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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Ballot and voting information for San Diego County.
This is an archive of a past election.

Authorizing and Regulating Medical MarijuanaInitiative from the People

Local
November 8, 2016California General Election

City of La Mesa
Measure U Initiative from the People - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results

Passing

13,322 votes yes (52.97%)

11,829 votes no (47.03%)

Shall the Ordinance amending the La Mesa Municipal Code to authorize and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, and the cultivating and manufacturing of medical marijuana, in the City of La Mesa, be adopted?

Impartial analysis / Proposal

The La Mesa Municipal Code (Municipal Code) presently prohibits medical marijuana dispensaries (dispensaries), and the cultivating and manufacturing of medical marijuana in La Mesa. This measure is citizen-sponsored and would amend the Municipal Code to repeal that prohibition and permit, upon the issuance of a conditional use permit (CUP), dispensaries, and the cultivating and manufacturing of medical marijuana, in specified zones subject to certain conditions and restrictions.

Regarding dispensaries, this measure would permit dispensaries in La Mesa upon the issuance of a CUP in General Commercial (C), Light Industrial and Commercial Services (CM), and Industrial Services and Manufacturing (M) zones. This measure requires that dispensaries maintain a minimum 1,000 feet separation from licensed childcare centers, playgrounds, minororiented facilities, other dispensaries and schools. Among other things, this measure requires the following for dispensaries: security measures (e.g., cameras, alarms and guards), restrictions on hours of operation (7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., seven days a week), provisions for revocation, and compliance with other City requirements (which shall be in compliance with State law).

Regarding cultivation, this measure would specifically prohibit commercial cultivation sites in residential zones. However, such sites would be permitted in Industrial Service and Manufacturing (M) zones upon the issuance of a CUP. Among other things, this measure requires the following for commercial cultivation sites: plants may only be cultivated in response to a pre-existing supply or purchase agreement with a licensed dispensary or distributor, security measures (e.g., cameras, alarms and guards), no adverse impacts to the environment, no public access or sales, background checks (of employees) and no employment of felons, provisions for revocation, and compliance with other City requirements (which shall be in compliance with State law).

Regarding manufacturing, this measure would specifically prohibit manufacturing sites in residential zones. However, such sites would be permitted in Industrial Service and Manufacturing (M) zones upon the issuance of a CUP. Among other things, this measure requires the following for manufacturing sites: no extraction of cannabis concentrates with butane or other flammable gases, compliance with medical marijuana processing rules and requirements promulgated by the California Department of Public Health, security measures (e.g., cameras, alarms and guards), no public access or sales, background checks (of employees) and no employment of felons, provisions for revocation, and compliance with other City requirements (which shall be in compliance with State law). 

This measure also provides that a qualified patient or a personal caregiver may cultivate up to eight marijuana plants for personal use; provided, however, that personal use cultivation must comply with state and local laws.

Finally, this measure states that it would take effect and be in force on the thirtieth day from and after its final passage.

— La Mesa City Attorney

Arguments FOR

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE U

 

MEASURE U will provide regulation, oversite and transparency of medical marijuana organization in the City of La Mesa by creating a conditional use permit process and restricted zoning for medical marijuana businesses while ensuring full compliance with California State law.

In 1996, the majority of voters in California and in the City of La Mesa voted for the Compassionate Use Act, which allowed patient access to medical marijuana. Twenty years later, we still lack regulated medical marijuana access in La Mesa.

Research from UC San Diego has shown medical marijuana to be an effective treatment for the effects of cancer radiation therapy, debilitating arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other pain conditions affecting the large senior population in our City. Today, La Mesa patients are forced to use less effective and more costly pharmaceuticals to manage their pain or to turn to black market dealers for their medicine.

MEASURE U will allow the City of La Mesa to provide patient access, while ensuring medical marijuana organizations comply with state regulations, and local zoning and public safety regulations.

MEASURE U ensures the safety of patients and the community by including security requirements including alarm systems, security cameras, lighting standards, and restricting hours of operation.

MEASURE U ensure that medical marijuana dispensaries are located in appropriate areas. It prohibits medical marijuana dispensaries in residential zones and areas where children congregate.

MEASURE U authorizes the city to set fees to ensure that the safe access does not become a financial burden on the city.

Join us in supporting community and patient safety in La Mesa! Vote “Yes” on MEASURE U.

/s/

PAVEL RATNOVSKIY, MSW
Proponent of Measure U in La Mesa

JUDGE JAMES P. GRAY
Superior Court Judge (Retired)

ADAM D. RICHARDSON, Ph.D
Cancer Research Scientist

MICHAEL E. CINDRICH
Former Prosecutor

TOM HORVATH, Ph.D.
Addiction Treatment Expert,
Practical Recovery

Arguments AGAINST

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE U

 

Vote NO on Measure U to protect La Mesa’s economy and public safety.

Just two years ago, La Mesa voters soundly defeated a ballot measure seeking to overturn the City’s existing ordinance. In January, City Council included marijuana cultivation and delivery services in La Mesa’s ordinance.

