Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

Ban Marijuana Dispensaries in Santa Ana

Three Santa Ana City Council Members, including Michele Martinez, David Benavides and Angie Amezcua have placed an 85A item on the agenda for this Tuesday’s City Council meeting, regarding medical marijuana.

These Council Members would like to place a measure on the November General Election ballot that would allow voters to vote against the sale of medical marijuana by collectives/dispensaries. 

California voters passed Prop. 215, in 1996, a medical marijuana initiative that “allows patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation, and the patients’ designated Primary Caregivers, to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal medical use, and has since been expanded to protect a growing system of collective and cooperative distribution,” according to Wikipedia.

Earlier this month the Santa Ana City Council, by a 4-3 vote, approved a November ballot measure that would legalize, tax and regulate medical marijuana shops according to the Voice of OC.

The Council Members who in the affirmative to allow us to vote for a pro medical marijuana dispensary measure other than the one that has been advanced by community activists included Mayor Miguel Pulido, Mayor Pro Tem Sal Tinajero and Council Members Vince Sarmiento and Angie Amezcua.  City Council members David Benavides, Roman Reyna and Michele Martinez opposed the measure, according to the OC Register.

Another ballot measure, called the Medical Cannabis (Marijuana) Restriction and Limitation Initiative, is already set for the November ballot after supporters turned in the required amount of signatures to place it on the ballot. This measure will only allow a limited number of approved facilities determined by Santa Ana’s population and estimated number of patients, will require these approved collectives to be located only in certain areas and will require the Collectives and Cooperatives to pay an additional 2% on top of the standard sales tax rate, according to the ballot measure’s campaign website.

Benavides opposes medical marijuana sales “because of the number of youths who, he said, get high in dispensary storefronts and drive while under the influence.” Reyna wants a larger distance between dispensaries. Martinez says the measure needs a better enforcement plan.

Ironically Martinez once admitted to selling drugs in town herself, when she was 17, and Reyna’s brother apparently died in prison.  Benavides moved here from East Los Angeles, an area ruined by gangs.

Medical Marijuana

It appears that Martinez, Benavides, and Amezcua would prefer that marijuana sales continue to be conducted illegally in Santa Ana, as opposed to having approved dispensaries that can be taxed.  Doesn’t this stance benefit the city’s organized gangs, who currently control most of the drug trade in town?  And what about the sick people in our city who really need medical marijuana?  Why should they be deprived or the rights that state voters granted them previously via Prop. 215?

Here is the text from the current City Council agenda regarding the proposed measure to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in Santa Ana:


It is interesting that Reyna is not joining his pal Benavides in this attempt to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in town.  I am told that Reyna has accepted campaign contributions from marijuana dealers.  Reyna is running for Mayor in November against Pulido.

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.

25 thoughts on “Three Council Members seek to ban medical marijuana collectives”
  1. As P. David Benavides girlfriend would say: this is “Kra Kra”. Then again she is in her twenties so, her choice of words should not be surprising.

    It suffices to say, that fear of BROWN ACT violations has caused utter gridlock in municipal government. Planning Commissioners, contributors and pawns are doing the governments work. Instead of gathering as a group, “bitch slapping the SOLE opponent into submission, guys like Benavides is forced to get his bible thumpers to strong arm Amezcua and Martinez (maybe it was his “LONG charm” as Gris, Adriana and Marlene call it.

    The bottom line is Benavides lives in a FREAKING WAR zone, he champions wine bars in DTSA, but he has a problem with pot shops.


    Please look into this: Roman Reyna’s longtime phone # XXX-9918.

    This is the phone number he uses for his current campaign.
    This is the phone number he has used for past campaigns.
    This is the phone number he has used for his community outreach.
    This is the phone number he used to immortalize a CHILD RAPIST.

    Please see:

    And then refer to:,%20John.pdf

    These links have been sent to: The Orange County Register, The VOICE OF OC, The LIBERAL OC, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, ORANGE JUICE BLOG, OC WEEKLY.

    No one has written word one.

    Roman, a Fatherless susceptible young man could have fallen victim to this predator, which would explain his allegiance, but the scary version is the unmarried, childless Reyna is blind to the danger that young Latino boys face in the impoverished neighborhood, he and the other single “alpha-male” P. David Benavides live.

    The detractors will cite this as another “dirty trick” by the legions of Pulido supporters, but, I don’t know when Miguel headed a fund raiser for a guy who told an eight year old:

    “GOD wants this to happen. If you don’t let me F*ck You, you will burn in Hell”

    Let’s ask Roman to explain this.

  3. The voters should get the chance to vote no on store front pot shops. I am glad that a few of the councilmembers have put this item on the agenda.

    Medical marijuana is already legal and allowing store frond pot shops is not needed.

    The other measure to (1) increase pay (2) limit legal defense fund contributions (3) Police Chief civic service protections, ….. should be 3 separate votes and not combined into a single measure.

    I have no problem with a pay increase for the council, but coupling it with a “screw the mayor” and “screw the police chief” seems like an abuse of power.

