Pubdate: Fri, 5 Nov 2010
Source: Red Bluff Daily News (CA)
Copyright: 2010 Red Bluff Daily News
Author: Tang Lor
Cited: Red Bluff Police Chief Paul Nanfito
Cited: City Manager Martin Nichols
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)


Local law enforcement and government officials are rejoicing in the 
defeat of Proposition 19, especially since it means no changes in 
regulation or enforcement.

Voters deciding they do not want to legalize marijuana is a very 
positive thing for the state, Red Bluff Police Chief Paul Nanfito said.

I'm very pleased, Nanfito said. I think it's the right decision.

The rejection of the proposition will allow police to continue to 
enforce marijuana laws that are already in the books instead of 
having to create an additional set of regulation based on vague 
guidelines, Nanfito said.

If passed, Proposition 19 would have legalized recreational marijuana 
use for adults 21 and older, allow some limited growth on private 
lots and authorized local governments to create some tax regulation 
over commercial cultivation and sale.

Instead, voters have decided to not put California in jeopardy of 
losing $31 billion dollars in federal money or risk being sued by the 
federal government, Nanfito said.

City Manager Martin Nichols said the proposition would have been bad 
for the city.

It was so poorly written, it would have created a great deal of 
chaos, Nichols said. I'm glad it didn't pass.

Officials are aware the discussion over marijuana use is not over 
yet. The City Council is facing a decision on whether to pass a 
permanent ban on medical marijuana collectives and dispensaries. A 
temporary ban that was enacted in 2009 will expire in mid-December.

The city has not adopted any ordinances regarding cultivation.

Meanwhile, the county has a temporary ban that will expire in 2011 
and must address the possibility of a permanent ban then.

Had the measure passed, it would have required some minor 
modification to the ordinance in regards to cultivation, County 
Administrator Bill Goodwin said. But since it did not pass, the 
county will not have to make the modifications.

Proponents have already vowed to bring a similar initiative back in 2012.

If a similar measure comes back, Nanfito is hopeful it will be 
rejected again, but he realizes this defeat was not a landslide either.

The proposition failed by a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent.

Richard Lee, the Oakland medical marijuana entrepreneur who sponsored 
Proposition 19 and spent $1.4 million of his own money to qualify the 
measure for the ballot and try to get it passed, drew hope in the 
generational divide among the voters.

The only unequivocal support for the measure came from voters younger 
than 30, though even they were not as united in their support as 
voters 65 and older were in their opposition.

Lee noted that since younger voters supported the initiative, a 
generation that does not fear the drug would one day constitute a 
majority of the population.

The issue is generational, Lee said.

Many of the biggest contributors to the campaign were younger and 
based in Silicon Valley, representing a changing of the guard of 
political influence and leadership.

In Tehama County, the proposition was rejected by a 63 to 37 percent. 
As of Wednesday afternoon, there were still about 7,000 absentee 
ballots to be counted.

The proposition failed because trying to legalize marijuana through a 
ballot measure is not the right approach to take, Tehama County 
Sheriff Clay Parker said.

The only proper way to legalize marijuana would be through the 
federal government, Parker said.

The Federal Drug Administration would have to declare marijuana a 
Schedule II drug, which would require users to see a real doctor and 
obtain a real medical prescription.

As for a second go-around, Parker said voters won't go for it.

It failed once, and it's going to fail again, Parker said. This (a 
ballot measure) is not the route to take. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake