La Mesans Could Vote in November 2014 on Medical Marijuana Clinics

City Council to review ballot measure request, quarterly police report and other issues Tuesday.

Medical marijuana advocates lost in four city votes Tuesday. But hope springs anew for a different result in La Mesa two years from now.

Having received signatures from at least 10 percent of La Mesa registered voters, petitioners are calling for a citywide ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries here.

The City Council will review the measure—submitted by Citizens for Patient Rights—at its 4 p.m. meeting Tuesday.

The petition, delivered to the City Clerk’s Office on Oct. 1, calls for an amendment to the  Municipal Code allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in specific regulated zones and an extra 2.5 percent sales tax on cannabis products that would flow to the La Mesa General Fund.

It had 5,142 signatures—far exceeding the required 3,041.  County Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler verified 5,135 signatures, according to her letter to the council. The drive began last March.

Citizens for Patient Rights originally said it submitted more than 6,500 signatures to the La Mesa city clerk.

“This submission is a victory for the thousands of patients, caregivers and supporters in La Mesa who supported this signature drive and is another step towards giving the voters of La Mesa a voice on whether to allow regulated medical marijuana access for the patients and caregivers in their community,” the group said.

City Clerk Mark Kennedy said petitioners could have asked the council to schedule an immediate citywide vote.

 “However, in this case the petition did not contain a request that the ordinance be submitted immediately to a vote of the people at a special election,” Kennedy said. “Therefore, the next municipal election for placement of this initiative will be November 2014.”

According to the petition, the purpose of the Compassionate Use Dispensary Restriction and Taxation Ordinance is to:

Ensure safe access to medical cannabis in the City of La Mesa for qualified patients and their primary caregivers in compliance with California's Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and Medical Marijuana Program Act of 2003 through regulated compassionate use dispensaries in the City of La Mesa.

The Municipal Code currently bars dispensaries from operating within city limits. The lone pot shop in La Mesa was shut down in March 2011.

The last time medical marijuana was debated at La Mesa City Hall was a week before the November 2010 elections, when Proposition 19 was on the statewide ballot. That effort to legalize and regulate marijuana for people 21 and over lost 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent.

Mayor Art Madrid was against Prop. 19, but Councilmen Ernie Ewin and Mark Arapostathis were neutral on the issue.

In last week’s election, Del Mar voters rejected a measure to legalize medical marijuana shops by 13 percentage points. In Lemon Grove, the “no” votes exceeded “yes” by 25 points, in Imperial Beach by 19 points and in Solana Beach by 25 points.

In November 2011, a Patch poll asked: Should marijuana for medical and recreational use be legalized on the federal level? The result of the unscientific poll was 87 percent yes, 11 percent no.

In other agenda items Tuesday:

  • The council will have a second reading and could vote on an ordinance amending Title 24 of the La Mesa Municipal Code adding, repealing and amending various code sections related to alcoholic beverage production.
  • Police Chief Ed Aceves will present the latest Quarterly Crime Report, which notes a 12 percent decline in violent crime in a year-to-year comparison. [See attached agenda.]
  • In the wake of Mayor Art Madrid signing a commendation urging for “Fair Trade Town” designation for the city, councilmember Ewin has asked for a council discussion addressing the using/providing City of La Mesa proclamations, commendations and recognitions as to city, citizen businesses, individually/organizations, etc.; use of the city seal; acceptable and authorized purposes, minimum requirements to be official documents of the city and what that implies or conveys on behalf of the city.
KaraLamb November 13, 2012 at 06:30 AM
How about a 9% sales tax rate, the same as everyone else pays on their products. Or reduce our normal sales tax to the 2.5% the medical marijuana people are asking for. Fair is fair.
Ken Stone November 13, 2012 at 07:28 AM
I've added the word "extra" in front of the sales-tax reference to clarify the issue. Since La Mesa now has an 8.5% sales tax, if a medical marijuana measure were approved, people would pay an effective 11% sales tax on cannabis products in La Mesa.
Gerald Yops November 13, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Hey, who cares.....many people who buy are on government subsidy and subsistence programs anyway. Who's money is it in the end. Have you actually observed these places in action? When you spend the time as I have and watch the "clients/patients" high five each other on the 'score' and then divide it up on the street corner and sell it for a profit due to it's high grade, you begin to realize what a joke it really is. Legalized drug dealing so these very people can now buy twice as much cheap meth. Oh yeah, we will make boat loads of money on this one!?!!
FlyingTooLow November 13, 2012 at 05:45 PM
If marijuana were treated like lettuce and tomatoes, this debacle would end. After all, it is plant. Take the government out of the equation. It does not belong. I spent 5 years in Federal Prison for a marijuana offense. I wrote about the great times I had before my arrest. Following a fiasco with the IRS, I became a dealer of ounces, then pounds, then multi-tons. Later, I became an importer. I and my friends were living free and harming no one. My book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank I would be honored by your review.
FlyingTooLow November 13, 2012 at 05:46 PM
All card-carrying members of the DEA need to read: Shoulda Robbed a Bank Here is one of its reviews: 5.0 out of 5 stars... If David Sedaris had written 'Catcher in the Rye'..this would be it, June 30, 2012 Amazon Verified Purchase This review is from: Shoulda Robbed a Bank (Kindle Edition) I have never smoked pot in my life...nor do I ever care to. I read about this book in numerous Huffington Post comments. Thought I would read it because I know nothing about marijuana or the people involved with it. I am ecstatic that I did. Funny, Funny, Funny!!! The chapters are like short stories. Stories about unloading boats with helicopters, close encounters with law enforcement, traveling through the jungles of South America. The chapter about the author's first time smoking marijuana made me feel like I was with him...coughing. All of the characters were just a group of loveable, nice guys and girls. Not what I had been raised to believe...hysterical maniacs high on pot bent on death and mayhem. They were nothing like that. If you have ever read any of David Sedaris' books, and like them...you will love Shoulda Robbed a Bank. And the crazy things happening reminded me of Holden Caufield in 'Catcher in the Rye' and the way he staggered through life. The way the words are put together are like nothing I have ever heard. I am sure I will use many of the sayings found in this book just to dazzle my friends. A terrific read. I love this book.
Ryan Gallardo November 13, 2012 at 06:19 PM
@Gerald Yops - legalized drug dealing? What do you call Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbot-Laboratories, or any other pharmaceutical company for that matter? These companies are making hundreds of billions of dollars every year in the US alone off their toxic drugs. Prescription drugs taken as prescribed in hospitals are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S and Canada, after cancer, heart disease and strokes. They cause about 10,000 deaths a year in Canada and about 106,000 deaths a year and over two million serious injuries in the U.S. (Source: Lazarou et al JAMA Vol. 279 No. 15 pp.1200-1205 Incidence of Adverse Drug Reactions in Hospitalized Patients). Marijuana has caused...zero. And for you to even compare the purchase of Marijuana to Methamphetamine makes absolutely no sense. They are COMPLETE opposites and Methamphetamine can lead to heart attack, stroke, and many other health complications. Fact: Obesity currently results in an estimated 400,000 deaths a year in the United States and costs the national economy nearly $122.9 billion annually (Source: www.obesityinamerica.org). Medical Marijuana (and ANY marijuana) was the cause of 0 deaths. In a nutshell? Marijuana causes less harm than than over the counter drugs and fast food. Maybe you're better off smoking a joint and eating a serving of oatmeal next time you think of heading to McDonalds.
David B Secor November 13, 2012 at 07:34 PM
FlyingTooLow and Ryan make important points. In my race for Congress a top priority was to remove cannabis from the federal government's list as a Class 1 narcotic (like heroin). Ron Paul introduced H.R. 1831, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, on 5/15/11, virtually identical to H.R. 1866 introduced in 2009. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 is responsible for this 70+ year nightmare of prohibition. William Randolph Hearst's phony newspaper horror stories and BIG MONEY bribes to politicians, not only criminalized MJ, but also industrial hemp farming. Both MJ and hemp,and their derivatives, had for thousands of years been both effective and valuable medicinal and industrial products. George Washington was a hemp farmer. As late as the 1880's hemp was the largest farm product around the world (industrial hemp does not get you high). "Popular Mechanics" magazine listed over 8,000 uses for hemp and its derivatives. Henry Ford made a car out of hemp panels many times stronger and 5 times lighter than fiberglass. It was also fueled with hemp oil. Hearst, and Big Oil knew hemp was superior to wood-based paper and petroleum based plastics, etc. and got the federal government to ban MJ as "addictive and dangerous," smoked by Mexicans, black musicians, etc. Hemp was included in that ban. The federal law is itself the crime! See news of Washington state since legalizing Nov. 6. "Power concedes Nothing without a Demand. It never has, and it never will." -F. Douglass
FlyingTooLow November 13, 2012 at 07:45 PM
@David B Secor... Really good information. I had not heard about Henry Ford's car with hemp panels...nor that it was fueled with hemp oil. Many thanks for sharing, Hugh Yonn
Batman November 13, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Legal or not don't participate. The proponents of marijuana don't give a damn about you. They only want to s**** you over, and that's real easy when you're high on pot.
Ryan Gallardo November 14, 2012 at 12:17 AM
@ Batman- Everyone is entitled an opionion. You have provided your opinion. I'm sure one may be able to assume my opinion on the subject based in the facts I provided above. Again, THE FACTS I PROVIDED ABOVE. Your comment is based on which facts? Here's a fact: did you know A global study found that 3.6% of all cancer cases worldwide are caused by alcohol drinking, resulting in 3.5% of all global cancer deaths (source: "Burden of alcohol-related cancer substantial". Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. 2006-08-03. Wow. Smh.
Batman November 14, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Legal or not don't partake in this. Let some other fool ruin his mind. Keep your mind sharp so you can get the good paying job.


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