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( JamesLough )

Comments made by JamesLough

San Diego Voters To Decide On Medical Marijuana In 4 Cities But Not Encinitas

I have been following your coverage of this issue including the recent noonday radio interviews. The coverage has missed an important distinction in Lemon Grove. The Citizens will be considering two measures on the subject, one by Americans for Safe Access (Measure T) and one placed on the ballot by the City Council (Measure Q). Both would permit certain medical marijuana uses, but there are important distinctions being ingored by the press.

When faced with flaws in the one circulated by the interest group for expanded marijuana access, the City Council decided to give voters who want to permit access an alternatve that more closely follows state and local laws. For those voters against the expanded access in Lemon Grove, they are free to vote "no" on both. However, the City Council wanted a measure that allows multiple locations for potential collectives to locate, but under rules that follow environmental laws, public hearing procedures and a true cost recovery system for the City costs of regulation.

While the competing measure T does not allow public hearings on land use determinations or environmental review of the applications, the City Measure Q allows public hearing input and review of potential adverse environmental issues. The City measure Q requires a per patient tax of $200 per year to pay for enforcement costs. Measure T (non-city) has an illegal sales tax system that cannot be implemented to fund the costs of enforememt.

In addition, the City Measure (Q) allows the City Council to repeal the measure if the City officials are threatened with imminent prosecution or if the medical marijuana laws are invalidated. Under the non-city measure (R), the City has a required duty to enforce even if faced with prosecution by the federal authorities or statewide invalidation. All in all, Measure Q is a responsible approach for those citizens who wish to permit the use in Lemon Grove.

The Council, as a group, is leaving the decision to the voters. They have designed a measure that will force themselves to make the tough decisions through normal public hearing procedures that allow all Lemon Grovers to participate. No special interests had any input in the drafting of the measure as it was presented to the Council except through public hearing testimony open to all citizens.

James Lough
Lemon Grove City Attorney

P.S. This letter was not prepared at the direction of the City and no public resources were used in producing it.

October 4, 2012 at 6:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )