Pubdate: Thu, 28 Jan 2016
Source: Chico News & Review, The (CA)
Copyright: 2016 Chico Community Publishing, Inc.


The City Council Must Act Wisely-Not Hastily-in Regard to Medical Marijuana

While cities throughout California scramble to react to a deadline in 
a new state law, Chico will be better served if it sits back and 
takes a more thoughtful approach. The law is part of a package of 
three bills, collectively known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation 
and Safety Act (MMRSA), that went into effect Jan. 1 and creates a 
framework for licensing and taxing the drug for commercial sale. 
Unfortunately, the bills came with a deadline of March 1 for local 
governments to enact laws relating to cannabis cultivation in order 
to maintain local control. This has cities and towns-including every 
other municipality in Butte County-acting brashly and outright 
banning growing, selling and delivering medical marijuana.

What many of these cities' attorneys have told their councils seems 
to be disingenuous. Many have recommended a ban on growing despite 
those municipalities already having laws in place regulating the 
practice, and they're citing recommendations from the League of 
California Cities. Thing is, just as Chico City Councilman Randall 
Stone, who's a member of that organization, told us, those 
recommendations say that an outright ban is prudent only if a 
municipality has no existing law on the books.

Making all this even more contentious is the fact that Assembly Bill 
21, which calls for a repeal of the March 1 deadline, already has 
passed the Senate and has widespread support in the Assembly and by 
Gov. Jerry Brown.

With the Chico City Council poised to take action regarding medical 
marijuana in relation to MMRSA on Tuesday (Feb. 2), we urge 
discussion and thorough consideration of the future of medical 
marijuana in our city. Chico already has a functional law on the 
books. All the council needs to do is stand behind it.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom