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Title: New Medical Marijuana Dispensary Prohibition Being Rushed Through Tuesday at City Council
START DATE: Tuesday June 23
TIME: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Location Details:
Santa Cruz City Hall
809 Center Street
Event Type: Meeting
Contact NameRobert Norse
Email Addressrnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
Phone Number
Address
This Tuesday at 3 PM, Santa Cruz City Council will be considering an emergency moratorium on new medical marijuana dispensaries in the City limits (Item # 17 An Uncodified Interim Ordinance of the City of Santa Cruz Imposing a Temporary Moratorium on the Establishment of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Production Houses in the City of Santa Cruz and Declaring the Urgency Thereof.

At the Sleeping Ban/Boycott Bunny's Shoes Protest downtown on Saturday, I ran into medical marijuana activist Craig Canada (http://www.palmspringsbum.com/ ). He made me aware of an upcoming sneak attack on Medical Marijuana at City Council this Tuesday. He mentions it in a response on the Sentinel Topix website (http://www.topix.net/forum/source/santa-cruz-sentinel/TFDQ6RAE14QVCP9BA/p2#c31 )

The Emergency Moratorium on New Medical Marijuana Dispensaries comes up at Santa Cruz City Council this Tuesday at 3 PM is a new emergency ordinance to suspend all new marijuana club applications. http://64.175.136.240/sirepub/cache/2/ewouwy45hpkd2u55qg3h2s55/215649806202009084514304.PDF

The agenda report (http://64.175.136.240/sirepub/cache/2/ewouwy45hpkd2u55qg3h2s55/215649706202009083523788.PDF ) doesn't give any evidence whatsoever of a huge flow of such applications nor any specifics about the "current and immediate threat to
the public health, safety, or welfare" involved.

The issue hasn't even made it into the Sentinel except in the bigoted and Prohibitionist-heavy Sentinel Topix forum comment section to an article in today's paper about carcinogens in marijuana smoke ("State rules marijuana smoke is a carcinogen, may require dispensaries to post warnings" at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_12654249 ).

Where's the emergency? Why is it being crammed onto the afternoon session? Why the complete lack of publicity?

Contact City Council at 420-5020 to oppose this Rush to New Prohibition, which has received zero public notice in any widely read newspaper or website.



Added to the calendar on Saturday Jun 20th, 2009 9:19 PM

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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by AB390
Saturday Jun 20th, 2009 11:10 PM
Marijuana should be legal not only for medical patients but for adults who prefer to relax with a less toxic drug than alcohol. To forbid people that choice is to deny them their basic human rights. Urge your state representatives to support California Assembly Bill 390. It's easy. Visit yes390.org
by john
Sunday Jun 21st, 2009 6:30 AM
Marijuana should be legalized everywhere. There is a related post at http://iamsoannoyed.com/?p=1880
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/6483493.html

RI becomes 3rd state allowing marijuana stores
By RAY HENRY Associated Press Writer © 2009 The Associated Press
June 16, 2009, 6:58PM
Share
Print Share Del.icio.usDiggTwitterYahoo! BuzzFacebookStumbleUponPROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island become the third state in the nation Tuesday and the first on the East Coast to permit marijuana sales to chronically ill patients, a decision made over the objections of Gov. Don Carcieri.

State lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to override a veto last week from the Republican governor, who warned the system could put people at risk of federal prosecution, would encourage illegal drug use and send conflicting messages to children about substance abuse.

House lawmakers voted unanimously to override Carcieri's veto, while the Senate voted 35-3 to make the bill law.

"This gives a safe haven for those who have to go into the seedy areas to try and get marijuana," said Rep. Thomas Slater, D-Providence, who suffers from cancer and plans to smoke the drug for pain relief. "I think that this center will definitely help those who most need it."

Slater received a standing ovation on the House floor.

Patients can buy marijuana at stores in California, while New Mexico in March granted a license to a medical marijuana grower. Karen O'Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, said the 13 states that have legalized medical marijuana are making a shift toward state-licensed production and distribution.

Such legislation is being considered in Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, while a ballot initiative is being circulated in Arizona. In November, Maine voters will decide whether to permit marijuana dispensaries in their state.

"Combining regulated distribution with provisions for patients to grow a limited quantity for themselves is the best way to ensure safe access for patients, with solid safeguards to prevent abuse," O'Keefe said in a written statement.

