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Council seeks to revise pot shop rules

Original post made on Feb 14, 2019

Four Mountain View City Council members agreed Tuesday to revisit regulations for cannabis businesses in Mountain View, just four months after the laws were approved.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 14, 2019, 11:13 AM

Comments (38)

Posted by A Talking Cat
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 14, 2019 at 12:01 pm

A Talking Cat is a registered user.

Boo to this city council. There's a process in place, and trying to change the rules after the fact just because they're afraid of marijuana is cowardly. These are not leaders we elected, they're scared children trying to enforce morality.

We voted. Let our voices be heard.


Posted by Chronic Pain Sufferer
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2019 at 12:46 pm

Seriously? You people pulling people with chronic illnesses and pain every which way. We need our medicine! It's as simple as that! Mountain View has become a very unfriendly and ridiculously expensive place to live. Forcing disabled people to travel to be able to get their medication is inhumane.
I am incredibly sorry that I voted for any of you. I knew every one one you were just pathetic liars and crooks!


Posted by No MJ in MV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 14, 2019 at 1:37 pm

Many of us want none of this in MV. I am glad the City Council is reconsidering. We will stop going downtown if we have to pass these shops. And we go all of the time now.


Posted by MV Renter
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 14, 2019 at 1:41 pm

I'm not for marijuana dispensaries in Mountain View at all. And I voted to legalize it.

I think your medicine should be sold at the drugstore like any other, and it should be as easy for you to get CBD products at the 24 hour Walgreens on Grant as it is to go buy Advil.

But I frankly don't see the need for storefronts. CBD products should be as easy to get as aspirin. But I didn't vote to legalize marijuana in order to encourage people to get stoned in the streets. Legitimate users, medicinal *and* recreational, especially those who are 21 and over, already have their sources.

So please, let *my* voice be heard too.


Posted by Bruce Karney
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 14, 2019 at 1:41 pm

Bruce Karney is a registered user.

I visited a pot shop in Seattle after it became legal in Washington. I don't know if all shops are similar, but here's what I observed. (1) Immediately upon entering, a staff member asked me and the two people I was with, all of whom were over 60, to show photo ID to prove we were over 21. (2) Video cameras were recording everything going on in the store. (3) All the products -- and there were dozens of different kinds -- were in glass display cases to prevent shoplifting. (4) All the products were labelled with the percentages of THC (the compound that gets you high) and CBD (the compound with medicinal properties). (5) None of the products were cheap.

I don't recall if we had to be "buzzed through the door" to get in, which I realize is a bad pun in this context.

If pot shops in Mtn. View are like the one in Seattle, I wonder what the concern is about them being near a school. Is it that it would be too tempting for the schoolteachers to toke up before class? Because there's no way that someone under 21 would be able to purchase or shoplift anything without doing a smash and grab robbery. I'm confident that teens who want to smoke pot will be able to get it much more conveniently from the same illegal sources they've been using for the past 40+ years.


Posted by MV Renter
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 14, 2019 at 1:53 pm

@Bruce Karney

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and there is an interesting equivalent to the scenario you just mentioned.

There were a lot of adult stores in the Northwest.

The system you just described of cameras, secure entry, careful ID control, black plastic on racy covers, attendants at the counter at all times... sounds a lot like a porn store.

I wouldn't put a porn store near a school.


Posted by Go Slow on Pot
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 14, 2019 at 1:58 pm

The push for 4 outlets in a small city where there are already a dozen or more retail and delivery outlets nearby that will sell it or bring it to your door is excessive. Let's not pretend anyone is deprived of pot since outlets as far as San Jose will deliver here. Some advertise delivery in 60 minutes. Not exactly a hardship situation. Redwood City, Santa Clara, etc can serve it up as well. The issue of limiting sales here is that we don't need 4 outlets and starting small and possibly scaling up if there are not problems is just common sense.


Posted by Alcohol
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 14, 2019 at 1:59 pm

Alcohol is a registered user.

Drinking is WAY more dangerous than smoking pot. It leads to aggression, drunk driving, and is a health epidemic.

