A day before New Year’s Eve, the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters validated the necessary amount of signatures for a referendum to go forward on the City Council’s medical marijuana ordinance. While some city officials were offering tough talk in the final months of 2011, statements by Mayor Chuck Reed on Tuesday seem to suggest a softened stance that would allow for a compromise on the ordinance rather than the referendum going to voters.
Reed is now reportedly open to the Planning Commission’s suggestion of 25 collectives instead of a cap of 10, as well as some off-site cultivation. He is even reportedly open to changing the way collectives are selected. The City Council will discuss the matter at its Jan. 24 meeting.
“There are some changes I could support,” Reed told the Mercury News. “The question is whether a council majority will support them. My preference is that we can negotiate some kind of ordinance that we can all live with.”
Putting on our Pot-stradamous hat, here is what that means: Councilmembers Kansen Chu and Xavier Campos don’t think any medical marijuana collectives should exist in San Jose, so count them as two ‘no’ votes for any compromise. Then there is Madison Nguyen and Sam Liccardo, who have been adamant about a cap of 10 and no on-site cultivation. They might budge, but it’s no sure bet. For now, maybe that’s four ‘no’ votes. Then there is Nancy Pyle, who, to be honest, seems to only want kids clear of pot, and Rose Herrera, who might not want to touch this issue as she works to be re-elected. That is somewhere between two and six ‘no’ votes on a compromise.
However, councilmembers Pierluigi Oliverio, Don Rocha and Ash Kalra seem like they could get down with Reed’s compromise. After all the pot club disagreements that took place last year between those three and the mayor over this issue, that would be quite the turnaround.