News

Guest opinion: Law and order

Rolling back cannabis regulations would set a dangerous precedent

I am proud to call Mountain View home and honored to have served both as a mayor and council member to a community I care about and that I want to see thrive. For these reasons, I feel obligated to speak out about the current City Council's plan to reconsider and roll back rules and regulations on the legal cannabis industry that a strong majority of the City Council, including myself, voted to approve in October 2018 after months of community input, debate and study.

I am not writing out of pride or to simply defend a vote I made on the City Council. I am speaking out because of the very real and dangerous precedent that a vote from the City Council to reconsider and rewrite the rules we approved for the legal cannabis industry would mean for our community, businesses and residents.

Just shy of two years after 68 percent of Mountain View voters (the highest percentage in Santa Clara County) voted to approve the legalization of recreational cannabis in California, the City Council voted 5-2 in October 2018 to conservatively allow for two legal cannabis retail stores and two dispensaries (delivery service only) to serve our diverse city of 80,000 residents. This vote was preceded by months of public meetings, community input from residents, and detailed studies, statistics and data on the cannabis industry and best practices.

Since our vote allowing for four legal cannabis business permits under strict zoning and operational rules, over 81 percent of Mountain View voters loudly declared in November 2018, with the passage of Measure Q, that they want to tax and realize the community benefits of millions of dollars in potential tax revenues that would be generated by legal cannabis sales; revenues that are currently going to San Jose and Santa Cruz or to support the dangerous and illegal drug market. That's millions of dollars in tax revenues that the City Council could be putting toward our police, firefighters and infrastructure.

And based on the good faith that the city and voters meant what they said when they approved the legalization of cannabis and the four permits, 10 businesses have since filed applications with the city vying for one of four available permits.

But now, the new City Council is considering frustrating the will of Mountain View voters and residents by taking up a vote at its March 5 meeting to revise the legal cannabis permit rules and regulations approved just a few months ago. Not only could this potentially expose the city to the threat of litigation from any or all of the 10 businesses that have presumably expended considerable time and resources on their applications under the lawful process approved by the council, but it also sets a dangerous precedent. A precedent that the City Council can simply roll back and revise rules, regulations or projects that they have approved in the past, including plans for housing and transportation already in development.

Such a precedent would not only harm our city's reputation and make businesses think carefully before considering joining or expanding in our community, but it would also generate distrust, confusion and unpredictable laws and policies for our residents and businesses.

How can a business expect to operate in an environment where they have followed all of the known laws and policies, have earned approval to commence with their business and operations (often at great expense of time and financial resources), only to find out that at the whim of a newly elected City Council, everything they have done right and by the law can be revised and taken away. It's simply bad policy, bad governing, and bad misrepresentation of the people the City Council is supposed to serve.

Ken Rosenberg is a former Mountain View mayor and City Council member.

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Comments

94 people like this
Posted by Sam Parker
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2019 at 12:13 pm

Could not have said it better myself! Regardless of where you stand on allowing sales of legal cannabis in our community, the Council will be exposing the City (and taxpayers) to litigation and will set a terrible precedent for businesses and residents that the rules and law can simply be changed midstream just because the political leanings of the Council has changed. Absolutely agree, it is "bad policy, bad governing, and bad misrepresentation of the people the City Council is supposed to serve." I hope the Council does the right thing and upholds the law and rules it already approved back in October on this issue.


59 people like this
Posted by member
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2019 at 3:25 pm

Great article and point. This would set a bad precedent for future community issues. 81% of the community voted in favor and the council members are allowing for their political view to impact the decision that was voted on. This issue is actually beyond the issue of cannabis. I haven't heard of a strong counter argument, but regardless, this approach will bring up so many more issues and cost our community a lot of money in legal fees. The company's that followed the legal application process based on the 81% community vote have every right to come after our City. As mentioned, I hope our council members uphold the law and rules set. Sad sad...


81 people like this
Posted by Moment of Truth
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 1, 2019 at 3:54 pm

Let's get the facts straight:
1. Supporting Legalization of marijuana doesn't mean supporting opening dispensaries in Mountain View. Stop mixing those two concepts and misleading the audiences. If anybody wants some pot, they can get it from San Jose online or onsite.
2. 81% residents agree to tax on marijuana dispensaries IF there would be any. They would agree to tax any business that's for profit. That doesn't mean the residents want it open! Again, stop misleading people with these shallow percentage game!

Kudos to the current city council for their courage to steer Mountain View back to the right track.


77 people like this
Posted by member
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 1, 2019 at 4:16 pm

1. If a type of business that's once approved can not be disapproved, we would still be trading slaves.

2. Do you know any council member/s being voted out in Mt. View's last many years' reelection? NO! Then why this past Nov. election the voters let go the two reelects but choose some new faces? Isn't that a indication voters didn't like some of the decisions they made and demand a do-over?

3. Ken is a great leader, done tremendous good deeds for the community. And I full heartedly believe he is trying to make things right on this cannabis issue too. But the message from the voters was misread. The voters agreed to legalize cannabis so the users won't get harassed. But this doesn't mean the voters want cannabis shops in their backyards! This mix of concepts is what's got us here at the first place. Now look at the result of last Nov. election results...action speaks lauder. It's time to read voters' message correctly please.

With all the respects


51 people like this
Posted by Dead Head
a resident of Jackson Park
on Mar 1, 2019 at 4:29 pm

Council changes its mind and policies all the time. Witness the Shoreline area. Development fees on new housing. I agree it's probably not a good idea, but the current marijuana rules are flawed. For a guy with a business degree, why would you ever giver monopoly/cartel power to a few sellers. All this does is incentivize bribery.


32 people like this
Posted by alexprime
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 1, 2019 at 5:02 pm

Do not misread this voters message: Open some marijuana dispensaries here, finally! Open legal marijuana shops here in mountain view, now. Make it easier for adults with money and a desire to spend it on marajuana, to quickly, safely, comfortably purchase quality, reasonably priced marijuana from a reputable, reliable, knowledgeable source. Open a few of them. Open some near each other for better options, and also open some in other places for convenience. Open enough that we have competitive pricing, plenty of selection, and ample supply and no long lines to stand in. Allow marijuana retailers to succeed. Encourage marijuana retail done right for the consumers and patients. And, if you really feel like you must, tax it.


59 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 1, 2019 at 6:09 pm

Rosenberg supports mob rule at the ballot box. I don't. Propositions and initiatives always end up in controversy and with very unintended consequences. This one will turn out no different if not given a second hard look by the current council. And yes BTW Ken did get voted out of office for being tone deaf to common sense. He roils on this issue, but if the RV issue would have been put to vote he would have found that few want them under the current arrangements that he supported. He was never interested in what the citizens wanted.

And can someone still tell me why Rosenberg and Siegal still feel that they can argument-bomb and photo-bomb in on the current elected council? Why such sore losers. Respect the process. Move on.


59 people like this
Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 1, 2019 at 7:36 pm

Common sense is a registered user.

Enough with desperate nit-picking arguments by a few loud people trying to thwart the OVERWHELMING consensus of MV residents. They know they're in the clear minority, but they try to deny it anyway with statistical pedantry, or their cherished rhetoric that legalization (somehow) didn't imply actual selling.

"Moment of Truth," above, offers a typical example, much like those in comments to past articles on this website (these people apparently work from a central playbook): the bizarre claim that the 81% who voted-in a process for marijuana stores to operate didn’t know what they voted for. Now, why don't YOU people, for a change, just stop these contorted rhetoric exercises? You are also knowingly advocating bad faith by City Council (businesses signed leases already based on the go-ahead they got) -- will you Prohibitionists personally make good all their claims for damages? I didn't think so; but even if you did, it wouldn't salvage the Council's credibility loss when future rulings can't be trusted anymore.

All of this to serve anxieties often reflecting basic factual misconceptions about cannabis (as recorded too in past Voice comments). And you presume to call for "facts" and to "stop misleading people." Absurd, hubristic, and shameful.


45 people like this
Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 1, 2019 at 8:14 pm

Why are the angriest people always the most misinformed? Cannabis is less dangerous than alcohol, and we don't have arbitrarily small restrictions on the number of liquor stores, bars, grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, etc. On top of that, Mr. Rosenberg wasn't voted out of office, you can look at the election returns to confirm that.


68 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2019 at 8:28 pm

Opening marijuana stores on Castro Street is absolute insanity and will destroy the business of any nearby shop that isn't a bar or massage parlor. Mountain View residents realize this, the City Council realizes this. Mountain View isn't going to destroy its downtown in the name of a few extremist pot activists.


23 people like this
Posted by Still violates federal law
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 2, 2019 at 5:38 am

In a case out of California, the United States Supreme Court ruled more than a decade ago that the state's medical marijuana law could not affect the authority of the federal government to have outlawed the drug. Whether it should be illegal or not, marijuana remains illegal under federal law. The City and city officials coukd face federal prosecution under the new Republican Attorney General William Bar for enabling and promoting such illegal drug use and distribution. Several years ago, Congress started passing DOJ funding bills to discourage the federal prosecution of medical marijuana users and businesses. But now California has joined in de-crminalizing even the recreational use etc. of marijuana. Maybe the City Council Members (current and former) should stage a protest at the federal court in San Jose and turn themselves in for violating federal law at that time.


72 people like this
Posted by Support New City Council
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 2, 2019 at 9:18 am

I am disappointed to see how politicians manipulate voters. Measure Q put voters into a dilemma with no right choice. If they voted no, the policy maker will say "fine, we are not going to tax cannabis business". If they voted yes, it could be taken advantage and interpreted as supporting cannabis stores, just like what this article is claiming. This article loses its credibility by overinterpreting votes in a way to favor's the author's own opinion. Here is my understanding of Mountain View votes.

Nov 2016, voters voted for proposition 64 because they respect other people's freedom to use marijuana based on their personal needs.

Oct. 2, 2018, city council interpreted proposition 64 as voters to support pot shops in their neighborhood, voted 5-2 to open pot shops in Mountain View, and squeezed the buff to as small as 250 feet, while all the neighboring cities ban pot shops.

Nov. 2018, Measure Q was proposed in ballots to ask whether Mountain View should tax cannabis stores without asking if voters support opening cannabis store in the first place. People voted yes for Q since they do not what pot shops to evade their tax responsibility after making big money from Mountain View residents. Now, it is interpreted as Mountain View residents support pot shops.

I would like to emphasize that It is rare for incumbent to lose seat in the long history of Mountain View city council election. Voters sent a clear message in last year's election that they want change! Now, it is the time for new city council to make the change, revisiting cannabis ordinance as one of them.

It is also rare for previous city council to teach new city council in public what they should do. I truly admire that the new city council step out to make the change for the best interest of Mountain View residents, instead of the special interesting groups. It is the new city council who are representing the Mountain View residents, not the ones who have been voted out!


11 people like this
Posted by Dead Head
a resident of Jackson Park
on Mar 2, 2019 at 9:41 am

Yes three incumbents were replaced. I Two by voting them out and one who likely read the writing on the wall and decided not to run. However their replacements ran on supporting similar policies. If they continue the same pattern, they will also be replaced. The incumbents did a lousy job on solving some obvious problems. You would think they would behave like most retired politicians and move on. Unfortunately some still think they have something important to say. KR has a business degree, was member of the CC , and supported anti business policies. (RC after it passed, Employee fees, MW, higher housing fees, etc). If you pander to the mob, representative democracy will not work.

I have no problem with dispensaries, and would not limit the number and allow them in retail zoning areas, like we do liquor stores. I am not in favor of taxes beyond sales tax revenue. The idea that these stores will destroy MV is silly.


11 people like this
Posted by ilovepolitics
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2019 at 11:18 am

KR on pandering to propositions and initiatives. All in for rent control and cannabis, but still the thought process is confusing. Just politics I guess.

....How can a cannabis business (landlords) expect to operate in an environment where they have followed all of the known laws and policies, have earned approval to commence with their business and operations (providing rentals), often at great expense of time and financial resources), only to find out, with support from former city council members and the whim of voters, they find their property (cannabis) rights stripped....

KR supported the subjugation of multi family property owners yet stands tall for the rights of cannabis purveyors using the same words. He says whatever he thinks will garner a political base, a little ink and still has time to give a little twist to the new council.

“The enemy isn’t conservatism. The enemy isn’t liberalism. The enemy is bulls**t." —Lars-Erik Nelson, political columnist



60 people like this
Posted by RT
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 2, 2019 at 11:45 am

RT is a registered user.

Measure Q is a trap from day one.
For those who have been voted out by the MV residents in the election, please let the new city council to perform their job.


48 people like this
Posted by Halfdome
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 2, 2019 at 1:09 pm

Be a politician, you probably won’t mind to be shameless. Setup a shameless trap of measurement Q and then jump out like a clown. What’s your plan? I lost my position in the council but I must earn my money back?

WE VOTE YOU OUT SO THE NEW COUNCIL COULD REVOKE YOUR EVILS!


67 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2019 at 9:37 pm

Here's what's fascinating Ken. You didn't give the community the opportunity to vote on the issue specifically, and not surprisingly, minority groups felt completely ignored... and subsequently bumped you out of office. The Chinese community and Latino community are strongly opposed to dispensaries in Mountainview, and they let the City Council know it loud and clear. I suppose they let you know it also since this very issue is the reason for the uprising that pushed you out of office.

Before you go citing unrelated statewide votes about cannabis, everyone knows that decriminalization of cannabis is not the same as approving multiple dispensaries without giving the people a vote.

This isn't done, Sir. The momentum is only just beginning, as I'm sure you can tell.


34 people like this
Posted by alexprime
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 2, 2019 at 11:09 pm

"This isn't done, Sir. The momentum is only just beginning, as I'm sure you can tell." This is the truest quote so far.

It's legal so many places and becoming moreso. Regulate and tax while you can because it's only going to become more ubiquitous over time as the rest of the states legalize and it becomes better understood.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2019 at 8:29 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

Federal Laws may only apply regarding "interstate" commerce.

THere is an exception, if the "Cannibus" is grown in the state of California for California consumption, then the DEA may not be able to act. The Supremet court recent decision stated:

"No. In a 6-3 opinion delivered by Justice John Paul Stevens, the Court held that the commerce clause gave Congress authority to prohibit the local cultivation and use of marijuana, despite state law to the contrary. Stevens argued that the Court’s precedent “firmly established” Congress’ commerce clause power to regulate purely local activities that are part of a “class of activities” with a substantial effect on interstate commerce.

The majority argued that Congress could ban local marijuana use because it was part of such a “class of activities”: the national marijuana market. Local use affected supply and demand in the national marijuana market, making the regulation of intrastate use “essential” to regulating the drug’s national market."

BUT IF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA LICENSED GROWTH OF CANNIBUS FOR THE LEGAL USE DEFINED UNDER STATE LAW, THE DEA WOULD BE NOT ALLOWED TO INTERVENE. AS LONG AS SUCH USE WAS RESTRICTED TO SUPPLIES PROVIDED IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA AND NO OTHER STATE.

This has always been the kryptonite regarding the DEA. THe courts as of now never stated that the DEA can override state laws if the suplly is constrained to intrastate resources. The court decision "assumes" that the sources of the cannibus will be interstate in nature.

Soimply put, there is plenty of agricultural resources to grow enough cannibus within the state of California, it does not need any external resources as long as the "free market" allows for licensure of growing cannibus in the state. THe Federal Government under the Supremacy Clause would be handcuffed to allow it because every contract or license in any state cannot be invalidated by the federal court and is required to be accepted as valid.

So as long as the State of California takes such actions, that shields the legal use of Cannibus in the state of California.


18 people like this
Posted by JS
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 3, 2019 at 11:48 pm

JS is a registered user.

New council members, please vote against opening cannabis stores in mountain view. That is why we voted you last year, and voted away the supporters on this matter. There are many ways and more important aspects in legalizing cannabis consumption. Just do not open stores in mountain view please.


59 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Gemello
on Mar 4, 2019 at 8:02 am

I see no harm in having a Marijuana dispensary on Castro. The multiple bars on Castor have led to numerous fights and individuals urinating in public; you will not see this with marijuana. Alcohol poisoning is real and kills whereas you can not overdose on pot, unless falling asleep is considered on OD :-)

Finally, the people most hysterical about marijuana are the least informed about it.


35 people like this
Posted by Can we vote on alcohol licences?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2019 at 10:53 am

Why would some expect to be able to vote on cannabis lic's? We are notable to vote on the opening of the DOZENS of alcohol dispensaries in Castro street are we? Why? Because it simply is not done sir. As long as we have a say in BOTH I'm OK with it, but in reality, to try and have votes at a business by business level is stupid and wasteful.
Those bemoaning the sale of it locally are the gasping death breaths of those who would rather NOBODY EVERY has access to it.

I see huge billboards up and down the state's highways now advertising cannabis fams, products and retail outlets. US Senators and US Congressmen are making investments in cannabis businesses. Within 5 years it will be "Ridiculously" available everywhere, possibly at a national level.
It simply looks like a vocal minority will maybe make it hard for a while in MV, but things are changing rapidly wrt national legalization so the cannabis opposition is fighting an already lost battle.

I guess they have dry town in the South, so maybe MV will become one of those oddity towns in the end. Either way, home growers will and already do have the last word on accessibility.
The rest is just gub'ment bureaucracy stumbling through change as they always do.


24 people like this
Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Mar 4, 2019 at 11:16 am

SRB is a registered user.

Second previous comment about dozens of alcohol dispensaries on Castro Street and no outcry ever recorded.

Alcohol is also flowing on Castro at many festivals organized or endorsed by the City (Arts & Wine-and beer, and cocktails-, BeerGargen, Christmas Market...).
Alcohol is consumed in plain sight right next to kids activities areas. Where's the outrage been all these years?


3 people like this
Posted by Trump does it
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 4, 2019 at 2:00 pm

The new presidential administration has rewritten all sorts of things. The Council is just jumping on the Trump bandwagon.


18 people like this
Posted by @Trump does it
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2019 at 2:16 pm

And that's the point, isn't it. The role model of a presidential administration is finally making its way into local policy.It isn't going well for the environment, the immigrants, our farmers, our allies, indeed, the entire country. It's a bad idea to simply try to undo the previously considered positions. At least, not without warning and significant public debate. This is why it doesn't normally happen.

In this case, there was not talk during the campaign that cannabis was an issue for Kamei or Hicks. This is an end-around and disingenuous politicking. If current council simply unwinds this particular decision, they will be signaling to all applicants in front of the City that the City's direction cannot be trusted. Period.


23 people like this
Posted by InSane Mountain View
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2019 at 2:38 pm

InSane Mountain View is a registered user.

Some points to consider:

1. Right now the only cannabis sales are in San Jose / Santa Clara and SF. In SJ / SC, the lines and parking are overwhelming the locations, and it's a cash business, so the stores have armed guards in the parking lot, at the door and inside.

2. Many who opposed the cannabis sales didn't feel the council were responsive to their pleas to do less or no sales.

3. There is a compromise that is coming, and now to brand council members as Trumpsters who are trying to be more responsive than just to the hippies who want cannabis on Castro street, above all other people and considerations is pretty nasty. The council there now seem to be interested in testing out some activity before having the 4 options all at once.

4. Bullying the women, as Former Mayor Siegel has reportedly been doing to female council members, and as "@Trump does it" above did, takes this to a whole new level of nastiness.

