Don Mosier | Councilmember
for : Strause | against : Mosier
Proposition H is on the ballot this November because of a properly qualified citizen petition supporting the compassionate use of medical marijuana. I am not opposed to the appropriate use of marijuana as allowed by California law, but not federal law. The issues that concern me, and that led the council to oppose the initiative, come from the impartial legal analysis of the wording of Prop. H. These issues are:
1 The proposed 2.5% sales tax on marijuana sales is at variance with California sales tax law, and would force the city to collect all sales tax in Del Mar.
2 Dispensaries that sell marijuana are illegal under both California and federal law. California law asserts protection against prosecution for medically qualified marijuana possession, and allows cooperative associations to distribute to members.
3 The City may not require its employees to violate federal law.
4 The City may not amend State criminal law, as proposed in Prop. H.
Prop. H also has serious shortcomings with regard to the regulation of marijuana sales.
1 Anyone can operate a dispensary, even convicted felons.
2 No record keeping of sales or patrons is required.
3 No testing of marijuana is required, so the quality may vary and no activity is assured.
4 The permit never expires, so the City has no chance to correct inappropriate sales activity.
5 No auditing of sales activity is permitted.
6 Issuing of permits cannot be appealed.
7 No fees can be charged to dispensary operators for increased public safety costs.
8 No notice to the property owner of dispensary activities is required.
Frankly, Prop. H is poorly written and puts the City of Del Mar in an untenable position. I am personally concerned about redistribution of marijuana to teenagers, particularly after seeing the latest SANDAG report that many 12 year olds are already smoking pot. FDA-licensed oral formulations of the active ingredients in marijuana are available by prescription for pain and nausea relief, so there are legal options to achieve the medical benefits touted in Prop. H.