the voters can pick up on the subtle fact that some people have been making donations to council members and buying property in hopes of turning this city into a new “red light” subdivision of their failed attempted monopoly in Los Angeles. They are doing this while saying that they are attempting to restrict and control medical marijuana activity to protect the community. They are doing this for the same reasons they did it in Los Angeles, to create a coercive monopoly in what should not be a “market” in the first place.

Yes on CC

A friend recently told me that you can’t control greed. We can’t, but we can account for it when drafting an ordinance if we are far seeing enough to actually understand the market. Measure CC was written by an activist who has worked in the medical marijuana community for over ten years. This activist understood that the only enforceable ordinance is one that allows the patients and the community to live together, without putting undue restrictions on either. It was drafted by a group of lawyers that specialize in medical marijuana policy, a group that researched the acceptable locations and zoned it in order to allow enough collectives to serve the community quietly, without restricting access to the point that it creates marijuana supercenter that could become a public nuisance or red light district. It was qualified by passionate marijuana rights activists who want to protect the rights of the patients and the community. It was signed by the people of the city that understand what is actually happening on the ground here in Santa Ana and want to see real change, not corporate real estate land grabs, dirty political donations upwards of $20,000, and a completely uncontrollable legal backlash caused by overreaching and greed.

The people of the city understand that the only ordinance that will work for Santa Ana is one that is actually enforceable while still providing compassionate care to those who need it most. I urge those of you who are still on the fence, or even perhaps considering skipping the polls this year, to vote Yes on Measure CC on November 4th. I urge the voters to tell the City that Measure CC is the citizen’s choice, and the will of those who are not angling to profit from patients’ pain. This is the will of those who simply want a safer Santa Ana today.

By Editor

Art Pedroza started Orange County's first political blog, the Orange Juice, back in 2003. He now publishes the top civic blog in Orange County - New Santa Ana, plus other blogs including New Anaheim, New Fullerton and the Irvine News Blog, as well as the OC Politics Blog.

20 thoughts on “Measure BB is a mistake but CC will protect the rights of patients and the community”
  1. You are living in a dreamworld CC was written by the same lawyers in LA that has done the damage there and the 22 people that funded CC are doing the same thing that you’re accusing the supporters of BB of doing, hot air is what you’re spewing

    1. CC was not written by an LA attorney. James Anthony aided the draft. CC does not create a monopoly. As a matter of fact, it REQUIRES the city to allow at least 22 collectives with an upper cap tied to the population.

  2. Measure CC is just as bad for the community as BB is. It provides very little protection for the residents when illegal operators are not in compliance, short circuits the city’s ability to exert controls by using the planning process to require safety features and zoning compliance, and takes away the city’s ability to rely on other law enforcement agencies to help with public safety.
    Simply put, neither measure is good for the residents and both should be rejected.
    Patients could still get their medicines through other legitimate means and legal locations, and everyone could go back to the table and put together an ordinance that actually meets the needs of the residents.

    1. The bottom line is that none of this would be happening if the City had done its job and developed a Conditional Use Permit for dispensaries. They didn’t and so now I am voting for CC to teach our lazy city administrators and City Council a lesson.

      1. I completely agree that this city council has been a miserable failure on this dispensary issue.
        However, as they say, you can’t unring a bell. Once either measure passes, the city’s ability to react and do something responsible is gone.
        Like the post above acknowledges, the LA problem was not manageable once an ordinance that permitted some and not others was implemented. It is now out of control there.
        The same will happen in Santa Ana if either BB or CC wins. The existing illegal dispensaries and other new ones will find it easier and cheaper to operate outside the lines, and the residents will continue to have the same issues, and more.
        The city of Santa Ana, which has done a truly incompetent job of enforcement will throw their hands up and say it’s just too much, like prostitution, or produce trucks, or any number of quality of life issues they have failed to help the residents with.
        The courts have consistently upheld that a city has the right to use zoning codes to restrict dispensaries within their jurisdiction. The only legally defensible positions that have worked thus far in California are simply yes or no. If this city allows any dispensaries at all, any of the existing ones or those that are denied can initiate a legal challenge that will likely destroy the city’s ability to have any control as it winds through the courts for a few years.
        I support patient’s rights, but for the greater good of this city (one that has repeatedly proven themselves unable to responsibly manage hard issues) I feel that voting no on both initiatives sends a clear message that can teach the city council a lesson without further damaging the quality of life for Santa Ana residents .

        1. Neither measure will pass as they need to get over 50% of the vote so vote for CC to register your protest then start hammering the City Council and city admins as they need to do their job and develop a Conditional Use Permit that will protect patients, protect the community and create a method to permit legal dispensaries.

          1. CUP or not – there will ALWAYS be illegal dispensaries – unless the cops and code crack down on all of them. That is what I support crackdown.

  3. 1) Anonymous, I would like to talk to you some day right after the election when you have time. Fee free to give me a ring. 559-309-8924 You make some cogent points, but CC is still one of the best measures that I have seen. The ultimate and most preferable route is to simply deschedule it and legalize it. Meanwhile, we have to do what we can to protect patient access, as there are those who desperately need this medicine. I am less concerned with the city being sued for the right to grow or open a collective and more concerned with the constant pattern that I see of selective enforcement of bans and even brazen extortion of protection money from collectives. Those in power have made a mockery of the system for their own profit and are acting in ways that put them on par with the games we see from the Mexican mafia and Mexican police force. I am speaking of California as a whole of course, not just the subject at hand.