In 2006, Rhode Island began allowing chronically ill patients registered with the state Department of Health to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in usable form and 12 plants. But the state never created a legal way to buy marijuana, and patients here have reported being robbed or beaten when trying to buy it from street dealers.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, but U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said the Obama administration will not target dispensers that follow state law.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Update: Care centers can dispense medical marijuana
5:00 PM Tue, Jun 16, 2009 | Permalink
Donita Naylor Email

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The House and Senate on Tuesday each overrode Governor Carcieri's veto of legislation allowing three "compassion centers" to dispense medical marijuana.

The Senate vote was 35 to 3. The House vote was unanimous, 67 to 0.
For the bill to become law, both houses were required to overide the veto of their own and the other house's bill. The measure is now in effect.

Last Friday, Carcieri vetoed legislation that would allow three "compassion centers," to dispense marijuana prescribed for people with severe, chronic and debilitating illnesses such as cancer, hepatitis C and HIV. As of April 30, the state had registered 681 such patients and 581 caregivers, all of whom have no legal way to obtain the drug.

Three days before, the Senate voted 31 to 2 to allow the dispensaries. In late May, the House voted 63 to 5 to allow them. Both votes were easily beyond the three-fifths majority needed to override a veto.

In vetoing the bills, Carcieri said he thought "the increased availability, along with a complacent attitude, will no doubt result in increased usage, and will negatively impact the children of Rhode Island" and complicate the jobs of law enforcement officers.

New Mexico this year became the first state to license nonprofit producers of medical
by Robert Norse
Sunday Jun 21st, 2009 8:03 PM
Concerns about the "Emergency" Medical Marijuana Moratorium Proposed for 3 PM Tuesday June 23rd‏
From: Robert Norse (rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com)
Sent: Sun 6/21/09 8:01 PM
To: Don (!) Lane (dlane [at] ci.santa-cruz.ca.us)

Hi, Don:

Here are some questions and thoughts on the "emergency" moratorium ordinance being sought by the city manager.

Some obvious questions:

1. Why the "emergency" at this moment? The Sentinel broke the story on Sunday which gives those members of the public who don't read the agenda (usually posted Friday on the internet) little more than 48 hours notice.
Emergency legislation usually involves some crisis that broke after the 72-hour Brown Act notification requirement, as you know. No such emergency is specified even though the 6-vote requirement seems like even more of an "emergency requirement" than the usual emergency resolution. Medical marijuana is a hot issue in this community that requires more notice.

2. If there is no cause for concern regarding the operation of the current two clubs, what specific and legitimate "health and safety" problems--require this rush job? Medical marijuana users and those who oppose Marijuana Prohibition generally are justifiably sensitive that we may be facing the usual NIMBY and "Reefer Madness" concerns.
What specifically is the Planning Department worried about? The whole staff report is very very vague. Suggest they come back in two weeks with a more specific report that gives the Council a real idea of what their concerns are as well as giving the public adequate notice.
How many application "forms" have been taken out? How many phone inquiries have there been? How does that compare with past years?
The claim that there's a new "federal policy" as some significant reason for this "emergency" is peculiar--since that alleged policy was declared months ago. Why an "emergency" then months later in June? And, in fact, this so-called federal policy is actually not being followed by federal prosecutors and judges---raids have continued as have trials and harsh sentences.

3. Another claim made in the staff report is that Santa Cruz City is the only jurisdiction in the county that "allows" marijuana dispensaries. Not so. As I understand it, it's the only jurisdiction that explicitly regulates dispensaries. There simply are no regulations or rules in the County. Isn't this accurate? Proposition 215 and SB 420 allow medical marijuana use, sales, cultivation, etc. throughout the state (and hence the county). Medi-Cann, regularly advertised in the Metro/Santa Cruz Weekly as well as the The Hemporium in Felton are medical marijuana distributors. Is not the staff report misleading here--and intentionally so? Sorry I can't be more diplomatic here, but that seems to be the simple fact.

4. The real reason entrepreneurs may be wary of opening a distribution center outside City limits is because of D.A. Bob Lee's prosecutorial theory (sadly vindicated in the Mentch case) that only collectives or cooperatives that serve their own patients are allowed to sell marijuana. By this theory both existing Santa Cruz clubs are "illegal". Of course, Lee doesn't go after these clubs because they have political cover and city sanction. Why not request clarification from the D.A. of his policy on prosecuting marijuana clubs generally?