Yet, here we are again with the special interest marijuana lobby imposing on La Mesa’s limited budget for another vote!

California’s laws protect cities, like La Mesa, using their land-use rules to keep undesirable marijuana businesses out. Courts have upheld city’s rights to make zoning decisions for public safety, economic development, and housing.

Marijuana storefronts hurt neighborhoods. The City of San Diego’s experience is that census tracts with marijuana storefronts had twice as many property and violent crimes as census tracts without them. Nothing in Measure U provides enough revenue to support additional law enforcement costs.

Measure U goes far beyond simply proving safe access to sick people, it includes “nursery” style commercial cultivation, wholesale manufacturing, and mass production of edible cannabis products.

Measure U allows commercial cultivation supplying marijuana businesses throughout California.

Nothing in Measure U prevents existing illegal marijuana shops from getting a permit.

Nothing in Measure U prevents medical marijuana users from purchasing marijuana from multiple stores in a single day – or even from the same store multiple times in a day.

Measure U does not require a 1,000 foot buffer between residential property and marijuana dispensaries.

Marijuana is already too easily available in our community! We want attractive, vibrant businesses in La Mesa that bring well-paying jobs and contribute to a sustainable economy.

Put our city’s precious resources to work fixing streets and parks, creating jobs, and making our city safe and healthy!

La Mesa, U deserve better! Please vote NO on Measure U.

/s/

JEFFREY A. GOETTLER
La Mesa Resident

DANIELLE WOMACK
Community Pastor Crosspointe Life

BETH THOMAS
School Administrator

MARK ARAPOSTATHIS
Mayor

MICHAEL A. EMERSON
Grossmont Healthcare District Director

Replies to Arguments FOR

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE U

 

Measure U promises regulation, oversight, and transparency but offers NONE!

Lacks transparency: Measure U implies that La Mesa is not compliant with the state’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act. However, state law defers to local regulations which La Mesa has had in place since 2011.

Lacks regulation: Voters beware – the difference between “residential zone” (in Measure U) and “residential use(not in Measure U) is significant! Residential use means where you live! Is this what you want next door to your home?

Lacks transparency: Measure U proponents insist that people in La Mesa lack access to marijuana. Marijuana is already easily available; it’s cultivated, processed, made into candy, and delivered to the door. Marijuana is advertised in the Reader and on the web. And it falls easily into the hands of kids!

Lacks oversight: Measure U actually prohibits meaningful oversight by ensuring that City and Police Department inspections are only allowed with prior notice.

Lacks public safety protections: Measure U requires only one security guard inside during business hours, not outside protecting the community or customers outside going to or from with marijuana and cash.

Lacks transparency, regulation, and oversight: The City cannot tax marijuana for the public safety and health costs known to be associated with marijuana dispensaries.

Lacks transparency: Measure U allows commercial marijuana retail stores, nursery-style marijuana growing grounds, and marijuana-based food and candy production in La Mesa.

Protect our community, protect our economy, and protect our youth by voting NO on Measure U!

/s/

GUY MCWHIRTER
La Mesa City Council

ART MADRID
Former La Mesa Mayor

GENE CARPENTER
Board Member, La Mesa Conversations

MARK MATTHEWS
Business Owner

LISA BRIDGES
La Mesa Resident

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE U

 

Just because previous efforts to impose regulation of medical marijuana in La Mesa have not been successful does not mean that the voters of La Mesa do not have the right to ask for regulation at the ballot box.

Our current lack of regulation is not working. Illegal marijuana dispensaries continue to proliferate, and our city suffers the cost burden of the constant cycle of investigation and enforcement actions, while patients suffer without regulated access.

Over 3,000 La Mesa residents banded together to qualify this proposal for the ballot, because we believe in regulated, local access.

Currently, unlicensed marijuana dispensaries cost our city money, since the unlicensed operators do not pay fees to our city. Measure U would authorize our city to collect fee revenue from regulated dispensaries to pay for their regulation and oversite, and provide funds for enforcement action against unlicensed dispensary operators.

Measure U prohibits dispensaries in residential neighborhoods and the downtown commercial district. Medical marijuana product manufacturing would be restricted to only industrial zones.

Opponents of regulation are attempting to confuse voters by associating medical marijuana access with crime - they fail to distinguish between rogue dispensary operators, operating outside of the law, with regulated access with city and police oversite, cost recovery fees, required security measures, and city regulations.

Regulations works - Vote Yes on Measure U!

/s/

JUSTIN TURLEY 
La Mesa Voter and Organ Failure Patient V

PAVEL RATNOVSKIY, MSW
Proponent of Measure U in La Mesa

LEO LAWRENCE, J.D.
Former Sheriff's Deputy

JUDGE JAMES GRAY (Ret.)
Orange County Superior Court

MICHAEL E. CINDRICH
Former Prosecutor

Yes on Measure U
No on Measure U
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