Why not start slow, with a shop at 101 that can accommodate the expected traffic and parking, and see how it goes? Why not keep armed guards off Castro? It's not our downtown scene.

Let's ease into this. And stop bullying our female council members!


3 people like this
Posted by Jerry
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 4, 2019 at 2:47 pm

I am puzzled that the editorial never bothered to recount the reasons for the limitation to 4 sources. The article was all about the process by which the rules were changed. What about the substance of the issue? What wise council is being ignored by changing the rules? What were the reasons for the slow start?
The Trumpist strategy isn't just changing things capreciously; it's about ignoring the central issues. We need politicians who speak to the issues and not hide behind process or personal loyalty or personal attack.
So, a little more WHY and little less WHO and HOW.


21 people like this
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 4, 2019 at 3:04 pm

If Ken was up for re-election he probably would have been kicked out like his friends Lenny and Pat. Now it is sour grapes by our former council member.

Our former council members made Mountain View into a magnet for the homeless and were well on their way to making it a magnet for cannabis. It’s time to slow down and implement regulations in lockstep with other Peninsula cities to avoid the magnet effect.


25 people like this
Posted by Thankful for a thoughtful council
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2019 at 3:09 pm

The new council (elected by Mountain View residents) has seen impact of cannabis retail stores in other cities so they are being thoughtful and crafting an approach that is best for Mountain View. I support them. You quit, your opinion does not matter.

And what’s up with using MV Voice as soapbox, recently it was Lenny, now you. Is Pat’s turn next month?


21 people like this
Posted by Wanna see a huge lie?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2019 at 3:22 pm

"1. Right now the only cannabis sales are in San Jose / Santa Clara and SF. In SJ / SC, the lines and parking are overwhelming the locations, and it's a cash business, so the stores have armed guards in the parking lot, at the door and inside."

This is a blatant lie. There is ZERO overwhelming of locations. (Harborside, Elemental Wellness, Air Field are 3 of the biggest...look it up)
All locations take cash, credit and ATM. I've a seen a single security guard inside the door of each location. No guards in the parking lots and there are NO armed guards, ANYWHERE. Not visible anyway.

It's OK if things aren't as bad as you want them to be, but don't blatantly advertise you're ignorance on the matter, willful or otherwise, and claim you know something about the issue.


22 people like this
Posted by PeaceLove
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 4, 2019 at 3:28 pm

The War on Drugs is a racist crime against humanity and the Mountain View City Council is an ongoing participant.

The City Council is moving to defy the will of the people yet again, as they have been doing since 1996 when residents overwhelmingly supported the right of Californians to access and use cannabis for any medical condition for which it provides relief (a very large list, in fact).

Now that the people of Santa Clara have overwhelmingly voted to legalize cannabis entirely, the City Council is once again standing in their way, restricting this extremely safe botanical medicine that has been used *without a single documented fatality* for millennia.

Cannabis retail outlets are NOT associated with any increase in crime. If they bring large crowds of customers, maybe it's because they are in cities that have restricted the number of outlets, robbing their own citizens of choice?

Mountain View should treat cannabis like any other commodity. Onerous license fees are unnecessary and only serve to destroy all the independent, community-oriented providers who built the industry (at great personal risk) while favoring large, corporate players with deep pockets. Of course, that's the point, I guess.


18 people like this
Posted by Love my city
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 4, 2019 at 3:57 pm

@wanna see. Big lie
My husband uses medical cannabis daily to increase his appetite during chemo. We go to Airfield every week and I can confirm there are 2-3 guards in all-black tac gear and armed. Parking is crazy and they have a huge lot. Even though having cannabis closer would be more convenient, I do not want the shops on Castro st. or near where youth hang out. All the cannabis shops I know of are in Industrial zones.
I’m comforted that this issue is being considered again. Many people I have discussed this with feel it was not communicated well. Yes, cannabis was legalized in California, but that doesn’t mean shops on Castro. Let’s see what happens one location at a time. If it is successful and doesn’t impacts the city. Then we plan from there.


3 people like this
Posted by resident of willowgate
a resident of Willowgate
on Mar 4, 2019 at 4:03 pm

resident of willowgate is a registered user.

Will the new council spend all the time and energy (and money) to regather the input of the community and to study the issues carefully that was spent before or will they just declare a new set of rules on this issue based on the most vocal input?


15 people like this
Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 4, 2019 at 4:11 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

Ken Rosenberg (plus Lenny Siegel and Pat Showalter) no longer is on the City Council, so he holds NO power to change any decision by the present City Council to revise previously passed regulations --- especially if they have not yet been implemented. The "pot shop & pot ship law" has opened a very big and very complicated political and legal can of worms, and ultimately its implementation will be challenged in court by parties on both sides of the issue who feel aggreived, at great cost to Mountain view for both legal and administrative fees. The "Law of Unintended Consequences" has kicked in on this very serious moral and ethical issue.

