San Jose’s ban on marijuana comes just days before Californians head to the polls to decide whether to legalize the drug. On Tuesday, a quick and quiet vote by City Hall officials led to a temporary ban on recreational marijuana sales.
On November 8, residents will decide the fate of Proposition 64. The measure, which is also known as “Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act,” wants to make it legal for people, who are over the age of 21 to possess, cultivate, and sell marijuana in the Golden State.
It would create a 15 percent state sales tax and require farmers to pay $9.25 for every ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrate sold. The latest polls showed that Proposition 64 has more supporters than detractors – about 60 percent. Billionaire Sean Parker and others have poured millions to push Proposition 64.
If approved, Proposition 64 will go into effect in 2018. After the vote, City Council members told the media that they decided to have a temporary ban because they want officials to have the appropriate amount of time to write the laws and regulation for sales and farming.
San Jose’s ban on marijuana starts immediately, and there is no date as to when it will be lifted, which has many believing that it will remain in place until 2018. Officials are hoping to have their own regulations in place by the time Prop. 64 goes into law. Michelle McGurk, an assistant to the city manager, who coordinates the city’s medical marijuana policy, said:
“We want potential cannabis entrepreneurs to know commercial recreational marijuana collectives are not allowed in San Jose. We learned our lessons from our experiences with the medical marijuana dispensaries that opened up all over town.”
San Jose is not the only city pushing for a temporary ban, more than a dozen cities including Palo Alto, Campbell, Foster City, Hayward, Davis, and Martinez have signed similar legislations. Blue Lake’s legislators said they need more time to study the drug. Blue Lake Mayor Michelle McCall-Wallace said:
“I don’t think cities were given the opportunity to put regulations into place.It all came pretty quickly and we didn’t have time to study the zoning issues.”
Supporters have spent $22.3 million fighting for the measure while organizations like the California Highway Patrolmen’s union, the Teamsters union, and the Automobile Club of Southern California have forked out $2.5 million to kill it.