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Indybay Feature
View other events for the week of 11/19/2009
Santa Cruz Planning Commission To Hear Marijuana Dispensary Ban
Date Thursday November 19
Time 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location Details
809 Center St. Santa Cruz City Council Chambers
Event Type Meeting
Organizer/AuthorRobert Norse
Emailrnorse3@hotmail. com
Address309 Cedar PMB #14B Santa Cruz 95060
Postponed from their November 5th meeting is a staff proposal to ban all future marijuana retail outlets and grow houses in Santa Cruz.

It's item #1 on the agenda (see ).

The staff report can be found at

The Commission apparently divided 3-3 on the ban at its 11-5 meeting, and so postponed it so the 7th member could be present and more info secured. This important meeting and discussion has received zero publicity from the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

In June City Council rolled over for a staff-initiated "emergency moratorium" to circumvent two applications for new clubs that had come in. (See ) Originally for two months, the "moratorium" was expanded to 6 months by a unanimous City Council vote in July.

The matter circumvented the Planning Commission at that time and cut short hearings by applicants under the absurd "Reefer Madness" claim that there was a "health, safety, welfare" emergency.

Unless folks begin to organize early on this issue, the marijuana Prohibitionists will ram it through. Particularly sad was the silence of the two clubs and WAMM on this issue--even though access to marijuana is severely limited.

Contrary to Progressive mythology, the Santa Cruz City Council has cut back oversight of police abuse around this issue (see 'Rump Measure K Committee Excludes Public Comment, Loses Audio Tape" at ; "Barisone Report Hostile to Marijuana Initiative" at & "Gutted and Depleted Measure K Commission Meets Tonight" at

City Council also maintained a de facto ban on medical marijuana distribution centers from 2000 to 2005 ("Designed Out of Existance: or why the Santa Cruz Medical Marijuana ordinance doesn't work" at .

And it has declined to open its ballyhooed Office of Compassionate Use, nor exempt marijuana smokers from its Smoke Ban areas.

I've requested the names and phone numbers of the Commissioner members from City Hall and was advised they'll be e-mailing it to me. I'll post it when it arrives.

The audio recording of the 11-5 meeting was done on defective equipment that has been unrepaired for months, making it impossible for them to make tapes, but I've requested access to the original tape and was told by Liz, a worker there, that she'll seek to okay that with her boss (it's actually required under the Public Records Act).

For a vigorous (if often slime-filled) debate on the broader issue of marijuana use (which is the real issue, even though Prohibitionists are now using the cover of "Regulation") go to .

City governments have been increasingly repressive (perhaps because of PD and other Drug War interest group pressure) in using zoning regulations to "zone out" marijuana sales.

If we want to stop it here, we'll need to get together and act quickly.

Added to the calendar on Tuesday Nov 17th, 2009 12:34 PM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by (posted by) Robert Norse
Tuesday Nov 17th, 2009 12:54 PM
Revised 2/6/08
Prepared by City Clerk's Dept.




Scott Patrick Daly** 865 Highland Avenue 426-1050/685-1050 (B) 1/28/03 1/1/11 N Santa Cruz, CA 95060 458-3303 (H)

David A. Foster 118 Miles Street 475-7300 x215 (B) 2/4/03 1/1/12 N Santa Cruz 95060 469-4923 (H)

Lawrence Kasparowitz P.O. Box 1226 420-1950 (H) 9/12/06 1/1/10 Y Santa Cruz, CA 95061 454-2676 (B)

Rod Quartararo* 622 Walnut Avenue 423-1447 (H) 1/27/04 1/1/10 Y Santa Cruz, CA 95060 477-8579 (B)

William Schultz 802 Almar Street 423-3140 (B) 1/28/03 1/1/13 N Santa Cruz, CA 95060 423-5295 (H)

Mari Tustin 603 National Street 429-8945 (H) 5/22/07 1/1/12 Y Santa Cruz, CA 95060 438-5725 (x232) (B)

Judy Warner 215 Trescony Street 425-1168 (H) 1/23/07 1/1/11 Y Santa Cruz, CA 95060

*Chair Meetings held in Council Chambers 1st, and 3rd
**Vice-Chair Thursdays of the month at 7:00 p.m.

Staff: Ken Thomas 420-5110

Alex Khoury, Planning Dept 420-5116
According to Council Policy, an advisory body member who is not seeking reappointment or whose term is expired may continue serving until his/her replacement has been appointed, or until the point at which they formally resign.
by Robert Norse
Wednesday Nov 18th, 2009 9:26 AM
The Planning Department has arranged to set up an audio play of the last Planning Commission hearing on the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban item today (11-18). Folks are free to join me in room #107 of the City Council Annex (the two-story building next to City Council chambers, across the street from the Civic Auditorium). #107 is on the ground floor facing the parking lot.

I'll be making a tape for broadcast, but won't have time to play it before the next Planning Commission meeting tomorrow night when the issue will probably see a final vote.' so if you want to hear what all the fuss was about at the last meeting, feel free to come and listen.

For more info, come to the HUFF meeting today 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the Sub Rosa Cafe, 703 Pacific. Or show up at 2 PM.
by Cheech
Wednesday Nov 18th, 2009 10:44 AM
Dont get caught up in this fight. This is just political crap. Take your shop (and your taxes!) outside of city limits. There are too many city laws already. Freedom lives in county territory. Why do you think WAMM set up where they did?

