Pot Club Petition Puts Pressure on Council

Within of receiving 17 boxes of signed petitions, the San Jose City Clerk’s office determined that enough signatures were collected to temporarily suspend a new medical marijuana ordinance.

Citizens Coalition for Patient Care (CCPC) ran the petition drive, and the County Registrar of Voters (ROV) now has between 30 and 60 business days to perform a random signature-verification check.

If the ROV determines that the petition is sufficient, the City Council will then decide whether to repeal its own ordinance or let San Jose voters decide the issue in an election. The referendum is a challenge to the council-imposed ordinance that would have capped the number of dispensaries at 10 and required onsite growing.

Mayor Chuck Reed has signaled he’s willing to take the scuffle to the ballot box—and for cannabis dispensaries to pay for it.

On Nov. 1, a few days after the petition drop-off, Reed proposed temporarily hiking the tax on dispensary receipts from the current 7 percent to 10 percent, the maximum permitted under Measure U, which voters passed last year.

“The probability of election costs of more than $1 million could threaten our ability to preserve the very services voters intended to fund with the marijuana business tax,” Reed wrote in a memo to the Rules and Open Government Committee. “I propose that any city costs that may be associated with an election should be paid by the marijuana business industry” through the tax increase.

But CCPC hopes it doesn’t go that far. “There’s no need to raise the tax, because this doesn’t need to go to an election, if the city is reasonable going forward,” says Rich Robinson, the chief campaign advisor for CCPC. “If the goal of the mayor is to have regulations that work, we are certainly willing to sit down at the table and do that.”

Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio says raising the tax means the mayor is “calling the bluff” of cannabis supporters. Voters in San Jose rejected Prop. 19 in 2008, which would have legalized recreational cannabis use, but some districts supported legalization.

If the council goes forward with a special election, “then it’s a real challenge to the medical cannabis community,” Oliverio says. “Can you convince voters to say, ‘No?’”

While it’s too soon to say who would triumph at the ballot, the advantage might go to medical cannabis activists.

“Who’s going to run the campaign against collectives?” Oliverio asks. “I think you might have to give the upper hand to the medical cannabis people, because they’ll have the money to run a campaign.”

If voters strike down the ordinance, the city would have to wait for a year to implement a new ordinance. The city could, however, avoid an election by changing its ordinance from its current structure. But, the changes would have to be significant and most likely would focus on the number of collectives, as well as possibly on-site cultivation requirements.

Over the 30 days CCPC gathered signatures for the peitition, the group says that nearly 8,000 new voters were registered and more than $200,000 was raised.

13 Comments

  1. And thus, a new agendized group is mustered. Who’d have imagined that a political movement could succeed in doing what legions of loving parents, dedicated educators, and frustrated employment counselors have for so many years failed to do, that being to get a bunch of stoners off their stained couches, up from their parents’ basements, and coherent enough to function in public? That the CCPC was able to get its listless constituents out of their cherished stupors long enough so they might comprehend the contents of a petition, actually remember their addresses, and successfully register to vote is nothing short of a miracle.

    Oh, the horror of it all. Better had political consultant Richard Robinson shepherded NAMBLA to political power than this collection of stuck-in-neutral, bottom-dwelling parasites. At least with proponents of man-boy love the threat to the community is shocking and outrageous, and thus certain to be met with swift resistance, whereas the threat perceived from this listless, dull-witted collection is far less obvious, leaving the community vulnerable to the slow, insidious destruction of invasive spiritual mold and its inevitable aftermath, intellectual mildew.

    With a new voting block in town how long before our sleazy politicians come-a-courting on the taxpayer’s dime? Which will be the first to suggest renaming St. James Park after Snoop Dogg? Or evicting the Fallon statue to make room for a giant bronzed bong? Will Pierluigi replace the fake wife and kids in his campaign photos with cardboard cutouts of Cheech and Chong? Is April 20th destined for official recognition?

    How long before Victor Ajlouny directs Mayor Reed to add to his staff an Advisor on Vegetative Affairs? Is this city to be disserviced with another inappropriate museum, this one celebrating the achievements of the dope-smoking culture (sign out front: “Uh, the museum is going to be open, uh… like, later.”)? And isn’t it just a matter of time before basement-living gets incorporated into the City’s Green Vision program, providing subsidies for SPORE’s (Stupefied Persons Occupying Recessed Enclosures) as well as smoke-free breathing centers for family members.

    Our only hope, come election day, is to station a few bill collectors and employment contractors outside of each polling station. Just imagine the throngs that would flee in terror (albeit in comical fashion and at reduced speeds). Such a ploy just might save our city from Richard Robinson and his reefer-bred madness, (plus, if we make these fear tactics an election day tradition it will eventually spell doom for just about every local politician now in office).

    Now that’s a puff of smoke even I can inhale.

  2. This is not a comment. Are you trying to be funny? Take patient’s rights seriously. If the city would only embrace reasonable regulations, everybody could be happy. San Jose is a huge city, geographically, and having only ten dispensaries is just silly. The stoner jokes are offensive to us who have fought long and hard for patient’s rights. It’s time to reschedule cannabis and take a reasonable science-based approach to regulation.