5. What's the usual application time for a permit--in the case of the two applied for? Is there a requirement that the staff act immediately? If not, what's the rush? If so, that might be a real (though not necessarily good and sufficient) reason for some immediate Council action. However, that's not what the staff report claims. Though I don't have the documentation, it's my impression that the two existing clubs had to go through a long process to get their permits--and the law hasn't changed. Isn't this accurate?

6. The staff report is dated June 11th. It appears on the agenda at the earliest on June 18th--for those who wait outside City Council office doors. Why wait a week to reveal it to the media, the medical marijuana community, and City Council members? Why the delay?

7. There some suggestion on the comments following the Sentinel story that a school for the Performing Arts that caters mainly to children at 402 Ingalis St. would be upset at a 401 Ingalis St. marijuana dispensary. Perhaps so, but this concern can be addressed by the usual application process and appeal. What concrete concerns are not met by the current process? At the very least, why shouldn't a moratorium ordinance receive the more regular and careful legislative consideration which laws usually get?

8. There are real concerns that have been raised over the years about the existing clubs (profiteering, failure to address the needs of low-income people, overly-restrictive treatment of clients) that have come to my attention at the radio station. Addressing these issues would be a good thing--but don't require any moratorium on new clubs. New clubs, presumably, would provide more competition and perhaps cheaper prices. Craig Canada (http://www.palmspringsbum.com) reports he goes up to San Francisco where the prices are competitive to buy his medication.

9. For once the Sentinel got a detail right that the staff report errs on: After the city changed its laws excluding the proposed clubs on Seabright and Soquel Streets in 2000, it took five years for a club to open up--that was Greenway in 2005. Not 2004 as the staff report and ordinance both state. Just a detail, but the whole proposal seems sloppy and vague. Where are the specifics in the staff report?

10. Homeless people need changes in city policy to protect them--a serious subject that Craig Canada approached you on, regarding the right to shelter for medical marijuana patients. He writes me that while on the Board of the Homeless Services Center, you and Katherine Beiers implemented a policy denying access to those who legally use medical marijuana. I'd much prefer to see you correcting mistakes like this rather than rubberstamping another city manager proposal with little justification. Will you raise this issue again as a friend of the Homeless Services Center even if you're not on the Board?

11. Finally we are in a budget crisis and medical marijuana not only draws business to town, but could provide some tax relief. I'm sure you're aware of Tom Ammiano's "tax and regulate" bill and a proposed Initiative next year. Santa Cruz should be leading here, not succombing to vague fears and stopping new businesses--unless there is some clear reason to do so. To claim a non-existent emergency detracts from the Council's credibility on real emergency issues (though I don't see it dealing with foreclosures, evictions, police criminalization practices, of course). How much business and money has come into Santa Cruz as a result of the two clubs? How much is anticipated with the new clubs?

12. The real and final issue is the availability of marijuana and the need for new clubs. Surely this needs some study before declaring a moratorium? Will the staff do a little research into the impact of this proposal on the needs of the community and whether existing clubs meet that need? There is absolutely nothing about this in the staff report.

Thanks, Don, for raising some questions in the past at City Council. Please do so again on Tuesday. Let me know if you can, your response to this letter before then.