Why all this outrage over pot, and not for the many convenience stores where alcohol can be easily shoplifted, or the many bar and restaurants that allow anyone to stumble along Castro Street drunkenly?


Posted by MV Renter
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 14, 2019 at 2:02 pm

@Alcohol

I agree with you.

I'd like to cite my Pacific Northwest upbringing again. You couldn't buy alcohol at the grocery store. You had to go to the liquour store for that. I am not at all opposed to restricting liquour sales to liquour stores and controlling them more tightly.


Posted by Paul
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 14, 2019 at 2:16 pm

We voted out all the baby boomers for a reason. Their sensibilities don't match up to those of us in the younger generations.

I'm glad we are starting to prioritize the needs of families and the younger generations.


Posted by cleaning up after Lenny
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2019 at 2:46 pm

Just like the RV issue Mountain View has to deal with logistics created by former Mayor’s “anything goes” policies.


Posted by Proud Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Feb 14, 2019 at 2:50 pm

Proud Taxpayer is a registered user.

Abe-Koga said. "I wouldn't want three liquor stores next to each other." Apparently Abe has never looked around the Costco parking lot. There are three liquor stores there and two of them are huge; Costco, Total Wine, and a "Liquor, Tobacco & More"
Plus, as has been said before alcohol is WAY more dangerous than pot. It leads to aggression, drunk driving, and is a health epidemic.


Posted by Hurah To The Council For Taking A Stand
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 14, 2019 at 3:12 pm

If "medicinal marijuana" was truly "medicinal" it would be in a pharmacy like the rest of the prescribed and over-the-counter medicines and vitamins...so stop with all the BS about chronic pain suffering and inability to deal with life stuff.


Posted by Interested
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 14, 2019 at 3:18 pm

I think this quote: "the vast majority of the more than 60 public speakers urged the council to scale back or completely ditch plans to allow marijuana sales within the city." makes it clear that those who voted to legalize marijuana in California, did NOT intend pot shops to open in their home town.

Many of the few speakers FOR marijuana shops at the Council meeting, were DISTRIBUTORS or somehow in the "business". I hope this Council will listen to the actual RESIDENTS of Mountain View and revise these regulations before they are enacted. Siegel was soundly voted OUT in this last election, so even though he desperately attempts to remain significant, he is vastly in the minority.

The argument that "people's needs are not being met if we deny open distributors", is clearly false. San Jose has delivery to you within an hour. If you cannot plan ahead or wait that long, your problem is more severe than you choose to admit.


Posted by Rossta
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 14, 2019 at 10:15 pm

Rossta is a registered user.

I hope each and every council member will visit an existing dispensary in person before they take any further action. The unknown is scary. The reality is not.
Setbacks from schools and the San Antonio area are valid concerns, but that doesn't mean increasing the buffer distance.
I also think having a process to spread out the shops is valid, so that more people are served without a long drive.


Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 14, 2019 at 10:19 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

FWIW, it’s 400 Moffett, not 440.


Posted by I like MTV
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 15, 2019 at 9:32 am

I like MTV is a registered user.

There is a reason why neighbor cities all banned marijuana. There is a reason why drug store like Walgreens will not carry marijuana, even in CA. And there is a reason even San Jose did not allow marijuana storefronts in downtown. It is absolutely insane to put marijuana stores in downtown and along El Camino Real.


Posted by JollyJolly
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2019 at 12:43 pm

JollyJolly is a registered user.

I couldn't agree with what "Chronic Pain Sufferer" has posted at all.

1. It is commone sense that if a medicine is needed, the patient should go to a drugstore to purchase, with a prescription from a doctor if needed. If you think of marijuanas as a medicine, you should push for the drugstores to legally carry it.

2. It is absolutely NOT necessary for disabled people to travel to get their medicine. There are already plenty of delivery options at your service.

In summary, if someone really needs help, they can get it with legitimate channels. Allowing cannabis stores in Mountain View is definitely not the way!


Posted by JollyJolly
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2019 at 12:50 pm

JollyJolly is a registered user.

Unlike one of the reviewers who called this new city council "scared children", I think this city council has demonstrated great courage, vision and leadership through their recent actions! My applauses to all of the city council members who have voted to bring back this issue!


