Sacramento, and cities like Palm Springs and Los Angeles have tax
bases that include well-managed medical marijuana dispensaries, but
the city of Riverside does not.
Why haven't the city of Riverside and its police chief ever tried to
work together to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries?
They regulate adult businesses, pawn shops, pharmacies (the
repositories of lots of valuable, illegal-without-a-prescription
drugs) gun stores, smoke shops filled with deadly and valuable tobacco
and more - but claim they are unable to regulate medical marijuana
[continues 80 words]
Initiative would legalize and regulate a handful of pot dispensaries;
city argues it would violate state, federal law
Less than a month after medical-marijuana supporters learned they had
collected enough signatures to get their measure on Riverside's ballot
in 2015, the city has filed a lawsuit to stop the county registrar
from putting the issue before voters.
Riverside currently bans all marijuana dispensaries through its zoning
code. Last year, the state Supreme Court sided with the city in a
legal challenge to the ban.
[continues 571 words]
A medical marijuana advocate, however, sees the progression of federal
legislation as a ray of hope.
A longtime Inland activist was hopeful Friday that a House vote on a
bill related to medical marijuana would be a step toward overturning
local bans on dispensaries, but city leaders said they doubted that
the bill, even if it became law, would affect those bans.
An amendment to an appropriations bill blocks the federal government
from spending money to prohibit the implementation of state laws
authorizing medical marijuana. If the Senate passes the bill and the
president signs it into law, states like California would be able to
continue their medical marijuana programs, without threats from the
[continues 585 words]
What a bittersweet moment to see Riverside having to place the medical
marijuana issue on the 2015 ballot. What a waste of money!
The entire state of California already passed it several years ago and
now two states have made recreational use legal. Why can't those who
ban it enforce the state laws we have in place?
By allowing legal medical pot to be sold in selective areas, such as
commercial warehouse areas that already have surveillance cameras in
place, the medical pot businesses can hire extra security with the
millions of dollars they will take in via taxation.
[continues 91 words]
The national debate over marijuana continues to waft through the city
of Riverside. A city initiative allowing medical-marijuana
dispensaries has qualified for the ballot in June 2015. Reported the
Press-Enterprise, "Riverside, which now bans dispensaries through the
zoning code, could prove a battleground for medical marijuana
supporters and opponents."
The city already was ground zero in earlier skirmishes involving
Proposition 215, which 56 percent of voters passed in 1996. It
legalized medical marijuana with a doctor's permission. The
initiative's language specifically said approval would encourage
federal and state governments "to implement a plan to provide for the
safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in
medical need of marijuana."
[continues 447 words]
The Temecula Valley School District has sued Riverside County and the
Sheriff's Department in connection with an ongoing lawsuit by a
student who was arrested in an undercover school drug bust.
The teen, who is autistic, sued the district in October, almost a year
after he was accused of selling a small amount of marijuana to a
deputy posing as a student at Chaparral High School. His lawsuit
accuses officials of negligence, alleging district officials
authorized a drug sting targeting the teen even though they knew he
suffers from disabilities and was in special education.
[continues 620 words]
If there is a stereotype of someone advocating marijuana
legalization, it's not Lanny Swerdlow.
The Whitewater resident, who has been an activist for 15 years in
both Riverside and Palm Springs talks fast, quotes numbers and
studies about cannabis, writes for several publications, and shows
absolutely no signs of being laid-back during an interview in his
Hemp and Cannabis Foundation office in Riverside.
Opened in 2008, it was set up to help provide medical marijuana
When in comes to the green, there is no grey for Swerdlow, 68 .
Obtuse, he is not. Police, he said, "are afraid medical marijuana's
gonna lead to marijuana legalization - which it will. Colorado and
Washington are perfect examples."
[continues 1095 words]
President Barack Obama recently remarked that smoking marijuana isn't
worse than drinking alcohol, and that he had smoked marijuana as a young man.
Having worked in law enforcement for 35 years, I disagree with the president.
Many people may deny that there is a link between smoking marijuana
and taking harder drugs, but my professional experience convinces me
The euphoria produced by marijuana has led legions of young people on
to a life of drug abuse.
Advocates have achieved incredible success pushing for marijuana's
acceptance, and states looking to cash in have jumped on the bandwagon.
[continues 79 words]
Reading about the cities lacking tax revenue, I feel like a stranger
in a strange land. Growing up in this conservative hotbed, I cannot
fathom forbidding businesses - which generate tax revenue - from
engaging in legal endeavors.
People spent thousands of dollars to place an initiative on the ballot
to legalize medical marijuana in California. Voters approved this measure.
Despite the initiative's approval, cities are spending lots of money
to push out medical marijuana dispensaries.
Why don't people look at the millions of dollars in tax revenue this
state and others are losing?
[continues 54 words]
Media attention this week turned to Colorado, where the nation's
first recreational pot shops opened for business.
Could it happen here? It's possible some day, but complicated.
In California, lawful marijuana use is restricted to authorized
medical patients, and signatures are being gathered now for the
latest effort to ask state voters to consider Colorado-style access to pot.
And while medical marijuana is legal, more than 200 local governments
across California and in the Inland area have banned medical
marijuana dispensaries, based on a law created in Riverside and
upheld in May by the California Supreme Court.
[continues 454 words]
DENVER (AP) -The second day of the nation's first fully legal
marijuana industry was just a bit less frenzied than the first.