Robert Norse
(423-4833)
by Ramble on
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 8:37 AM
Nobody in their right mind is going to reply to that many questions rambling over multiple issues.
by Craig Canada
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 9:28 AM
24.12.1300 SPECIAL USE PERMIT REQUIREMENT FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROVIDER ASSOCIATION DISPENSARIES.
1. Special Use Permit Required. Medical marijuana provider association dispensaries, as defined by Section 24.22.539, may be allowed in C-C (Community Commercial), C-T (Throughfare Commercial) and I-G (General Industrial) districts, provided they meet the siting criteria and performance standards described below and are so authorized pursuant to the procedures described in Section 24.08.040 for a special use permit. The special use permit shall include the following conditions and operating procedures, in addition to the other requirements set forth in Sections 24.10.700 through 24.10.750 (for C-C Districts), 24.10.900 through 24.10.950 (for C-T Districts), and 24.10.1500 through 24.10.1540 (for I.G. Districts).
2. Siting Criteria. Applicants for a special use permit for a medical marijuana provider association dispensary must meet the following siting criteria prior to city consideration of a special use permit application:
a. The proposed location shall lie within a Community Commercial (C-C), Throughfare Commercial (C-T), or General Industrial (I-G) District.
b. If the proposed location is located within fifty feet of any legal dwelling unit or other residential use, the applicant shall be required to demonstrate to the zoning board that the use would not create an intensity of use that is incompatible with the nearby residential use and that the association would employ security measures that would insure that the use would not adversely affect the security and safety of the neighborhood.
c. The proposed location shall not be located within six hundred feet of any other medical marijuana provider association dispensary establishment, any public or private educational establishment serving persons under the age of 18 years, a public park with a children’s playground, an alcohol or other drug abuse recovery or treatment facility, or any community care residential facility providing mental health/social rehabilitation services. For the purpose of this subsection, the six-hundred-foot distance requirement shall be measured from the periphery of the property boundary of such establishments. With respect to a public park with children’s playground, the six-hundred-foot distance shall be measured from the periphery of the playground area.
d. The zoning board, or the city council on appeal, may grant an exception to the six-hundred-foot distance requirement between the medical marijuana provider association dispensary and the above-referenced uses, except in the case of public educational uses, only if the applicant can establish that any public benefit that could be served by the issuance of the special use permit would outweigh concerns regarding intensity of use, and public health and safety. The burden of proof is on the Applicant to show that the overall effect would be positive.
3. Performance Standards. Medical marijuana provider association dispensaries, once permitted, shall meet the following operating procedures and performance standards for the duration of the use:
a. The association shall meet all the operating criteria for the dispensing of medical marijuana as may be required of the Santa Cruz city council and police department, including security concerns, and/or the county health department or their designee.
b. The association shall meet all the operating criteria for the dispensing of medical marijuana as is required by the city council’s administrative guidelines for the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries and gardens adopted pursuant to Ordinance 2000-06. (See Chapter 6.90, Personal Medical Marijuana Use.)
c. No product shall be grown or harvested on the premises.
d. No product shall be smoked, ingested or otherwise consumed on the premises.
e. The hours of operation shall be limited to no more than 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday through Friday if located within fifty feet of a residential use, and shall be limited to no more than 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday through Saturday if located at a distance greater than fifty feet from a residential use.
f. Parking shall be provided according to the standard for retail pharmacy use as set forth in Section 24.12.240(aa). In addition to that requirement, whenever feasible, a passenger drop-off and pick-up parking zone shall be provided on the premises or immediately adjacent to the site. In no case shall double-parking by clients, caretakers, visitors or delivery vehicles be permitted.
g. The association shall prohibit loitering by persons outside the establishment, either on the premises or within fifty feet of the premises.
h. The association shall provide litter removal services each day of operation on and in front of the premises and, if necessary, on public sidewalks within fifty feet of the premises.
i. The association shall provide adequate security on the premises, including lighting and alarms, to insure the safety of persons and to protect the premises from theft.
j. Exterior lighting of the parking area shall be kept at a sufficient intensity so as to provide adequate lighting for patrons, while not disturbing surrounding residential or commercial areas.
k. Signage for the establishment shall be limited to one wall sign not to exceed twenty square feet in area, and one identifying sign not to exceed two square feet in area; such signs shall not be directly illuminated.
l. The association shall provide the zoning administrator, the chief of police and all neighbors located within fifty feet of the establishment with the name, phone number and facsimile number of an on-site community relations staff person to whom one can provide notice if there are operating problems associated with the establishment. The association shall make every good faith effort to encourage neighbors to call this person to try to solve operating problems, if any, before any calls or complaints are made to the police department or the zoning administrator.
m. The association shall post a copy of the conditions of approval for the special use permit on the premises in a place where it may be readily viewed by any member of the general public.
n. The association shall meet any specific additional operating procedures and measures as may be imposed as conditions of approval by the zoning board or zoning administrator at the time of issuance of the special use permit in order to insure that the association will be a good neighbor.
4. Findings. In approving a special use permit, it shall be determined by the hearing body that all of the following apply:
a. The proposed use complies with all of the mandatory requirements of this section and other applicable sections of this code and applicable policies of the General Plan;
b. The proposed use will not adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of area residents or businesses, or uses, or will not result in an undue concentration in any one neighborhood or district and will not be located within proximity of an incompatible use, such as a children’s school, day care facility or childrens’ play area;
c. The operational characteristics of the proposed use, such as hours of operation, noise, odor, amount and location of parking, signage, loitering and litter, will not have a negative impact upon the surrounding area;
d. The proposed use is compatible with the sizes and types of other neighboring uses in the surrounding area, particularly those used primarily by persons under the age of 18;
e. The proposed use is not located in what has been determined by the Santa Cruz police department to be a high-crime area, where a disproportionate number of police service calls occur, or where there is currently parking congestion; and
f. The proposed use, as a nonresidential occupancy, shall meet all the building code requirements for such occupancy and, if proposing to locate in a legal dwelling unit, shall comply with all local standards, requirements and provisions for converting dwelling units to nonresidential use.
5. Conditions. The zoning board, or city council on appeal, may deny any application which is inconsistent with the above-noted findings, or may impose any additional conditions on the applicant or proposed location reasonably related thereto, or to the health, safety or welfare of the community, in addition to the specific requirements set forth in Section 24.12.1300.
6. Violations and Abatement. The zoning administrator may issue a cease and desist order or “stop order” for all activities subject to this special use permit for any establishment deemed by the zoning administrator to be in violation of any condition of approval of the special use permit or to otherwise constitute a public nuisance. The stop order shall be in effect immediately, pursuant to the procedures of Section 24.04.221. Upon issuance of the stop order, the zoning administrator shall schedule a public hearing to consider the revocation of the special use permit pursuant to Section 24.04.225.
(Ord. 2000-12 § 6, 2000).
by craig canada
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 9:30 AM
Title should be Municiple Code 24.12.1300

