Oceanside supports medical marijuana but not recreation use

OCEANSIDE — On Wednesday the Oceanside City Council voted 4-1 to draft a resolution to oppose Proposition 64, which allows statewide recreational use of marijuana.

Earlier in the year the City Council passed an ordinance to allow delivery of medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries outside the city.

Mayor Jim Wood explained the difference in the city’s point of view on uses.

“We supported medical marijuana, but we’re not open to recreational use statewide,” Wood said.

The one no vote on drafting a resolution in opposition was cast by Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery.

Following the vote, Lowery said he talked to an intellectual property manager, business people and community organizations to gather information.

“It’s a complex issue,” Lowery said. “It’s somewhat of an overreach to expect this council to research this issue prior to voting on it.”

The majority of council members voted to draft a resolution, and strongly opposed the negative impacts of recreational use.

Councilman Jack Feller said it is important to safeguard families, and not allow it.

He said what cemented his opposition was hearing from a former Denver, Colo., police officer who said recreational marijuana has increased crime.

“He said it’s an absolute mess there,” Feller said.

Erica Leary, North Coastal Prevention Coalition program manager, shared data on the dangers of recreational marijuana use. She cited impacts seen in Colorado, including more teen use and increased traffic fatalities.

She added recreational allowance permits television advertisements, which further influence kids.

The California Marijuana Legalization Initiative will be on the Nov. 8 ballot.

If passed recreational marijuana would enact a 15 percent sales tax, and a cultivation tax of $9.25 per ounce or flower and $2.75 per ounce or leaves.

Regulations would prevent corporate licenses for large-scale businesses for five years to deter monopolies.

Rules would also establish packaging, labeling, advertising, and marketing standards for recreational marijuana. As well as establish industry licensing and standards.

Regulations would limit sales to those age 21 and older, and prohibit marketing and advertising directly to minors.

Another provision would be allowance of local regulation and taxation of marijuana.

According to Ballotpedia, supporters of the proposition include California State NAACP, California Medical Association, and California Democratic Party.

Among the ballot arguments in support of recreational marijuana are it would provide an environment in which marijuana is safe, controlled and taxed.

Ballotpedia cites those opposed as including the California Hospital Association, Small Growers Association, California Teamsters Union and California Correctional Supervisor’s Association.

Ballot arguments against allowance echo many of the reasons voiced at the council meeting. They include more impaired driving, an increase in black market and drug cartel activity, allowed growing by schools and parks, and television advertisements.

Oceanside city staff was directed to return with a resolution for council to vote on by Sept. 7.

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