City Raises White Flag on Medical Marijuana
Posted by Comments (18)on Friday, January 27, 2012
Mayor Chuck Reed put out a memo Friday calling on the city to kill its medical marijuana ordinance in light of recent developments.
According to the memo, Reed recommends rescinding the city’s ordinance for a year as the California Supreme Court reviews four cases that deal with the interpretation of state law relating to medical marijuana collectives. Reed told San Jose Inside that the court’s decision as well as a potential ballot initiative that could go before voters in November made it clear that he and city officials should devote the next 10 months to other issues.
“We’re just in a position where we can’t fix this without some clarification on this unsettled area of the law,” Reed said. “It’s just impossible for local government to do. So, we’re just going to have to wait.”
Since November, when collectives and medical marijuana supporters succeeded in collecting enough signatures for putting a referendum on the ballot, city officials have been working on a compromise with the pot clubs. Those talks aren’t expected to continue now.
“Having spent a month or so working with industry representatives and my staff trying to come up with an ordinance that would be significantly different than the ordinance we approved—because we have this referendum and you can’t just pass the same thing again—I think it’s impossible for local government to craft an ordinance that complies with state law and meets the needs of the business model of the industry,” Reed said. “I don’t think it can be done. We’re just going to have to wait until somebody changes the rules. Either it’s the Supreme Court that tells us some of the cases need to be interpreted differently or the Legislature does something or we get a statewide ballot measure.”
The city will continue to collect taxes on collectives, but it will not raise the rate on gross receipts from 7 to 10 percent. According to Reed’s memo, “the City’s enforcement efforts should be based on tax compliance, proximity to schools, residential areas or other sensitive areas, and nuisance activities.”
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