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City Votes Against Its Own Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative

A competing ballot measure to the citizen driven medical marijuana initiative will not appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.

In a narrow 3-2 vote, the Imperial Beach City Council abandoned its attempt to put a counter initiative on the ballot in November to compete with the .

Last month council after supporters gathered enough signatures from Imperial Beach voters.

Mayor Jim Janney said that the counter initiative had many flaws, like the Safe Access Ordinance, and that he could not support the time city staff and legal counsel would need to invest to get the counter initiative on the ballot in time.

In order to appear on the November ballot, the initiative would need to be handed over to the County of San Diego Registrar of Voters by Aug. 10.

Had the city authored competing measure received enough votes from council Wednesday, a special meeting would have been necessary to grant final approval.

Janney said he was not in favor of a competing initiative when there are enough problems with the Safe Acces Ordinance. A decent opposition statement from councilmembers and citizens against the initiative would clarify things for voters, he said.

"I am not going to be able to support putting a separate one on there just because somebody put something else out there that we don't like," he said. "I believe in what we did the first time," he said, referring to a restrictive .

Janney said he is concerned about the amount of time the city is spending on something that is not going to make Imperial Beach a better place to live.

"If people read the arguments, and that is what they believe in, they will vote the right way," he said.

The city's ordinance was put together in less than two weeks by staff, City Attorney Jennifer Lyons and Councilmembers Ed Spriggs and Brian Bilbray.

Lyons said the language of the initiative was largely derived from the County of San Diego's ordinance that regulates collectives, with some elements borrowed from the city's current ordinance that regulates adult entertainment bookstores.

Bilbray and King both voted in favor of the city's competing measure "that fixes a lot of the problems that the citizen's initiative doesn't touch," Bilbray said.

The Safe Access Ordinance has it flaws, Bilbray said, but he believes that it received enough signatures that it will likely pass in November.

Among concerns expressed by Imperial Beach City Council about the Safe Access Ordinance:

- not allowed to deny business licenses

- smoking allowed at dispensaries

- the number of dispensaries that may be established under Safe Access Ordinance

Since the Safe Access Ordinance was put on the ballot by voters, the ordiance's language cannot be amended by city council.

During the public comment period of the meeting, a half dozen people spoke both for and against the city's initiative.

Tracy Rivera said her concern is what happens if the city does shut down safe access to its citizens.

"You are sending them to places that are illegal and putting patients in danger," she said. "Stand up. What are you afraid of? The people want this change."

Marcus Boyd said he appreciated the work Spriggs and Bilbray did to write the counter ordinance but said the full language of the ordinance was not released until Tuesday and that's not enough time for anyone to give it a thorough review.

He said that in the short time he had to go over the initiative he found provisions that actually created a ban against safe access and in ways was more restrictive than the adopted by council.

Tell us in the comments. 

Do you think that city council should have spent more time and called a special meeting to create an alternative initiative for the November ballot, or are opposing arguments sufficient? Will you vote for against the Safe Access Ordinance of Imperial Beach?