What I think best is for MV City Council is to totally nullify all previous pro-pot legislation and to petition Santa Clara County to pass enabling legislation that will be UNIFORMLY implemented throughout Santa Clara County. That way, no city like Mountain View will be unduly impacted by the negative consequences of Cannabis possession, sales, and deliveries. And yes, pot heads and potential pot shop wannabe millionaires, pot has many negative human, social, ethical, and moral consequences --- particularly for children and vulnerable adults.

For those of you who want or need pot, go to San Jose for the time being. For those of you who want to profit from selling pot? NOT IN OUR CITY. Go somewhere else --- like San Jose for instance. Pot sellers exploiting drug addiction are NOT welcome in OUR Mountain View. Your desperate lies offend me.


19 people like this
Posted by PeaceLove
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 4, 2019 at 4:20 pm

@Love my city

Thank you for sharing your experience. I've been to Airfield Supply many times and only once (during their "Happy Hour") was the parking lot full to overflowing. But again, this wasn't a problem a few years ago when San Jose had somewhere around 100 dispensaries. It only became a problem when the city regulated most of them out of existence.

BTW, the city had very few problems with dispensaries, certainly less of a crime problem than they have with 7-Elevens -- and no one is calling for them to be numerically limited. In any case, the idea that the pathologic results of a highly restricted cannabis environment will somehow tell us what an unrestricted one looks like makes no sense. When cannabis is as widely available as aspirin and garlic we won't have parking issues and stores won't NEED armed guards to protect their wares.

Anyone who wants to should be allowed to open a business. If we have too many, some will fail. In general, the free market should be given a chance to work itself out.

I'm very happy that your husband has found this extremely safe and effective botanical medicine to relieve his pain and suffering. I hope you can extend your compassion to the residents of Mountain View, especially those on limited budgets who may lack reliable transportation and therefore need to be able access their medicine closer to home.


10 people like this
Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 4, 2019 at 4:31 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

I rarely criticize The Voice, but its editorial staff mistitled Rosenberg's offensive and highly defensive letter. Ken's pathetic missive was NOT about "Law and Order". It is all about preserving damage to "Law and Order" and minimizing damage to his ego, which appears to be quite fragile. Real people admit their mistakes and move on, and his and others' legislation was huge mistake that must be corrected. Sorry (not) Ken, but that's my "humble opinion".


12 people like this
Posted by Mare
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2019 at 5:53 pm

Those of us who used pot on the 60’s and did not go on to hard drugs (remember Reefer Madness shown in elementary schools). I didn’t use again until recently for pain relief. Yes I had to drive, or have someone take me,to Purple Lotus in San Jose. After legalizatio, no armed guards, never was parking lot full , and a very well run professional busines. Wake up people cannabis is legal and is much less dangerous than alcohol and much much harder to get. Teenagers have adults buy them alcohol or fake IDs and I feel this is a lot more dangerous as to society as a whole. Like other people have said in these threads cannabis is the been around for hundreds of years. Whether it’s for recreational use or medical use it’s legal now get used to it.


20 people like this
Posted by Wait, that is a lie
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2019 at 5:29 am

I've been to these places and have seen for myself. What was written about the armed guard was a lie and I've never had an issue parking. I was at Elemental Wellness 3 days ago for the balm I use. I walked right in, parking was a non issue. No crowds, no loitering, just a handful of Boomers like me as customers. Like any successful, I expect they have more crowed times, but I agree, the days of the 90's where medical shops were very rare, there would sometimes be lines and bigger crowds waiting for it to open because people would come to Santa Cruz all the way from the Central Valley. I'm not sure why, but since legalization the crowds have all but disappeared, probably due to the increased accessibility.


44 people like this
Posted by Fred
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 5, 2019 at 6:46 am

If the counsel can not stomach what two thirds of the people have voted for they have every right to quit and make room for someone who will. The counsel no right to arbitrarily reject the wishes of the majority. Those in our community who insist upon torturing themselves and the rest of us with their Witch Burning mentality can vote with their feet and move to Mississippi or some other nice state that better suits their disposition.


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Posted by kellyhere
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2019 at 8:50 am

One of California's most famous initiatives was Prop 13. "On June 6th, 1978, nearly two-thirds of California's voters passed Proposition 13.

Jarvis Taxpayers Association, points out correctly that the modern day movement to utilize the initiative process was brought about by the passage of Prop 13.

The initiative and proposition process is fundamentally flawed. It's an abdication of goverment responsibility for which they were elected. The same people flaunting their successful cannabis initiative are calling for the repeal of Prop 13. Of course, neither has to anything to do with retail stores in Mountain View.


2 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Mar 5, 2019 at 9:13 am

Like most policy issues, the nuance is important.

2/3 of Mountain View supported state Prop 64 that legalized marijuana. Prop 64 also allowed local governments to set regulations, so that's what the past and current city councils are doing. It would not be correct to assume Prop 64's MV vote equals support for marijuana businesses -in- MV.

