There’s a chance that when next Tuesday has come and gone recreational marijuana may be legal in California, among other states. California, as you may know, is typically a state that leans a bit to the liberal side, and one would think that recreational marijuana use would be a no-brainer out here in the land of little or no rain and movie stars and, well, there’s San Francisco. But, many in California are fighting the legalization of pot with every single ounce of energy they can muster.
For example, city leaders where we live absolutely oppose both medical and recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana is legal in California, but we have an ordinance on the books that prohibits pot dispensaries from setting up shop here. So, local patients travel 10 miles or so to a nearby city to purchase their leafy-green medicine where, by the way, they pay a hefty pot-related sales tax to that city. Then they drive back home to smoke, eat, or vaporize their pain and anxiety relief. It even comes in the form of topical creams and ointments.
Therefore, our neighboring city is raking in barrels full of cash in taxes while our city is begging us to vote for Measure P (one of many options on the two-page ballot) so that we can maintain our current number of police officers, fire stations, street repairs, and schools. Without the passage of Measure P, city leaders say they’ll be forced to layoff police officers, close fire stations, and rarely ever repair a pot hole. I’m almost certain our bridges will soon crumble and schools will be forced to evacuate for good. However, I’m also certain the salaries and benefits of city officials will continue to climb, as always.
The city’s web page practically begs voters to support the measure by stating—“Measure P authorized a 1% increase in the local sales tax rate for five years to protect safety, services, and the quality of life.” Well, five years has now passed and they want us to do this again. So, what, we’re all going to die if this measure doesn’t pass? But sure, let’s send our millions of pot-tax dollars over to City B so their officials can enjoy a worry-free budget, and their residents will feel safe and secure knowing they have basic services, such as firefighters and police officers. And their quality of life will be all flowers and puppies while we slowly swirl our way to the bottom of the government toilet.
Another nearby city is also fighting the legalization of marijuana, and they’ve made serious plans in case this becomes law (heaven forbid that 80-year-old Myrtle smokes a joint or two to help her stave off cancer pain).
Since the new state law would permit individuals, including poor old Myrtle, to grow up to six plants, council there unanimously voted, by Urgency Ordinance, to do this (below) in anticipation of voters having their way:
- Marijuana cultivation must be in a fully enclosed and secured room of a private residence, may not occur outdoors and is limited to six plants per private residence.
- Grow lights are prohibited in any structure used for habitation.
- Grow lights not exceeding 1,000 watts per lights can be in other structures, but must comply with building and fire codes.
- Filtration and ventilation systems must be installed to prevent marijuana odors from leaving a structure.
- Rooms and structures cannot be accessible to people under the age of 21, according to the ordinance.
Finally, the city government stated that they, in no way, are taking sides, either for or against marijuana usage. However, they’ve made it so people cannot grow the plants inside (plants won’t grow without a light source) or outside of their homes, and if they decide to do so in an outbuilding the building must be equipped with mega-expensive ventilation and odor suppression equipment. In other words, they’re complying with the new laws, if passed, but they’ve made it impossible for average citizens to take advantage of the passage of those laws.
I can see it now, narcotics task forces in California will evolve into Light and Fan Police, with teams conducting nighttime raids on backyard sheds to seize illegal buildings, fans, and vents. They’ll have to leave the drugs behind, though, because they’ll be legal to possess.
Whatever happened to the carefree good old days when people simply bought their pot from a guy who lived … well, you know the guy.
Poor Myrtle …
*By the way, this article is no way a sign of my support or non-support of marijuana legalization. Instead, it’s a grouping of comments I’ve read and heard all rolled into one collective blog post. Still, poor Myrtle.