Rather than hundred-deep lines outside the limited number of licensed
retail shops, the queues held several dozen.
Still, there were so many pot shoppers that one retailer asked
customers to come back today. Here's a look at the new normal in Colorado:
HOW MUCH FOR AN EIGHTH?:
Colorado has no statewide pricing structure, and by midafternoon on
the first day, one dispensary was charging $70 for one-eighth of an
ounce of high-quality pot. Medical marijuana patients, who worried
about being priced out of the market, just a day earlier paid as
little as $25 for the same amount.
[continues 287 words]
Law Enforcement Says It Would Be Naive to Think Colorado Marijuana
Users Won't Cross State Lines
CHEYENNE - Law enforcement officials in Wyoming counties that border
Colorado are preparing for an increase in marijuana arrests given
that recreational use of the drug became legal Wednesday in the
Carbon County Sheriff Jerry Colson said he will host a training
session in February for all law enforcement officers in the county to
help them recognize impaired driving from use of marijuana and other
drugs, as well as from alcohol.
[continues 262 words]
PALM SPRINGS - The three legal medical marijuana dispensaries will now
be required to pay the city 10 percent of their proceeds starting Jan.
1 while the illegal operations will be required to pay 15 percent.
The Palm Springs City Council on Wednesday approved 4-1 the pot tax
rates and a series of other changes including the issuance of a fourth
Palm Springs voters on Nov. 5 overwhelmingly approved Measure B - a
tax of up to 15 percent on the proceeds of medical marijuana
[continues 369 words]
Medical-marijuana supporters trying to qualify a ballot measure
allowing a limited number of dispensaries in Riverside have about 180
days to collect signatures.
About 12,000 voters must sign their petitions to put it on the ballot
in June 2015 the city's next regular election or about 18,000 voters
to get a special election called sooner.
Proponents are training volunteers and may begin circulating petitions
as soon as this weekend, said Jason Thompson, an attorney representing
Riverside Safe Access, the group backing the measure.
[continues 228 words]
About two dozen students were arrested Thursday morning, Dec. 12, at
high schools in Menifee and Perris as part of a semester-long
undercover drug investigation in which deputies posed as students,
Deputies descended on the campuses of Paloma Valley High School and
Perris High School during second period to make the arrests,
Riverside County sheriff's officials said.
Lt. Paul Bennett said deputies identified a total of 25 students, two
of whom are adults, suspected of selling drugs. Officers served 22
drug-related arrest warrants on campus Thursday. Three suspects
weren't in school Thursday and are still at large, he said.
[continues 681 words]
In a first for California, a majority of voters now favors
legalization of marijuana, and most want pot regulated like alcohol,
according to Field Poll results released Tuesday, Dec. 10.
The poll began asking about marijuana decriminalization in 1969. A
clear majority of respondents never favored it until now. In 1969, 75
percent of Californians wanted the state's marijuana laws strictly
enforced, or even toughened.
The nonpartisan poll conducted last week for The Press-Enterprise and
other California media subscribers showed 55 percent now favor
legalization. The split among those was 47 percent for legalizing it
with age and other controls similar to alcohol laws, while 8 percent
said it should be legalized so anyone could purchase it.
[continues 690 words]
Temecula Valley School District Is Again Named a Defendant After
Officials Use a Special Needs Child to Help Nab a Student Dealer
The mother of a Temecula middle school student has sued the school
district, alleging her 14-year-old son was recruited by an assistant
principal to pose as "bait" in an on-campus drug sting, despite her
The incident was in December 2012 and the allegations came to light
after the mother filed a claim against the district in May.
[continues 563 words]
A Proposal From Riverside Safe Access Would Set Rules to Allow
Handful of Dispensaries to Legally Open in Riverside
A group of medical marijuana supporters is planning a ballot measure
that would legalize, regulate and tax a small number of dispensaries
in Riverside, which led the fight to ban such facilities.
On Wednesday, Oct. 16, Riverside attorney Jason Thompson filed
paperwork seeking permission to gather signatures to place the
initiative before voters. Thompson represents Riverside Safe Access,
a local group of about a dozen authorized users and proponents of
[continues 697 words]
Murrieta officials decided Tuesday, Sept. 17, to keep intact an
eight-year ban on medical marijuana dispensaries everywhere in the
city, while moving the prohibition to a different section of city law
that attorneys say can withstand a legal challenge.
The Murrieta City Council's 3-1 vote, with Councilman Harry Ramos
dissenting, also extends the prohibition to mobile dispensaries that
make deliveries to Murrieta residents who order marijuana. Councilman
Randon Lane was absent.
The action follows a history of controversy since passage of a
statewide initiative in 1996 permitting marijuana to be used for
medicinal purposes only. And it comes a few months after a California
Supreme Court ruling that said cities didn't have to provide
dispensaries within their borders.
[continues 364 words]
City leaders in Eastvale, one of the most affluent cities in the
Inland area, want to light a fire under landlords whose renters set
up pot-growing operations in residential neighborhoods.
At least 18 grow houses had been discovered in the city since the
beginning of the year, and police officials say other houses are
still under investigation.
The city already tracks foreclosed homes to make sure they don't
become eyesores. One of the ideas now is to keep track of rental
properties to make sure landlords are doing appropriate background
checks on potential tenants and monitor the homes to make sure they
aren't converted into indoor pot farms.
[continues 813 words]