Next Tuesday, the Long Beach City Council is scheduled to vote on whether to ban medical marijuana, a move that is strongly supported by the city attorney's office and police department. Their argument in favor of doing so: the federal government is cracking down on marijuana, and the city's pot ordinance, which allowed collectives to grow and distrubute marijuana in return for a $15,000 permit application fee, but which has been called into question by a recent court case, is mostly illegal.
On the other side of the argument is everyone who thinks that the city is wasting its time and money trying to backtrack on a policy it began, and will only be forcing qualified medical marijuana smokers to go to the black market if it bans the dispensaries, bringing the clock back to the wild west days before the city tried to regulate pot, when hundreds of clubs were operating outside city law.
The cannabis collectives that have the most on the line, of course, are
the ones that have done their best to obey the city's ordinance, paid
the application fees, won a controversial lottery allowing them to
continue to operate, and managed to survive subsequent zoning
restrictions added by the city which further thinned the dispensaries,
forcing many of them to close. These clubs, joined together in the Long
Beach Collective Association (LBCA), are now seeking the public's
support in a last-ditch effort to convince the city's elected officials
not to ban marijuana.
Specifically, LBCA is asking the public, especially city residents, to go to its website, where contact information is available for every city council member, as well as drafts of talking points for folks interested in making telephone calls.
One important fact to keep in mind is that the city council has already delayed its vote on the ban twice thanks to council members who were absent at the last two scheduled votes, so public comments on this issue have already been heard and barring some last minute change, aren't going to be accepted at the meeting Tuesday.
So if you want to get your views heard on this issue, now's your chance. Once again, to find the information you need to make that happen, click here.