Posted by mvAdult
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2019 at 1:04 pm

mvAdult is a registered user.

Ok, wanna revisit it? Then put it on the ballot. We will vote again. Do not follow the loudest, whiniest minority who go to meetings to bitch and post here to try to thwart the majority.

I think this is very stupid of the CC but hey, the black market is available everywhere (no school buffers!) and these days it's cheaper than legal sales anyway. And you won't get carded!

SUPPORT LOCAL DRUG DEALERS: NO LEGAL MJ IN MOUNTAIN VIEW!!!


Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2019 at 1:17 pm

AC is a registered user.

mvAdult, I think that's an unnecessarily angry tangent.

I voted to decriminalize it, and I would vote to decriminalize it again. But I didn't vote to open store fronts.

I hardly think it's thwarting the majority to revisit having shops. I also don't want storefronts for THC products, and I also would like drugstore availability of CBD products. MJ is legal in Mountain View, whether there are shops or not.


Posted by Chopper
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 15, 2019 at 1:22 pm

Chopper is a registered user.

As a long-term Mountain View resident whose children and grandchildren also live in the city I am very disappointed in the position of some city council members to revisit what has already been decided. Most of the arguments against storefronts and local delivery service for marijuana in the city are clearly based on fear and misinformation. I fully support the rules that have been put in place and look forward to a downtown storefront. One of the things that has made this city a great place to live is its diversity of both people and views, not everyone is going to agree with me and that’s fine. The majority of the city voted for legalization, the process for stores in the city was passed by the council, time to move on and open storefront and local delivery of marijuana in the city of Mountain View.


Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2019 at 1:35 pm

AC is a registered user.

I was just reviewing my earlier comment. Maybe we can make it simpler.

It's legal, we voted, it's the law. I think most folks would agree on that. We could vote again, we'd make it legal again.

But lots of folks seem to be interpreting that "the majority voted to open stores".

Did we?

Maybe we did. (I didn't, but maybe *we* did)

Maybe we should vote on it. I don't know the rules and regulations of the Council-Manager municipal system. But maybe we *should* vote on it. You folks could be right after all. Only one way to find out, it seems to me.


Posted by mvAdult
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2019 at 1:50 pm

mvAdult is a registered user.

Hey AC,
I'm not sorry I made my point but sorry you think it's angry. I'm so amused. I am an adult, I can get legal drugs easily. And if I don't feel like paying the taxes, I can buy it cheap from your or your neighborhood's children. (Not really, I have better options than an average teen)

Why support having a legal storefront where people who are curious can learn and buy a safe product. Better that all buyers are offered meth when the pot supply runs out. This is what can happen right now.

Think it over, roll out the false facts and the patriotic soundtrack. Revisit, re illegalize


Posted by Lurker
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Lurker is a registered user.

Hey AC,
I'm not sorry I made my point but sorry you think it's angry. I'm so amused. I am an adult, I can get legal drugs easily. And if I don't feel like paying the taxes, I can buy it cheap from your or your neighborhood's children. (Not really, I have better options than an average teen)

Why support having a legal storefront where people who are curious can learn and buy a safe product. Better that all buyers are offered meth when the pot supply runs out. This is what can happen right now outside of dispensaries.

Think it over, roll out the false facts and the patriotic soundtrack. Revisit, re-illegalize, reconvince yourselves you are saving the babies. It's not going to change anything.

Opening more legal sources with better products, however, WILL make it safer, and easier for people who are sick or need guidance. It will also reduce black market drug deals. And in the long view it not only reduces crime, but creates tax-revenue for all the other stuff.

SUPPORT LOCAL DRUG DEALERS: NO LEGAL MJ IN MV!


Posted by Hmmmm7
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2019 at 2:10 pm

Hmmmm7 is a registered user.

@ No MJ in MV

Ooooohhhhh threatening. I guarantee pot shops will bring in way more revenue than you do when you go all the time! Pft! Rolls eyes!


Posted by SafeCommunity
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 15, 2019 at 2:11 pm

SafeCommunity is a registered user.