    • This is not a comment. Are you trying to be funny?

      I thought it was one of BS metro’s (cough BS monitors) finer bits of satire.  Then again, I tend to have a sense of humor about these kinds of things.

  3. It’s pretty clear a dispensary owner should run for city council so patients in walkers don’t have to jump hurdles to get their medicine.

    Speaking of the sick, that’s what this concept of taxing the ill to make up for some fat cat’s bureaucrat’s overspent budget makes me, SICK.  Taxing the ill and most vulnerable of society is a good indicator you’re government needs a complete overhaul. If this was recreational marijuana, tax away, but it isn’t. There’s already a culture for the distirubution of marijuana world wide, it doesn’t require growing your own.

    • It’s pretty clear a dispensary owner should run for city council so patients in walkers don’t have to jump hurdles to get their medicine.

      That would be a bad idea on several levels. I’m fairly certain law enforcement would not be behind this candidate, and public safety is always a campaign winner.  Not to mention, the new laws add ZERO hurdles to the “prescription” process.

      The only hurdles being added are to the clubs themselves.  As of now, there are barely any hurdles to becoming a club. 

      What if liquor laws were as laxed as the regulations for opening a dispensary?

      -We’d have bars everywhere. 

      -There would be no oversight for the “pureness” of a product, for all you know they could be replacing the booze with turpentine

      -Organized crime would definitely be involved (there is a lot of felons running clubs now, I know an owner who has a felony distribution charge for LSD and meth)

      -There would be no “Weights and Measurement” certification, meaning a pot club could fix the scales, and rip patients off.

      Of course, you’d NEVER in a million years say that the liquor laws need to be loosened up.  Why should the pot clubs be held at any lesser of a standard, than a bar, or a pharmacy?  Hell, let’s loosen up the strip club permits, not hurting nobody right?

      http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/10.23.97/pink-murder-9743.html

      Same thing with those pot clubs, those pot club owners are nice guys right?  Especially Metro’s 2011 “BEST CLUB”
      http://imgur.com/a/WvpRM#6

  4. I’m not a highly paid political consultant or staff policy expert with anyone special, but what about having an alternative ordinance on the same ballot that would go into effect if the repeal happens?

    Say a plan B and maybe even a Plan C where the restrictions on pot clubs to 10 would be replaced by say a limit of 25 and a rule they can’t be residential neighborhoods or withing 500 meters of a school or day care center?

    I bet there’s a legal mechanism to write a proposed ordinance that “if Measure xx passes, should Measure yy be enacted to replace it with the following…”

    Council could probably do it with a majority vote, haven’t looked at the Charter recently to figure out how many votes, but responsible leadership would be giving people real choices on an election, and not just two bad options (keep the current flawed ordinance or repeal it and have no regulation at all).

    BTW, I think it costs the same to run a municipal election whether its for 1 item or 5 so why not put some real and symbolic legislation on the ballot and re-energize our community and democracy.

    • > Say a plan B and maybe even a Plan C where the restrictions on pot clubs to 10 would be replaced by say a limit of 25 and a rule they can’t be residential neighborhoods or withing 500 meters of a school or day care center?

      How about a limit that says that pot clubs, schools, and day care centers cannot be located within 500 meters of a gun dealer, shooting range, or any American citizen with the right to own and KEEP a firearm.

  5. Of course all of this may just be a silly diversion as the justice department is being pretty aggresive in shutting down the “legal” dope industry.

  6. Lawyers for NORML have filed suit against the federal crackdown and so it will be challenged in the courts. In addition, State Senators Mark Leno (D-SF) and Leland Yee (D-SF), Assembly Member Tom Ammiano (D-SF), California Attorney General Kamala Harris, and several local elected officials have already spoken publicly in opposition to the crackdown.
    There will also be at least one proposition for legalization and regulation on the Nov 2012 ballot, and this time it could pass.
    Just educating here.

    • What about restrictions on the guys that own/run one?  Do you think someone convicted of beating their wife (or other violent history) should be allowed to own a club?

      Please elaborate.

      Also, 11362.79 reads as the following.

      11362.79. Nothing in this article shall authorize a qualified patient or person with an identification card to engage in the smoking of medical marijuana under any of the following circumstances:

      (a) In any place where smoking is prohibited by law.

      (b) In or within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school, recreation center, or youth center, unless the medical use occurs within a residence.

      (c) On a schoolbus.

      (d) While in a motor vehicle that is being operated.

      (e) While operating a boat.

      So you were wrong Gloria, Gloria, I think I got your number, Gloria (Sorry, work in karaoke, see the name, you know how it goes)

      11362.79 has ZERO restrictions on clubs.  It’s a section that sets the restrictions on where patients can medicate.  Just wanted to point out the grievous factual errors in your posts.

  7. Funny how the Justice Dept is being pretty Aggressive in shutting down the “Legal” Dope Industry . But the Mayor and city Council continue to pursue “Illegal” pension reform. it will win with voter approval , but will be defeated in the courts.  it will cost into the millions from multiple lawsuits ,which the residents of San Jose will be on the hook to pay. Thanks Mr. Burns

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