Thu. Mar 30th, 2023

Smoking big joints in Santa Ana

“Yesterday, medical marijuana activists seeking to overturn Santa Ana‘s ban on medical marijuana collectives showed up at city hall with 16,000 signatures of city residents who want the pot clubs back in business. The group, which formed in August 2012 and calls itself the Committee to Support Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative, hopes to let voters decide whether to set up a registration process that would allow no less than 22 cannabis clubs to operate, or roughly one per every 15,000 residents,” according to the OC Weekly.

The Santa Ana City Clerk’s office is apparently going to validate every single signature collected, which is not the norm – usually only ten percent of the signatures are inspected.

Some residents are up in arms over this proposed ballot measure, which won’t show up on any ballots until 2014.  One of my readers sent me this list of complaints:

Medical Marijuana

  • This proposed ordinance does nothing to designate an “appropriate number” – or any limited number – of pot shops operating in the City.
  • The proposed ordinance does nothing to distribute dispensary locations throughout the City in order to prevent their patients from traveling clear across the City to obtain their medicine.
  • Their ordinance does not insure that dispensaries must be located in buildings which are ADA compliant.
  • The sale of marijuana will not be limited to the residents of Santa Ana.
  • The measure does not ensure that patients have adequate local access and that certain neighborhoods are not overburdened with a proliferation of pot shops. 
  • The petition denies the City the power to regulate the operation of marijuana dispensaries.  The MMJ ordinance calls for dispensaries to be operate as a matter of right – they will not be held to any special or conditional use standards beyond the practically non-existent standards within the proposed ordinance.
  • The petition does nothing to ensure that marijuana dispensaries will not be located adjacent to residential neighborhoods.
  • There is a very special consideration given to dispensaries – “A Certificate of Occupancy shall be issued regardless of parking requirements.” No other business in the City of Santa Ana has that special privilege. How are their “patients” with medical issues supposed to have adequate access without a requirement for Handicapped Parking?
  • The City of Santa Ana already has five categories of licensed healthcare facilities authorized and permitted to dispense medicinal marijuana to patients in need.

Obama smoking pot

All that aside, it is painfully obvious that our nation’s drug war isn’t working.  And this ballot measure includes ” a two percent tax on prospective sales, which translates to twice the city’s current business tax, money that would go straight into the city’s general fund,” according to the OC Weekly.

But will Santa Ana’s voters, who tend to be older, even think about voting for a pot measure?  California voters already approved medical marijuana – but Santa Ana’s voters may not follow suit.

Kids smoking pot

The wild card will be the city’s youth – they generally don’t vote but will they turn out for a chance to vote to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries?

“There are more young people using marijuana than smoking cigarettes,” according to  the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, as reported in the Philadelphia Public Record, which also reported that ” In 2010, more than 150,000 young people (12 to 17) went to rehab to recover from marijuana addiction.”

Will this ballot measure, if successful, lead to more pot smoking among our youth?  Will they be able to get medical marijuana cards?  I am told are readily available in Venice Beach for about $75.

Reefer madness

I suspect this is all moot and that marijuana will be legalized within the next decade.  It may well have been banned under shady circumstances.  In 1936, the liquor industry funded the infamous movie titled Reefer Madness. This movie depicts a man going insane from smoking marijuana, and then killing his entire family with an ax,” according to an online source.

Prohibition didn’t work out.  Perhaps the federal ban on marijuana won’t either.  In which case this proposed Santa Ana ballot measure might be a foreshadowing of things to come.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

13 thoughts on “Medical marijuana dispensary ballot measure campaign turns in 16K signatures”
  1. This is a clear reason why Walters had to go and Pulido should follow.

    Why these two believed that they have a right to overturn State law by their City ordinance?

    That goes for everything in Santa Ana including but not limited to massage parlors, hookah parlors and virtually everything related to life liberty and pursuit of happiness.

    Pulido is not really smart person and must go.

    I hope that these 16K of signatories will vote against him.

  2. I seriously doubt a marijuana measure would drive the youngsters to the ballot box, particularly since most marijuana laws are misdemeanors or infractions now. And, the number of people reportedly going into rehab for marijuana is, I suspect, commensurate with the number going into alcohol rehab.

    But, Santa Ana and California are attacking the issue from the wrong side. The war on drugs is, in fact, a failure and extraordinary enforcement of marijuana laws is a huge drain on limited resources. The proponents should be working toward completely legalizing marijuana rather than just reinforcing interim law.

      1. Art and Jeff, heads up, there are two different statewides in the works at the moment to move toward outright legalization. Your support will be immensely appreciated. Also, Art, thank you for your support 😀 Hoping all is well with your and yours.

    1. Robin…you can thank the federal government, fast and furious, and the illicit drug trade for the number of heads found in Mexico.

      1. The US government is to blame. Well I do agree because the congress and senate are the ones who write the laws. The MJ issue has been around long before I was born, and the law makers have continuously maintain MJ as a class 1 drug.

        The lawmaker have not changed (fixed?) the law because it is exactly what they want.

  3. The F-TROOP and LA EME factions are going to lean heavy on thier membership including Michele and Roman to defeat this.

    They want to keep it under ground and keep the profits in the familia.

    Blood in Blood Out.

  4. There will be no “victory” of marijuana laws at the local level until the drug is reclassified by the feds. State law cannot pre-empt federal law. We spin our wheels at the state or local level. Let’s see how many retail outlets there are in Colorado after the feds make a show of force.

    1. Jeff, you hit the nail on the head. This is indeed a state’s right’s issue. This is not the only venue in which states are flexing their constitutional muscle. Don’t be afraid to tell the feds that they are completely full of hot air.

  5. labeled Santa Ana as the capital of medical marijauna dispenseries in Orange County ……who’s allowing it?

  6. I would support sensible regulation – this potential ballot measure is not sensible regulation. It is “highly” leveraged in favor of the pot shops. If this measure passes the pot shops will be running Santa Ana.

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