Over 80% of MV supported city Measure Q that placed a special tax on future marijuana sales. Voters were not asked whether or not they wanted marijuana businesses in MV, just if we do, it should be taxed extra.

Ideally, a controversial issue should have been put in front MV in a direct yes/no local measure. I hope the new city council majority will consider using future ballot measures rather than quickly reversing (without an inclusive public process) the work of the outgoing majority (that did have an inclusive public process), a practice we do see used too often in Washington.

The city council has central authority as our duly elected representatives to make decisions on our behalf, but they also must recognize only a fraction of MV votes for any one of them, so whether it be this or housing in North Bayshore, I hope local measures that capture a broader form of democratic intent is used more for controversial issues, otherwise a small influential group can override the policy will of the majority of MV on any given issue.


39 people like this
Posted by Otto_Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 5, 2019 at 10:12 am

Otto_Maddox is a registered user.

Good lord.

This is an example of what's wrong with politics these days.

No one is willing to compromise. A vote doesn't go 100% your way and you "resist" everything after that.

Treat weed just like booze and cigarettes. It's that simple.


70 people like this
Posted by John in MV
a resident of Willowgate
on Mar 5, 2019 at 4:16 pm

I am disappointed in this city. I supported the decisions of the previous council about allowing marijuana sales in the city. I spoke in favor at the council meeting. What happened to my voice, my vote? What else is the council going to reconsider? Roll back environmental initiatives? How about the approvals for the Google building projects?

Apparently my voice was overwhelmed by a concerted effort to spread lies, misinformation and fear about marijuana. Whereas I was a minority vocally supporting the measure at the council meeting, the majority spoke about crime and danger to their children. This was a well organized opposition which packed the council chambers and had signs and well rehearsed speakers.

I personally do not understand the moral or ethical distinction between liquor stores and marijuana stores. As to the "Law of Unintended Consequences", a prime example is the 18th Amendment to our Constitution which prohibited alcohol sales or possession. Unreasoned prohibition has never worked in this country.

One important reason for legalizing marijuana is to regulate access. If you're worried about your kids gaining access then regulated stores, like liquor stores, are the answer. Do you think that illegal marijuana has not been available to school children for decades?

I've seen reports that legal marijuana sales are lagging illegal sales, perhaps because of the broad availability of illegal pot and the high taxes and overhead of legitimate operations. If you want to combat organized crime, then you should be supporting legally regulated outlets for marijuana. One thing the marijuana taxes can pay for is increased policing of illegal sales.


17 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2019 at 5:02 pm

I agree with Otto Maddox. Much of the rest will simply lead to expensive, protracted litigation. The voters have spoken.


4 people like this
Posted by ex-Hooli person
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 5, 2019 at 9:55 pm

What's the difference between a broken clock and the city council?

I'm sure you know where I'm going with this.

Is the new city council going to make me wish for the "good old days" of the old city council? That's a depressing thought.


6 people like this
Posted by Cannabis Stays For Now
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 6, 2019 at 9:35 am

A marathon meeting last night at City Hall as public comments on this agenda item took about 4.5 hours and another 1.5 hours for council to deliberate. They essentially moved all other agenda items off the docket and moved them to another day.

Margaret Abe-Koga tried to outright kill cannabis dispensaries (including delivery warehouses) by making a motion to ban them. The motion was seconded by Lisa Matichak and failed 2-5. Interestingly, those were the two no votes when cannabis was approved by the last council 5-2.

It looks as if the great compromise, by Chris Clark, was to limit one store front to Castro Street and to prevent clustering by saying cannabis retail stores need to be at least .5 miles from one another. His "line in the sand" is that any changes to the existing process which already has applicants for permits (the lottery and the rules laid out) would be a bridge too far.

Margaret did managed to have a motion passed that would attempt to make cannabis outlets be exceedingly far from schools, churches, day care, etc (what she calls the San Jose model). Staff has to return to council for what the map would look like if that was later adopted. It seemed very clear that if council did eventually change the distances cannabis businesses need to be from certain types of facilities (e.g., schools, etc) that the effect would be a ban because the map of Mountain View doesn't really have a location a business could set up shop. We will have to wait to see where that goes.

The other item that potentially could throw a wrench into the equation is the concept of a Urgency Ordinance that would temporarily halt the existing process so that the new rules could apply to applicants already in the pipeline. An Urgency Ordinance requires 6 votes. That may be a tall request. I guess we'll have to wait.

The bottom line: the majority of council signaled its continued willingness to have that business in Mountain View.


2 people like this
Posted by ChrisW
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 6, 2019 at 9:40 am

ChrisW is a registered user.

Thank you Mountain View Voice for hosting this article and discussion. It is especially beneficial to open discussion that you allow semi-anonymous comments because there are institutions and persons who are dangerous to those who do not share their prejudices.
Mountain View is a model city for West Coast progressivism. This naturally causes some tribulation among reactionary parties. Ideally they could overcome those fears and bigotries, but that takes a commitment to growth. Barring that commitment, we will still progress as a society toward a brighter future, even if it is one funeral at a time.


