Archives for category: Medical Marijuana

Insurance salesmen like blue shirts…

On September 29, 2016 the League of Women Voters of North Orange County hosted a forum for candidates running for Fullerton City Council in November. Ten of the twelve candidates running for the three open seats on the council participated, including two incumbents. Candidates all responded to the same questions submitted by audience members, but asked by a LWV moderator. Candidates were given two minutes each for an opening statement and one minute for a closing statement. The video is just over two hours in length, and is posted to the Fullerton Rag’s YouTube channel.

The LWV requests that the video not be edited for political purposes. For this reason, any commentary I make on the forum will be made by referencing time stamps in the complete video. There were some problems with the microphones at times during the proceedings, leading to intermittent dropped amplification and candidates passing microphones down the long table.

Participating candidates were, in order of randomly drawn speaking order: Joshua Ferguson, Jennifer Fitzgerald (incumbent), Larry Bennett, Joe Imbriano, Jesus Silva, Jane Rands, Charles Sargeant, Jonathan Mansoori, Bruce Whitaker (incumbent), and Susan Gapinski. The forum was quite well attended, with most of the seats in the Fullerton Public Library’s Community Room filled by interested voters.

Questions asked of the candidates included…

How would they make more affordable housing available?

What was their position on the proposed development of Coyote Hills?

Did they think that the District Elections map proposed by the city council diluted the votes of downtown residents?

Would they allow marijuana dispensaries in Fullerton?

What would they do about unsustainable public pension obligations?

What would be their two top priorities if elected?

What is your position on the proposed closure of Nutwood Ave. for the College Town specific plan?

What is your position on the closure of the Hunt Branch Library?

Do you support the plan for renovating Hillcrest Park?

This video was recorded by City of Fullerton staff, and was downloaded from the City of Fullerton’s website. It can also be viewed there at this link:

http://fullerton.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=801

 

Why a Duck?

“Via tax?”

Matthew Leslie

The second item on the Agenda of the Fullerton City Council on June 21 is a ballot measure to regulate the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana in town. The City of Fullerton has banned dispensaries from operating in the city since 2011. Cities have the legal ability to either ban or to allow dispensaries and limited cultivation, as well as to  establish rules under which each activity would be allowed.

The agenda item is eighty-six pages long, and recommends restrictions on where dispensaries would be allowed to open, limits their number to nine, sets operational standards, and describes permitting processes.

Most striking is the recommendation that the city tax sales of medical marijuana at a rate of 15%, with an option to increase the tax to 20% in the future. This arbitrarily imposed tax is both the reason for the proposal to allow the dispensaries and the need for it to go to the voters. Such a tax cannot be imposed without approval of the voters, and its passage would conveniently help to bail the city out of its financial deficit. The staff report makes clear that application fees would be charged to finance additional costs associated with allowing the dispensaries. The proposed tax is completely gratuitous.

The tax is not only arbitrary, and unnecessary, but downright cruel. Medical marijuana was legalized by California’s voters because it relieves the symptoms of patients suffering from, among other things, cancer. To balance the city’s books on the backs of those suffering from chronic pain or (sometimes terminally ill) cancer patients is unconscionable. Why not a tax on oil extraction instead? How about a 15% tax on bars? If these suggestions sound outrageous, so should an arbitrarily imposed tax on medical marijuana.

It will be particularly interesting to watch Mayor Pro Tem Jan Flory’s vote on this issue. In 2012 she surpassed incumbent Travis Kiger by just 29 votes to claim a seat on the council. During the election one of the tactics used against Mr. Kiger by the police union, who supported Ms. Flory, was a mobile billboard, along with campaign mailers, that suggested Mr. Kiger was in favor of legalizing medical marijuana dispensaries in Fullerton.

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