No Marijuana Sales In Pinole?
If California voters approve Proposition 19 on Tuesday, pot sales in Pinole might remain illegal — at least for awhile. The city council on Thursday will consider adopting an ordinance that would prohibit marijuana dispensaries from operating in the city for 45 days. That moratorium could be extended for up to 10 months and 15 days and up to another year after that.
Passage of the ordinance and the extensions require four of the five council votes.
The statewide measure would allow people to grow marijuana in a plot up to 25 square feet and allow possession of up to one ounce. It also would permit local governments to regulate commercial sales. Cities and counties all over California are preparing how to respond if Prop. 19 wins. Pinole currently has no pot dispensaries. The city’s municipal code forbids dispensaries unless they comply with both federal and state law. Federal law considers growing marijuana for any purpose illegal.
The Pinole ordinance would restrict pot gardens to indoors and prohibit consumption of marijuana in public. The moratorium would allow the city to wait to see how he federal law might change if Proposition 19 passes. The city also cold “study the potential impacts the commercial marijuana establishments may have on the public health, safety and welfare,” according to a report that will go to the council Thursday.
The city also would look at establishing regulations and zoning restrictions on commercial growers, the report reads.
The ordinance includes penalties of up six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000 for any violations.
Opponents of Prop. 19 argue that federal laws regarding marijuana supersede local and state laws, and that passage will lead to more pot use and divert police resources to enforcement. Proponents contend that cities and the state will benefit from the proposal because marijuana sales can be taxed and because it will free up law enforcement from having to make arrests for illegal cultivation and possession.