If you put people and medicine before politics, you'll spend your time helping shops start up outside city limits.
WAMM doesn't have a shop, but is a collective open only to its members.

As far as I know (and I'm not sure of this) the County doesn't have any regulations. So why not set up in the County? Because D.A. Bob Lee, going after groups like Roger Mentch's Hemporium, subscribes to the theory that all retail medical marijuana outlets are illegal (since they aren't collectives or cooperatives).

I suspect this has discouraged anybody from opening up in the County.

I'll try to play the November 4th "staff report" pushing for the new club ban on Free Radio today 4-5 PM (or part of it anyway).
101.1 FM

I'm also hoping that someone will be interested in attending the meeting with an open cell phone line and calling the studio, so we can broadcast live the Planning Commission meeting from 7-8 anyway in the second half of my show. Any body interested?

If so, please call me at 423-4833 and leave me a message. Or leave a message on this thread.
by Local
Friday Nov 20th, 2009 6:36 PM
Did the ban pass?
by Robert Norse
Saturday Nov 21st, 2009 11:41 AM
Yes, 5-2.

Still waiting for the Sentinel story on it.

I may be playing some audio on Sunday at my show if anyone's interested. Post your interest here, if you'd like to hear it.

You can also buy a tape from the Planning Commission for a few bucks.

See also but hold your nose as you wade through the usual slime of the Sentinel "Forum".

Call City Council early and often if you oppose the ban at 420-5020.
by local
Saturday Nov 21st, 2009 1:00 PM
What will the city do when the supreme court comes out and says that any limits imposed by SB420 are unconstitutional? I guess they will continue to try and rely on the MPP/AG guidelines, but under prop215 patients can have whatever they reasonably need for their condition. So the city plans on adopting the MMP/Ag guidelines for dispensaries but what about for patients who grow at home and are not a dispensary. What rules are they supposed to follow? county guidelines? it's all so unclear.
by Robert Norse
Monday Nov 23rd, 2009 9:34 AM
For an interesting discussion on state guidelines and local prosecutions, check out the dialogue between Hemporium founder Roger Mentch (convicted of medical marijuana sales and charged with more) and Mendicino Medical Marijuana Patients Collective activist Pebbles Trippet at (download and go to the last 1/4 of the show).

I'm not sure how the proposed new medical marijuana dispensary ban affects individual growers (though growhouses, as I understand it, are banned in the city--except for Greenway and Ken Sampson's club). What this does is funnel all traffic, local and out-of-city to these clubs and make competitive pricing less likely.

It's Prohibition camouflaged as Regulation, similar to what other cities are doing to punish marijuana users and sellers. Santa Cruzans might fight this by extensive petitioning to City Council that they find the two current clubs inadequate. And/or by calling Councilmembers individually at 420-5020.
PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
DATE: Wednesday, November 18, 2009
CONTACT: Joe Paquin, 831-425-0580, joe at
Manager of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM).

Santa Cruz, CA. – The Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM), would like to voice our concern with the upcoming medical marijuana dispensary ban.

On Thursday, November 19, 2009, the Santa Cruz Planning Commission will hear testimony and discuss the medical marijuana dispensary ban. This will have drastic impacts on patients in Santa Cruz.

In the ordinance, the total number of dispensaries allowed in Santa Cruz would be set to two, the two that are currently operating near Harvey West Park. Presently, the dispensaries are unable to meet the demand for affordable medicine. Limiting the number of dispensaries without creating an avenue for the development of low cost collectives, eliminates competition and in effect creates a financial snare for patients who are forced to pay the high prices or who are pushed into the black market.

We support the dispensary model as long as it is tempered by competition and compassion.

This ordinance also does not address patient collectives, which is the only form of legal access specifically outlined in Senate Bill 420. This glaring omission to patient collectives does nothing to rectify the very problems the city wishes to address with the ordinance.

Furthermore, this ordinance ignores the future of the “Office of Compassionate Use” (ORDINANCE NO. 2005-28) that the City Council voted to implement in 2005. We hope that the City Council recalls that the best way to support patients is not by limiting safe access, but by expanding options.

We know that Santa Cruz is medical marijuana friendly, but this ordinance suggests otherwise by pushing patients into a closed system that supports high costs and no competition. We honor the work that the City Council has undertaken and we hope that they will apply the same diligence with regard to this ordinance.

We encourage all community members, patients, caregivers, and friends and family of medical marijuana patients to voice their opinion at the Planning Commission at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, November 19, 2009. The meeting will take place in City Council Chambers, 809 Center Street, Santa Cruz.

For more information about the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana and the services we provide for terminally ill medical marijuana patients, please visit our website at
by local
Monday Nov 30th, 2009 11:54 AM
Santa Cruz city council may still be able to limit/control dispensaries if the part about voluntary MMP guidelines in SB420 isn't struck down, but for your normal everyday patient in Santa Cruz that provides his own medicine the courts decision is huge.

Despite what the Santa Cruz city council says patients can possess and cultivate any amount of marijuana that is consistent with their medical needs. It will be up to a jury to decide if the amount is reasonable or not. Not judges and law enforcement.
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