I found it false and dangerous to reason that "if the city doesn't open cannabis stores, it is encouraging the black market, therefore we should allow them."

By the same logic, we should open storefronts for literally ALL drugs and other busineeses that only exist in blackmarket now!


Posted by Lurker
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2019 at 2:18 pm

Lurker is a registered user.

Yes, Safecommunity, ALL LEGAL ONES.
Yes Hmmmmmmm, they certainly will, but only for MV if MV has them. And I don't care either way. It's not my job to argue with MV against legal tax generating business.

Even if you feel I'm exaggerating the problem (I'm not), think about the whole situation before you fearmonger about pot dispensaries.


Posted by lisa321
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 15, 2019 at 2:28 pm

lisa321 is a registered user.

When we are here debating opening cannabis stores, in the world, right now, today, based on the latest UN data, there are 9,667,802 peoples are in hungry and 12.9% of the world population undernourished, on the other hand, there are millions of kids in the world are studying hard, exercising hard, preparing better for the future, we don’t want our kids end up to asking “who moved my cheese”. It’s really takes great courage and responsibility for our newly elected council to put this on reconsideration agenda, you won my trust and next vote!


Posted by An Upstander
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 15, 2019 at 3:27 pm

An Upstander is a registered user.

It is true that “the process for stores in the city was passed by the council”. But don't forget, Lenny, who supports pot shop most, and Pat, who is also a supporter, were both voted out! That's voters' choice!


Posted by Jeremy Hoffman
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Feb 15, 2019 at 4:24 pm

Jeremy Hoffman is a registered user.

In my humble straight-edge opinion, it makes very little difference whether we have two marijuana businesses or four, or their exact geographic distribution. I can all but guarantee you that they will not affect your life in any way. Did the neighborhood character of downtown get ruined when Jane's Beer Store opened?

Reopening this debate to nitpick the rollout seems like a poor use of Council's limited time.


Posted by Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 15, 2019 at 7:15 pm

Lenny Siegel is a registered user.

@ An Upstander
As you might imagine, I paid close attention to what all the candidates were saying during the Council campaign. To my knowledge, not one candidate suggested in her/his literature or candidate forums that we roll back the process for permitting four cannabis businesses in Mountain View.

It appears that two victorious candidates were meeting with the opponents of marijuana sales and receiving their support without telling other voters what their agenda was.

So, to use the election outcome to justify the Lincoln's Birthday Surprise decision to revisit established policy makes a mockery of the democratic process.

I remain convinced that a strong majority of Mountain View residents believe that those people who choose to legally use marijuana and related products should be able to buy them legally.


Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2019 at 8:07 pm

AC is a registered user.

Lenny Siegel,

The issue seems so worked up that I feel I have to reiterate, I personally do not believe it to be an issue of being legal, or of buying it legally; but I don't see that it should be bought here in town.

You may recall, I said as much at a City Council meeting during your tenure. And now, just as then, I'm not worked-up angry about it either way. But I still have the concern that the decriminalization of marijuana, it's legality for both medicinal and recreational use, and my personal view that it is not in fact an evil substance but an herb of nature (which can be used or misused like any other) does not equate, and *never* equated to wanting storefronts for it in town.

As I have mentioned, there are lots of things that I don't have any issue with, but that doesn't mean that I wish to encourage storefronts for them. I don't have an issue with guns, but I don't want to open another gun store. I don't have an issue with alcohol per se (and people misuse it to far worse effect than marijuana), but I don't want to open a liquour store. I don't have any issue with the beauty of the human body, but I don't want to open a strip joint.

Not wanting to open marijuana storefronts does *not* equate to being anti-marijuana or flouting the democratic process. I voted to decriminalize it, but I never voted to open up stores for it in the city.

I do agree with you sir, I do believe that those people who choose to legally use marijuana and related products should be able to buy them legally. Just not from a storefront in town. Other residents have posted plenty of available options.

Not everyone who is against opening storefronts is trying to wage war against legal marijuana use. I'm quite certain I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Or maybe I am. I wish we could just vote on it and put the issue to bed. I'm not going to get worked up over the outcome either way.

