UPDATED, Nov. 10, 1:30 P.M.: There's an interesting story on the Rancho Santa Patch website about the city's recent moratorium. In it, city attorney Greg Simonian, who came up with the idea along with city manager Steve Hayman, basically tells reporter Martin Henderson that the city is just using the moratorium to enforce an ongoing ban against cannabis collectives.
Simonian notes that in nearby Lake Forest, the city spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to shutter several clubs for violating city codes, until it finally realized the easier option was to simply call up the DEA and get them to seize the property where the clubs were located. Rancho Santa Margarita's moratorium will last two years. That's a long time to figure out how else to keep the pot clubs out of town. Nice work, fellows. Who knew subverting the will of the people could be so easy?
ORIGINAL POST, Oct. 27, 10:27 A.M.: Cities throughout California–and
by “cities” we actually mean “city attorneys, council members and other
local officials”–are struggling to figure out how exactly marijuana
will figure in the lives of their constituents. Two major factors are
spurring this ongoing pot-related brainstorm: the federal government's recently-announced crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries and a state court decision from Long Beach that appears to render any city's pro-cannabis stance illegal.
Long Beach, which had enacted an ordinance allowing clubs to operate after paying a $15,000 fee and surviving a convoluted series of bingo-style lotteries and increasingly restrictive ordinances, is reportedly about to ban cannabis clubs.
Award-winning investigative journalist Nick Schou is Editor of OC Weekly. He is the author of Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb (Nation Books 2006), which provided the basis for the 2014 Focus Features release starring Jeremy Renner and the L.A. Times-bestseller Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love’s Quest to bring Peace, Love and Acid to the World, (Thomas Dunne 2009). He is also the author of The Weed Runners (2013) and Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood (2016).