Cannabis Ordinance Comes to Another Vote

This could be the week city leaders vote on a marijuana ordinance—or not.

For weeks, the City Council deferred the matter of how to regulate local pot clubs. When council members finally voted at their last meeting, they deadlocked with Councilman Pete Constant absent. Read a summary of that meeting here.

The proposal coming to a vote—unless it's tabled again—would limit pot shops to commercial and industrial districts and require they grow the product on site. It would put buffers between collectives and homes, schools, daycares, libraries and places of worship, among other "sensitive use" facilities. It would prohibit collectives from using cash—an effective moratorium for an industry barred from using federally regulated bank accounts. The draft ordinance is available here for review.

Regardless of this week's vote, it looks like at least one or two citizen-led initiatives will make it to the fall ballot, which could overturn whatever decision the council makes in the meantime.

San Jose has long struggled to regulate the burgeoning pot industry. Shops started popping up in 2009, which led to years of discussions over how to police and zone them. The council in 2012 voted on a 10-club cap, but the public overturned the decision by referendum. In the absence of municipal rules, the population of marijuana clubs in San Jose boomed into the dozens while every other neighboring city banned them outright.

Some city leaders want to institute a ban here, too. Others fear that unless they come up with a set of sensible rules, the public could once again revoke them by referendum.

More from the San Jose City Council agenda for June 10, 2014:

  • Police officers and dispatchers looking for mental health or addiction treatment were being denied service when they sought help. So the city wants to switch service providers for its employee assistance plan, a 100 percent city-paid benefit.
  • Tax revenue is increasing year over year, Mayor Chuck Reed says in his June budget message. That will allow the city to hire more community service officers, park rangers and code enforcement inspectors. It also allows for a third police academy.
  • Looks like code enforcement officers may soon get to charge people with misdemeanors instead of just infractions.
  • The council will vote on whether to make the half-century-old Century 21 Theater a historic landmark.
  • A city-employee-turned-labor lobbyist wants an exemption from a policy that prevents ex-city employees from lobbying the city.
  • Workforce development group work2future will have a lot less money this year since the state has scaled back grants. The city will renew its annual contract with the nonprofit, which has focused on helping unemployed and underemployed residents find jobs.
  • The city will team up with nonprofit Downtown Streets Team to give homeless people jobs cleaning up parts of downtown.
  • Water rates are slated to tick up by 11 percent this summer.

WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. This just goes to show, how out of touch Reed is . What good is a 3rd Police Academy when San Jose can’t even fill half an academy class ? the current Academy is slotted for 60 candidates and only had 29 candidates , and some of those have already left and others are in the process of leaving for other agencies

    • Heck, let’s have 4 police academies a year. We could have a good 5 or 6 recruits in each academy. I am surprised Sam Liccardo hasn’t proposed that using his fuzzy math logic.

    • Until Measure B is “fixed” the situation for Police and Fire will continue to worsen.

      For the Mayor’s race his Honor, Councilmember Liccardo will continue if not exacerbate Mayor Reed’s and the San Jose /Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce’s position that Police Officers and Firefighters should work, risk life and limb for free.

      For the coveted District 3 race, Mr. Gagliardi’s “political brown nose” finds a well received home in the rumps of the Downtown decision makers. If elected, Police, Fire, all city employees and retirees will continue to be abused.

      As an illustration of how poor Council’s conduct in managing the affairs of this city, on the June 10th Agenda there are twenty-six (26) items on the “Consent calendar.” The “26th” is the “mental health benefit” that Jenn W reported on. The “25th” is the dreaded “Downtown San Jose Property-Based Improvement District (PBID) Annual Report. Property owners surrounding St. James Park (a.k.a. Vagrant and Criminal Element Park) should be very concerned that a version of PBID will be hoisted upon them to fund the economic development plan of the park under guise this will reduce crime.

      Speaking on crime, the “9th” item of the “Consent calendar” is very interesting and should raise eyebrows and a discussion of the “Doctrine of wobblette.”

      The 9th item of the Consent calendar begins with the following recommendation.

      “Approve an ordinance amending Chapter 1.08 of Title 1 of the San Jose Municipal Code by amending Section 1.08.010 to allow the City Attorney to charge offenses designated as misdemeanors under the Municipal Code as infractions or to reduce a misdemeanor charge to an infraction and adding a new Section 1.08.060 to grant criminal citation authority to certain employees designated by the City Manager.”

      Code Enforcement is going to get tougher and that’s fine with me.

      Good job City Attorney! Good job Director PBCE!

      David S. Wall

      • It would be interesting to see a constitutional challenge of the 9th item on the consent calendar should someone get a misdemeanor citation from code enforcement. As far as I know, they’re not sworn peace officers. There could be some serious due process issues there.

  2. David Wall , I usually agree with most of your Opinions , But I have serious issue with using the word “Honor” and “Liccardo”in the same sentence

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