I *do* however get worked up over people thinking that I said things I didn't say. I didn't vote to sell it in town, I voted to decriminalize it. No more and no less.


Posted by RT
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 15, 2019 at 8:57 pm

RT is a registered user.

When we fail to win, we should not blame other people. We need to think about which part is missing or can be improved. Lenny could win my vote, but he selected not to.
Lots of MV residents question about opening front stores at MV and they brought up the concerns, unfortunately, their voices were not heard. Likewise, Lenny did not hear MV residents voices for other issues.
I totally agree AC’s comment not wanting the marijuana front stores does not equate to anti-marijuana.


Posted by Interested
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 15, 2019 at 9:51 pm

Interested is a registered user.

AC, you are certainly not alone - and in my experience, you are in the majority. I have NO personal problem with those who use marijuana in any form, and I voted to decriminalize it. HOWEVER, I did NOT vote to allow storefronts selling it here in Mountain View.
No other city on the Peninsula has made the choice to be the local distributor, and I firmly believe Mountain View would be wrong to do so.
You have stated my thoughts better than I could. Thank you.
And RT, you were very clear as well - and I believe you represent the majority of actual MV residents.
Note: some of the people pushing this "storefront" mentality at the Council meeting were out of town distributors and did not disclose this until I asked them directly.


Posted by I like MTV
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 15, 2019 at 10:03 pm

I like MTV is a registered user.

Lenny, the city council is obligated to listen to MTV residence's concerns. City council should take residence' voice as priority, refer to scientific reports on health and work together with neighbor cities, rather than judging based on personal experience only. I am glad the new council is doing the right thing.


Posted by No MJ store in Mountain View
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 15, 2019 at 10:07 pm

No MJ store in Mountain View is a registered user.

@Lenny
Smearing and making false accusations of winners in the council election will not lead you anywhere and is indeed a "mockery of the democratic process". MV citizens made their choice. Period.

And I don't think the cannabis business owner's idea of "selling inoffensive chocolate bars that don't produce a heavy odor" will alleviate any concern. It could easily create overdose problem.

Many comments have pointed out that medical needs or recreational use needs could be taken care of easily by mail-in orders. So please stop using that plausible philanthropic argument. The cannabis ordinance budgeted for 2 more police headcounts just to deal with the 4 outlets. Have you ever heard that opening a restaurant or liquor store requires that much police support? I don't see the cannabis business is what Mountain View needs or wants.


Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2019 at 2:13 pm

Common sense is a registered user.

The stubborn and desperate resistance to actual voter and MV-resident mandates (specific to *this* issue) stands out in comments here and on recent related stories.

Trying to read voters' intent about MJ stores into Pat Showalter and Lenny Siegel's Council defeats just demonstrates the degree of desperation. Seriously?!? MANY issues swayed voters; this one wasn't even on the radar in statements and debates; and Showalter lost by a few votes, a near-tie. (Reality: per the article, just a THIRD of MV residents wanted no MJ sales in MV when surveyed.) Stop trying to spin or deny this reality; stop pretending your opinion represents most people's: "you are certainly not alone - and in my experience, you are in the majority." A majority only to (the offhand unsupported opinion of) *one* anonymous commenter.

Speaking of infinitesimals, 40 (apparently well-organized) people protesting MJ retail at a council meeting is 0.05% of MV's population. A twentieth of a percent.

Similarly "well-grounded" were the desperate comments to Voice articles claiming out-of-town drug operators MUST be behind any comments here that dispute what "mvAdult" above rightly labeled a "loud, whiny" minority, continually earning that label by exaggerating the support for their view, making a lot of noise, even repeating concerns over "smoke" (implying ignorance or denial of the modern trend to smoke-free cannabis products).

It all echoes the I-Know-Better, facts-be-damned, Prohibitionist impulse that launched organized crime once it banned alcoholic beverages 100 years ago, and drug-related crime when cannabis was outlawed a little later.

I've never visited any MJ store or dispensary. But the frantic rationalizing animosity of MJ-store opponents commenting on this website is the tail trying to wag the dog.


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