Libi Uremovic August 03, 2012 at 04:00 PM
'... trouble travels; they have cars. Crime will increase, and it will come from out of town. Gangs will fight over turf. People will die,....''...do you really want that one your hands mayor...in an election year...." ...it's the scene from ghost busters where bill murray is talking to the mayor... ...and i guess we could argue that bill murray was right - there was an 80' marshmallow man heading to nyc... ...but i don't think weed stores are going to have the same devastating effect...
Chico&The Man August 03, 2012 at 04:12 PM
thats right libi our collective served the majority of imperial beach residents those 1400 were from Ib the remaining from san diego and abroad our business revenue Crushed any other business in Imperial beach not including of course fast food chains i had 11 employe's within 2 months. contributed thousands in local and state taxes and heard countless stories on how the benefits of cannabis contributed to the well being of many, our collective was 21 -up and if we would have continued our operation a huge majority of the residents of Ib would have been members,if you had data from THC collective and GSC i guarantee you the numbers would astound you on the # of members from Imperial beach who use choose cannabis over prescription drug's...
Libi Uremovic August 03, 2012 at 06:05 PM
and we can review the police logs for the last two years for a crime rate correlation ... ...and there is none....not one arrest of a cancer patient robbing a bank or mugging old ladies in the park...
Diego August 03, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Go sit outside a pot shop and watch who their customers are, all young, mostly male, none serious ill. It’s a shame, plain and simple. It’s become quite clear “medical” marijuana is a Trojan horse for backdoor legalization. Law enforcement and public have become wise to this and are cracking down on pot shops for their unlawful operations and fraudulent “medical” assistance. Pot shops are illegal, even if voters are foolish enough to support trying to permit them, the city can and will file a lawsuit to protect themselves from being forced to permit an illegal activity. And even if the city permits them, the Federal government will shut it down, like it did to the Mother Earth ‘potmart’ last week. What a waste of the city’s money and limited resources. Pot shops make millions of dollars, which are then spent on trying force cities to allow them to operate. I'm concerned any 18-year high school senior can go into a pot shop and buy as much pot as he wants, claiming “pain” for anything, and then use or sell to anyone they see fit. You can get a recommendation from a ‘doctor’ online for $30, without any real exam, this recommendation never expires nor does it limit how much pot you can smoke. This is not medicine, this is not healthy or safe. Pot shops aren’t needed for a true caregiver and pot user, pot shops are helpful for drug dealers to make huge profits. It’s not about ‘medicine’, its all about profits.
Marcus Boyd August 03, 2012 at 06:23 PM
I personally don't believe guns should be on-site. Nor do I buy into the fear tactics or reefer madness that assumes collectives are a negative public safety issue, as a matter of fact, every third-party analysis concludes the very opposite as truth.
Marcus Boyd August 03, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I personally don't believe guns should be on-site. Nor do I buy into the fear tactics or reefer madness that assumes collectives are a negative public safety issue, as a matter of fact, every third-party analysis concludes the very opposite as truth.
Chico&The Man August 03, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Diego its people like you who are beyond clue less you can get a reccomendation for $30.00 that never expires were ? a complete a bold faced lie there is no such thing as a reccomendation that does not expire even the state sacnctioned california san diego county medical marijuana rec expire's rec's are good on a yearly basis Diego another lie customers 'mostly ' young i have 4000 members applications still to this day and over 60 % are of members 25 and older !and no you cannot again another lie buy as much pot as you want you cant go into a collective and say i want 3 lbs of youre best OG kush.again people like diego who are clearly clueless & ignorant to the facts.how can you tell that to the parents of Cash Hyde you are probably again clueless about that too..diego if its not medicine why has ricks simsons oil cured all stages of cancer ? answer this too why does the us govt hold patents on medical marijuana ?
FlyingTooLow August 03, 2012 at 06:38 PM
What about big pharma and the garbage it cranks out? How many have died from 'prescription medication'? Thousands! How many deaths from marijuana use? NOT ONE in recorded history! I have smoked marijuana for over 40 years. The most dangerous thing I have found was being locked up for 5 years for a pot offense. I wrote about the great times I had before: "They got me." True (fictitious???) tales of the marijuana culture. A great time was had by all. No one was injured...no one was killed...private property was untouched. There were no victims. I titled the book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank I hope you check it out.”
Libi Uremovic August 03, 2012 at 10:41 PM
add greg wade to the list - i bet once we track his total wages he cost us over $1/4 million a year....for nothing...
john keltner August 04, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Marijuana belongs Behind the Counter and Out of the Park - and LEGALLY in the hands of any ADULT who WANTS it - regardless of whether or not they NEED it. The Prohibition Against Marijuana has lasted long enough!
Sinner August 07, 2012 at 10:31 AM
Dear IB, Fuck you and your code, I'm moving to Nevada. Goodbye Silicon Valley, Nice work turning yourself into a ghetto.
Sinner August 07, 2012 at 10:35 AM
"I'm concerned any 18-year high school senior can go into a pot shop and buy as much pot as he wants, claiming “pain” for anything, and then use or sell to anyone they see fit." Holy shit get Hitler on the phone NOW... these people think they are free citizens with power to make their own choices!
Sinner August 07, 2012 at 10:37 AM
I'm concerned any 18 year old can walk into a recruiting office and sign up to kill people for money.
Sinner August 07, 2012 at 10:39 AM
Amen.
Dave Wilkins September 13, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Libi, have you ever stood at the corner of 16th and Palm and watched the people that went in and out of the Marijuana dispensary that was there? 90% of the patrons were under 25 years old and stoned pot heads. I guarantee you that the majority of them found some quack doctor to give them a perscription for a fantom back injury or some other fantom pain. I have live in IB for 57 years and am a product of the 60's and extremely experience in this topic. I don't want these facilities in our town around our children and grandchildren. When the requirement for a much more strict regulation to giving out perscriptions and the doctor's that can give them out, I would be more inclined to agree for one dispensary, maybe. IB DAVE