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Posted by New majority not intimidated
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 6, 2019 at 9:52 am

At last night's March 5 City Council meeting, speakers were given 2 minutes each and public input was over 4 hours! Former Councilmember Ken Rosenberg spoke toward the end. He claimed many of the prior speakers surely were lying about living in Mountain View. Councilmember margaret Abe-Koga asked him what evidence he had for his claim. Rosenberg said "just a feeling." Former Councilmember Lenny Siegel also spoke toward the end. He threatened to do what he could to overturn any significant change the new majority were to make to the rules he helped enact last October. In the end, the new Council majority on this issue voted to have city staff bring back for possible adoption changes that would more limit the number and location of retail stores.


96 people like this
Posted by Cannabis Stays for Now
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 6, 2019 at 9:53 am

A marathon meeting last night at City Hall as public comments on this agenda item took about 4.5 hours and another 1.5 hours for council to deliberate. They essentially moved all other agenda items off the docket and moved them to another day.

Margaret Abe-Koga tried to outright kill cannabis dispensaries (including delivery warehouses) by making a motion to ban them. The motion was seconded by Lisa Matichak and failed 2-5. Interestingly, those were the two no votes when cannabis was approved by the last council 5-2.

It looks as if the great compromise, by Chris Clark, was to limit one store front to Castro Street and to prevent clustering by saying cannabis retail stores need to be at least .5 miles from one another. His "line in the sand" is that any changes to the existing process which already has applicants for permits (the lottery and the rules laid out) would be a bridge too far.

Margaret did managed to have a motion passed that would attempt to make cannabis outlets be exceedingly far from (buffer zones) schools, churches, day care, etc -- what she calls the San Jose model. Staff has to return to council for what the map would look like if that was later adopted. It seemed very clear that if council did eventually change the distances cannabis businesses need to be from certain types of facilities (e.g., schools, etc) that the effect would be a ban because the map of Mountain View doesn't really have a location a business could set up shop. We will have to wait to see where that goes.

The other item that potentially could throw a wrench into the equation is the concept of a Urgency Ordinance that would temporarily halt the existing process so that the new rules could apply to applicants already in the pipeline. An Urgency Ordinance requires 6 votes. That may be a tall request. I guess we'll have to wait.

The bottom line: the majority of council signaled its continued willingness to have that business in Mountain View.


8 people like this
Posted by blue jay
a resident of Willowgate
on Mar 6, 2019 at 1:04 pm

blue jay is a registered user.

I was at the meeting last night and spoke early in the process. I was happy to see more speakers positive about cannabis business than during the meeting last year when a very well organized opposition overran the pro side. I had the impression that there were a number of anti speakers from outside Mountain View (part of the well organized opposition?). One of the speakers before me said he was from Sunnyvale and one of the people in the line after me said he was not from Mountain View (but I don't know if he said that when he spoke or documented it on the speaker card). There were some good points on fine tuning of implementation and some good points on the appropriateness of the Mountain View plan. Prior to going to the meeting, I looked at the written comments submitted (I wish I had known about that because I would have submitted something) and noted some repetition in the submissions (notably the use of the word "sagacious" - shades of the SAT). Thanks to Cannabis Stays who submitted the summary of the meeting and its results.


4 people like this
Posted by John in MV
a resident of Willowgate
on Mar 6, 2019 at 1:10 pm

Thank you for the MV Council meeting summaries. I was there early in the public speakers line and made my case for NOT revisiting the current Cannabis regulations. There were more people speaking in favor of the Cannabis ordnance then last time before it was adopted. When I left, the line to speak went out the door of the chambers and circled the foyer.

As in the last meeting there was a well organized opposition to the Cannabis regulations, with NO POT SHOPS stickers being handed out, and worn by many of the attendees. There had also been an organized email-writing campaign to the Council members in mid-February in opposition to the regulations where you'll see the same sentence using "sagacious" re-occurring in many of the letters (10 times). I had to look up its meaning. The letters were included in the Council's agenda package.

I am hopeful that the 5-2 defeat of the immediate ban indicates that the council will not make unnecessary changes to the regulations.


4 people like this
Posted by No need to thank me
a resident of Bailey Park
on Mar 6, 2019 at 1:28 pm

sa·ga·cious
Dictionary result for sagacious

adjective
having or showing keen mental discernment and good judgment; shrewd.
"they were sagacious enough to avoid any outright confrontation"
synonyms: wise, clever, intelligent, with/showing great knowledge, knowledgeable, sensible, sage;


8 people like this
Posted by Fewer in opposition that it seems
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2019 at 2:23 pm

Ah yes, the old ballot stuffing trick. Don't use the same language next time (sagacious)
Clearly those opposed to cannabis in MV and who RESIDE IN MV, are obviously fewer in number than they would like to appear.

Can we please put this time wasting agenda item to sleep now??


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