by J. Craig Canada
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 4:50 PM
The links Robert posted to the Memo http://64.175.136.240/sirepub/cache/2/ewouwy45hpkd2u55qg3h2s55/215649806202009084514304.PDF and the Agenda Report http://64.175.136.240/sirepub/cache/2/ewouwy45hpkd2u55qg3h2s55/215649706202009083523788.PDF are no longer working.

I read them this morning and they were working. After I post this I intend to see if I can find them on my hard drive.

by Robert Norse
Tuesday Jun 23rd, 2009 7:17 PM
Santa Cruz City Council and the Thrones-Behind-the-Council (the City Manager's bureaucracy) doesn't want no more stinkin' medical marijuana dispensaries, although there was uncontested evidence of a need that outstrips the current club capability.

Falsehoods were passed over without comment. Like the claim that the County "doesn't allow" dispensaries--it doesn't explicitly permit them, but it doesn't bar them.

Vague allegations by the planning department about a flood of "daily" inquiries about medical marijuana centers were treated as gospel without supporting evidence or specific.

No declaration of emergency was passed by the Council prior to the vote indicated that this was emergency legislation. It's my understanding that this is required first as well as a 5-2 vote. This one was a super-emergency apparently, requiring a 6-1 vote.

Lots of public comment but zero council discussion after the public input session. The "45-day" moratorium was actually a "70+day" moratorium for the two applicants (since the Zoning Commission doesn't meet in August, and--at the whim of one Planning Department official--a 10 month moratorium if s/he finds they didn't "have enough time".

There were no questions from Don Lane. It was the done-ist done deal I've ever see at city council even though the Planning Department could have delayed up to 4 months on its own (by the estimate of the applicant---no councilmember bothered to ask).

Those who had spent thousands fo dollars preparing their applications were only allowed 2 minutes to speak.

I interviewed one group of disheartened applicants and will be playing it Thursday evening shortly ater 6 PM on 101.1 FM and http://www.freakradio.org.

My final thoughts given their remarkable performance on this issue were that the council is corrupt, stupid, blind, or the staff's bitch. Or all of those.
by Robert Norse
Thursday Jun 25th, 2009 9:05 AM
I'll be playing the tapes of the Santa Cruz City Council "debate" Tuesday as well as interviews with one of the applicants and his supporters afterwards tonight at 6 PM on 101.1 FM which streams at http://www.freakradio.org. Call-in number is 831-427-3772.

A relevant Sentinel thread where the issue is discussed (with only the occasional personal attack) can be found at
http://www.topix.net/forum/source/santa-cruz-sentinel/T646FCH3BP93SBKD0/p3
by Chillaxer (reposted)
Thursday Jun 25th, 2009 11:29 AM
The cost of Cannabis at dispensaries in town is due to a combination of factors.

1. They cannot grow their own. This means they have to rely on what members bring in.

2. The size and pervasiveness of the black market dominates pricing. Whether you think it makes sense or not, dispensary prices are tied to black market pricing because in order to compete for quantity and quality they have to match wholesale black market prices. Cannabis is not regulated, it's prohibited, there is not a functional legal framework addressing wholesale supply.

3. General cannabis prohibition keeps all prices high, period. This will not change unless the medical cannabis community is allowed to grow without restrictions.

4. On top of the high wholesale prices, local dispensaries are required to pay all the normal required costs of a small business, rent, wages, workers comp., FICA, extensive security, packaging etc. These costs add significant overhead. Black market sellers don't pay these costs.

5. The single best way to lower prices to patients from dispensaries is to allow the dispensary to produce it's own supply. That separates them from being forced to compete with the black market for supply.

If allowed to produce like a normal agricultural product, high quality could be produced outdoors, organically, without expensive lights and energy consumption, in quantities able to last year round and the cost could literally come down to dollars per oz. Once that happened, a lot less people would be interested in growing. The economics of cannabis would be radically altered.
by Robert Norse
Friday Jun 26th, 2009 6:46 AM
The first hour of Bathrobespierre's Broadsides has my critique, the verbal staff presentation, Vice Mayor Rotkin's rubberstamp speech, and the opening public comments of the City Council's Tuesday quick-as-shit-through-a-goose passage of the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Moratorium.

To be continued Sunday June 27 10 AM on 101.1 FM, http://www.freakradio.org . Call in number: 831-427-3772.
by Robert Norse
Friday Jun 26th, 2009 12:46 PM
Thursday's show is archived at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb090625.mp3 (download). That's where the discussion mentioned above can be found. More on Sunday June 28th at 10 AM.
by Turnabout seems fair
Sunday Jun 28th, 2009 11:44 AM
Pretty funny watching you write against personal attacks, then turn around and use them yourself by calling council members stupid, corrupt, bitches.

Can't we all just get along?
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Jun 30th, 2009 12:17 AM
The rest of the Public Comment period and the non-discussion of City Council in rubberstamping the staff's moratorium can be found at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb090628.mp3 (last 1/4 of the audio file).

My comment was that the Council's "remarkable performance on this issue...[indicated]... that the council is corrupt, stupid, blind, or the staff's bitch. Or all of those."

This characterizes the Council's political behavior not the personalities, habits, or individual characteristics of its members.

It seems corrupt in seeming to cater to the financial interests of conservative residents (some of whom have retail liquor interests).

It seems stupid in not recognizing that the normal special use permit process takes a long enough time not to require any emergency moratorium legislation.

It seems willfully blind to ignore the staff's admission that there have been NO problems with the existing marijuana centers. It seems equally blind to ignore the need for more marijuana distribution centers as revealed by the applicant's survey.

Finally the Council's behavior is fatally and disgracefully subservient to the staff report in asking no questions, having no debate, and simply rubberstamping the moratorium.

I should also have added that Mayor Mathews violated her own rules in letting NIMBY opponents treat the moratorium as a special use permit hearing where they can attack the applicant. Mathews opened the hearing by explicitly stating the subject matter was the moratorium and not the merits of the application. I guess you'd call that hypocritical or prone to a double-standard. Or perhaps asleep at the wheel or indifferent.

Worst of all, this whole charade simply covers us the fact that it is eliminating not postponing the opening of two marijuana clubs, as an earlier Council did in 2000 (leaving Santa Cruz without marijuana clubs for 5 years). The applicant claims in the radio interview mentioned above that he simply can't afford to pay the lease month after month without a resolution of the issue.

Those who defend political sell-outs by attacking the critics are engaging in distraction rather than dialogue.

I encourage those who are outraged by this "Reefer Madness" sellout to get in touch with Anita Henry at 425-3444. Nothing will change unless we change it.
"Staff recommends" are the magic words required to pass any form of legislation at the city level until the council/manager form of government is abolished. That is why the ban on new dispensaries became law.

In this respect I am an abolitionist. I am currently working towards the abandonment of this form of government in the Midwest, starting with the city of Galesburg, Illinois, which was one of the very first to adopt what was considered a "progressive new" form of government in 1960.

It has ruined this town and many others, encouraging lazyiness among our elected officials while allowing a tyranny of spineless, self-serving bureaucrats.

I encourage the citizens of Santa Cruz to join in a nationwide revival of Democracy, and oppose the council- manager form of government. Alternative forms of municipal government are available, and can be chosen by a simple referendum. California offers a greater variety of options than most states.

Go to the root of the problem - it is the city bureaucracy that holds sway, because they have more power than your elected officials.

David Roknich,
Galesburg, Illinois