Brash Brazen September 13, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Hey Dave,thanks for your obviously biased & ill-conceived personal opinion & unqualified medical diagnosis ! The California voters,Legislature & Courts have decided that storefront medical marijuana dispensaries are not only legal under state law,but also that municipalities have no legal right to ban them ! Public opinion is overwhelmingly on our side now & further efforts to obstruct not only the law,but the rights of cannabis patients will no longer be tolerated in Imperial Beach or anywhere else in California ! In the very unlikely event that Measure "S" were to fail the Courts will surely force the city to abandon their unwarranted efforts to ban dispensaries in defiance of state law ! With Federal resistance about to undergo a radical rethinking & legalization measures on the ballot in half a dozen states,I don't think we'll be seeing anybody mounting an effort to tighten qualifications for cannabis patients anytime soon ! Get over it,marijuana is coming out of the shadows & finally becoming an acceptable part of American culture ! A study by the World Health Organization found that 14% of Americans have used marijuana (that's 45 million people) & recent polling shows a majority of Americans no longer believe the specious rhetoric & propaganda anymore,they support legalization ! By the way Dave your spelling is atrocious,you must have spent your school days standing on a corner too ! Don't be a Dave ! Don't embarrass your friends & neighbors ! Vote YES on Measure "S" !!
Libi Uremovic September 14, 2012 at 01:38 PM
no dave, i've never stood outside of a dispensary, but i have stood inside a dispensary....i'm statistical by nature so i don't see what i want to see - i see the actual stats....half the clientele is over 40 years old dave.... you're 57 years old and a product of the 60's...very experienced in this area... so tell me....in your experience....how many people have you known or ever heard of that have beaten, raped, or attacked by another human while on weed? how many have died of weed overdoses? how many 'potheads' have killed others while behind the wheel? what have been the devastating effects of weed on self and society in the last 40 years that this plant should be classified as a narcotic? you're 57 years old dave...i bet everyone you grew up with smoked pot.....including yourself... tell us about yours or anyone's personal experience with weed......they say it's addicting, but no one can remember going through withdraws when they stopped... ''potheads under 25''....we call those tax paying adults in this country dave...they have just as much rights as you do... our cali weed farmers are tax paying citizens that have just as much right to grow their product and to prosper in this country as the wine and tobacco growers... a weed store owner should be under no more scrutiny as the liquor store or bar owner...
FlyingTooLow September 14, 2012 at 02:22 PM
John Keltner...I am with you.
FlyingTooLow September 14, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Libi Uremovic... Glad to see free-thinking Americans speaking out. Thank you.
Brash Brazen September 14, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Tell your Mom & Dad,that marijuana is not bad !!! It's time to have a frank conversation with your parents about marijuana,because every vote counts & we'll need all the votes we can get for Measure "S" to be successful !!! Marijuana is medicine & taking your medicine is good for what ails you !!! It makes absolutely no sense to force IB patients to leave town to acquire medical marijuana which they will consume in IB upon their return !!! Illegally banning dispensaries doesn't reduce the amount of marijuana that is smoked in IB one iota !!! In fact the only thing it accomplishes is to make it more difficult for those patients who lack access to transportation to get their doctor recommended medication !!! Vote YES on "S" !!!
Summer Hemphill September 16, 2012 at 01:18 AM
VOTE YES on S !!! - November 6th !!!
Bong Sativa September 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM
Yes on S Yes on S Yes on S Yes on S Yes on S
Star Fish December 20, 2013 at 05:47 PM
you people can debate the technicalities all you want. My concern are the young kids coming out of these places with skateboards under their arms. Different people have different values, and some people choose to be a different kind of role model then what some of you choose to be, and that is OUR RIGHT, TOO! Somebody needs to straighten this crap out. Sinner, 'f' you, too, don't let the doorknob hit tcha!
Libi Uremovic December 20, 2013 at 05:56 PM
the dispensaries are locked down - there are strands of weed that are the price of gold....you can't just 'walk in' regardless of age ... do you know where kids can walk in and steal drugs? at drug and grocery stories - the dope is just sitting out on the shelves and the doors are wide open...
Chico&The Man December 21, 2013 at 12:45 PM
we were 21 and up..so if a 21 year old has a skateboard thats fine with us..
Libi Uremovic December 21, 2013 at 01:01 PM
'... young kids coming out of these places with skateboards under their arms....' how did skateboards become a symbol of 'criminal activity'...??
Marcus Boyd December 21, 2013 at 05:09 PM
'... "young kids" coming out of these places with skateboards under their arms....' IB has a very young 'looking' council member who travels to/from council meetings on skateboard, it's a beach community! Age discrimination should not be a valid reason to deny sick and dying patients responsible access to a medicine proven to be far safer then most others.
Summer Hemphill January 06, 2014 at 05:47 PM
LEGAL MARIJUANA !!! For everybody,everywhere in California is yet another day closer to being a reality ! Please sign the petitions & put this issue back before the voters this year ! It's high time we took the authority to regulate marijuana away from the local political hacks who continue to put their own irrational personal biases before the wants & needs of their constituents. Recent polling shows that we've already won the hearts & minds of the voters,now let's win once & for all at the ballot box this November !!!
Bong Sativa January 07, 2014 at 05:13 AM
I'm afraid the damage is already done. Millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens arrested,hundreds of thousands imprisoned,lives ruined & billions wasted. The loss of credibility of those in government,law enforcement & anti-drug abuse organizations pales in comparison to the loss of respect for the law & those who enforce it by millions of Americans. The conservative National Review reiterated their support today for marijuana legalization,yet thousands are still arrested everyday for using a substance that's more benign than alcohol & tobacco which kill thousands every year. Enough is enough & now is the time to demand change,it's long overdue !
Bong Sativa January 08, 2014 at 03:44 PM
Don't compromise,legalize now !!!

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