    2) I would like to know who dropped a poll and decided that both were going down in flames. Our polls and campaigning are showing markedly different numbers.

    3) It might be a good idea to vote the lazy incompetents out on Tuesday.

  4. I don’t trust the city council majority to do what’s best for residents marijuana or not. EVERYONE of them have put their own interests in front of residents for years. including voting to amend term limits on themselves. SA narrowly escaped these laybouts lifting/easing campaign limits.

    They failed. If CC passes oh well.

    Whoeversaid to go back to the table and draft sensible legislation was right. Let’s make SA livable for all

  5. BB and CC are bad news. If either ones passes does it mean that only Santa Ana residents can buy their drugs here? Or does it open the door for every pot head in southern California?

    1. Do you consider all patients potheads?

      I know a nice lady in Sacramento right now who still has her arm thanks to a heavy, months long dose of Rick Simpson Oil.
      Medical marijuana 1
      Neurosarcoma 0
      I know a wonderful child with a seizure disorder who is alive because he responded to high CBD oil when no other medication helped.
      Medical marijuana 2
      Seizure disorder 0
      I know my wonderful husband who is alive because marijuana stopped his kidney dialysis related vomiting after no other medication helped. He went from wasted away at 89 lbs to healthy enough to receive a transplant. He is still alive 6 years later, a happy husband, father and transplant recipient with no rejection episodes. And I am a very grateful wife.
      Medical marijuana 3
      Kidney disease 0

      I would not deny this medicine to anyone who needs it, especially based on an opinion that marijuana patients are potheads.

      1. I am glad that your husband has benefited from medical marijuana.

        Your first two examples are not allowed by California’s compassion law. Because of that, you should advocate MMJ to be treated as a licensed drug and sold in pharmacies.

          1. And anyone who trusts pharmaceutical companies to do what is best for public health should watch all of the late night lawsuit commercials on television.

  6. This is ridiculous. Measure CC is where the real monopoly is. Both allow about 20 dispensaries but the difference between the two is that measure CC only allows dispensaries that are currently operating ILLEGALLY and only those who have been open since 2011 shall be permitted. Whereas Measure BB states that all collectives that have been ILLEGALLY (all collectives currently running in Santa Ana are illegal) running or anyone who currently owns an ILLEGAL collective shall be banned from applying for a legal collective. And they do a very fair “lottery” drawing to pick those 20 permitted at random.

    The argument against BB states that there is no cap to control collectives. That is an outright lie as it clearly states in the document that 20 shall be picked at random.

    All measure CC is doing is lying about BB to get their CC to pass and make a fortune on the already open and running (illegal) dispensaries by monopolizing the game. And the entire CC measure is run by current illegal collective owners.

    1. 1) BB bans the people who belong here, live here and serve patients here. The people who were brave enough to push back against the ban.
      2) BB brings real estate brokers and people into the community who don’t belong here or want to speculate simply for profit.
      3) BB WILL NOT allow 20 collectives. The zoning is so restrictive that only a handful would actually qualify IF they could find real estate that would allow it in those zones. It is a virtual ban with a handful of exceptions, in other words, a coercive monopoly. I suspect this is why certain council members have received such hefty donations from people in those zones, because that property would suddenly be worth a great deal if no other property were available in the city. So who is planning to make a fortune off of patients’ pain? I don’t want to see a super center taking advantage of patients in return for a tax so high that it virtually makes the City partners in a collective super center.
      4) BB has also donated very large amounts of money to candidates. Thousands, not hundreds, in council races where the coffers are normally very small.
      5) The CITY is lying through BB. I saw with my own eyes a mailer that claimed CC would allow mobile dispensaries. Not true. The mailer also said that collective owners would now be subjected to background checks. Also not true. CC expressly requires it.
      The mailer also implied that sales would take place within 600 feet of schools. Also not true. It requires them to be MORE than 600 feet away, according to state law.

      For the truth, contact Yes On Measure CC at info@YesOnMeasureCC.com and our campaign will call you.

      If the City Council thinks that measure CC does not have the ability to answer a last minute mailer full of inaccuracies, think again. I am sure that the mailer was simply a matter of inexperience on the City’s fault, seeing as measure BB was slapped together in a rather rushed matter and that it is apparent lack of experience on their part that guides most of their decision making process. It takes time to learn how to run a professional campaign or write a good law, but if they intend to continue participating in the process from both the Council Seat and the direct democracy side, I’m sure they will eventually learn the more subtle rules. Intent aside, the voters want to hear the truth and are more perceptive than the City Council are giving them credit for with this last minute, old-hat amateur hour game.

      We got this.

  7. Debbie, I am very interested in your comment #4: “BB has also donated very large amounts of money to candidates…..”

    Which council/Mayoral candidates have accepted these contributions.

    Where does one get this information?

    I understood BB to be funded by the city, as such are you telling us the city is supporting candidates in a surreptitious manner? That would make for interesting politics, especially considering some of the candidates were the ones who put BB on the ballot.

    Please explain.

    I SUPPORT CC. Thank You.

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