    1. The ban has been in effect for years now but has had no effect. The city doesn’t have the resources or funding to go after the dispensaries and why should they? The dispensaries haven’t caused an increase in crime in the city. The answer isn’t elimination, it’s regulation. These pot shops should be paying money to the city to operate within the city and should follow rules that the city staff, planning commission, and council have developed. At least some of the revenue generated from taxes, licensing, fines, etc. can be used to shut down dispensaries that are operating illegally. With any luck, the dispensaries will generate enough revenue over time to fund other projects (parks, school programs, etc.).

      Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a shop open in front of my house or next to my kids’ school but I am ok with them operating in the city.

      As for your other points about the pay increase, legal defense fund, and the police chief, you make a valid point.

        1. The only reason the ban made it on the upcoming agenda is because Amezcua has no back bone and can’t make decisions on her own. I wouldn’t be surprised if Claudia Alvarez scolded little Angelica for voting for regulation in the first place.

          Hey Angelica, the voters want a strong leader representing them. Not a puppet representing her husband or Claudia (or anyone else for that matter). We’re watching you on Tuesday. Prove us all wrong.

  4. Defending our current mayor from his close the door business practice, molesters ? What are talking about..

    1. Cc/Lomeli,
      Clearly anything Pulido is accused of (Fraudulant Real Estate Deals) does not rise to the measure of HOLDING A PARADE for a man who raped DOZENS of boys.

      If you disagree, I know there is a sheet metal worker, Republican and fellow Catholic pedeophile defender you would get along with on these boards (Fr. Hollywood LOVED the money “junior” gave him. He raped a dozen boys with Mike’s $$$).

      Roman promoted a priest that FU$&ED kids. Period.

      Now the whole dope thing seems inconsequensial when you have a Mayral candidate who held a parade for a child molester.

      What would Francisco Barragan say about this?

  5. Editor: “It appears that Martinez, Benavides, and Amezcua would prefer that marijuana sales continue to be conducted illegally in Santa Ana, as opposed to having approved dispensaries that can be taxed.”

    No – they want the voters of Santa Ana to decide if they want dispensaries or not. Do you want to deny that opportunity to the voters?

    1. California voters already approved medicinal use of marijuana. So this seems a waste of time and as referenced in my post it is a bummer for the unfortunate ones who really need this drug.

      1. Martinez took money from at least two, possibly three dispensary owners or their agents. I have this on good authority from someone who heard Martinez admit to as much. Benavides supposedly took money as well. If any of this is true, that would be 3 council members that took money from dispensary owners. It is a little odd that the 3 of the 4 people supporting the ban have allegedly taken campaign contributions from dispensary owners. I wonder if Amezcua took money???

        I heard that people are pulling campaign contribution records tomorrow. Can’t wait to hear what, if anything, is found at the Tuesday night meeting.

  6. Correa campaign mailer –
    Pulido votes for marijuana and against giving SA voters a chance to decide the issue.

  7. I am really concerned (as should you, Macduff and Cook), that this was not handled publicly last meeting. Didn’t the council vote and DENY this measure (with Amezcua opposed)?

    So now it comes full circle? How? Did the talk at the Reyna fundraiser ? How did this come about? Isn’t this an irresponsible waste of taxpayer funds. PRO POT/ANTI-POT let these politico’s hammer it out in public. The chicken Sh!t face of Amezcua scares me more than Benavides upward mobile cut character or Pulido’s graft.

    In plain words: Didn’t they just vote on this the PAST three meetings? What are we missing? Why is PDB so certain this is bad?

    PS – Macduff, stop with the silly names. If you were HALF the Irishman you pretend to be you would call yourself: McDuff. Get real.

    1. I’m with you Carpet. I can understand why Martinez, Benavides, and Reyna (any council member really) took money from dispensary owners (why they took money from them just to support a ban is between them and the business owners). What I can’t understand is why Amezcua would support regulation at the last meeting and now support a ban to be discussed at the upcoming meeting. You can’t play on both teams in this discussion.

      Now, instead of moving forward and informing the voters about the benefits of regulation, we have to waste more time and city resources on talking about a ban, an option that hasn’t worked for years now. Great job Amezcua and whoever convinced you to waffle.

    1. Technically they voted to allocate $500K towards enforcement and not against the ban.

      You support a ban right Cook? You heard the city council last night, where would you like to pull money from in order to enforce a ban? Reallocating police and code enforcement resources is possible but it will be at the expense of some other and likely more serious issue.

      On another note, I have to applaud Angie Amezcua for being such an ardent supporter of regulation, I mean the ban, I mean regulation. I think you need to spend some time learning Robert’s Rules of Order and figuring out what it means to take a stand on an issue. Lord knows no one at last night’s meeting could tell what side of the regulation fence you’re on based on your voting record.

  8. “where would you like to pull money from in order to enforce a ban? ”

    It is raining weed, use the rainy day fund. They said 1 million, 2 million, 8 million to take care of the problem? And there is 41 million in the rainy day fund.

    When both measures get less than 50 percent, we will still be still be in the same place.

    I was for the 3rd option that would not get 50 percent either, but would show the amount anti-pot shop sediment in our city.

  9. those council members are just stupid, honestly what would this ban accomplish? coasta mesa would lose the tax money they would gain from selling weed and people can just go to the next city over to buy weed….if i lived in coasta mesa i would vote those council members out

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