Welcome!

News Feed Item

Missing Council Members and Other Frustrations as Long Beach Voters Grow Impatient for Action on Medical Marijuana

LONG BEACH, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 12/13/13 -- The Long Beach City Attorney's Office -- tasked back in September with drafting a new medical marijuana ordinance to replace the current ban -- attempted to seek further input from the City Council at last Tuesday's meeting, but was thwarted when the absence of three council members forced another postponement of the issue.

Missing from action were Vice Mayor/District 1 Councilmember Robert Garcia, District 6 Councilmember Dee Andrews, and District 3 Councilmember Gary DeLong. Vice Mayor Garcia, who had been present earlier in the evening for a special council meeting held to discuss the Draft Housing Element, left City Hall before the regular council meeting began. Councilmember Andrews was missing all evening. And even though Councilmember DeLong was present for most of the meeting, he was missing from his chair when the medical marijuana agenda item was called, and did not respond to calls for him to return to his seat.

Citing the importance of having all of the council members present for this issue, the remaining six council members voted 5-1 to postpone the item until Tuesday, December 17. The lone dissenter, District 5 Councilmember Gerrie Schipske, expressed her frustration by noting that all of the council members had known that the issue was on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting and yet the missing members obviously chose to be absent, with no guarantees that they would in fact be present for next week's meeting if the item was postponed to accommodate them.

That same frustration was echoed by Jeremy Coltharp, the lead petitioner behind a recent effort to qualify a medical marijuana measure onto the ballot. "When we submitted our petition with over 43,000 signatures from Long Beach voters, we made it quite clear to city officials that this is an important issue in Long Beach," he stated. "So it is extremely frustrating to face yet another delay because of missing council members, after waiting over two months already for the City Attorney's office to prepare a draft of the ordinance, which it hasn't even done yet since it is saying that it needs more guidance from the city council."

Coltharp pointed out that nearly one third of the signatures he had gathered came from Districts 1, 3 and 6. "That's nearly 14,000 voters just in those 3 districts alone that are saying they want responsible, regulated access restored back to Long Beach," he noted. "To put it into perspective, only 26,175 voters voted for Mayor Foster back in 2010. That means we got nearly 20,000 more voters than that saying they don't want a ban, they want something that makes sense, that's reasonable, that's safe. This is consistent citywide. Even in Council member Schipske's district, which is perhaps the most conservative area we have in the city, I was actually able to gather more signatures there than in any other district -- a full 16% of our signatures came from there alone. So it's crucial for all of the councilmembers to listen to and actually represent their constituents."

The city council seemed to do just that back on September 10 when it voted unanimously to draft a new medical marijuana ordinance to replace the ban. So while Coltharp's petition failed to be certified for the ballot by the Long Beach City Clerk -- a controversial move currently under review by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals -- it did at least appear to spur the city council into taking action. However, its direction to the City Attorney that dispensaries be limited to industrial areas only, and that there be two dispensaries per district, has made it an impossible task -- something that took that office over two months to acknowledge.

"As soon as the city council put those two parameters in, we knew right away that they would be fatal to the task, given how Long Beach is laid out. All we needed to do was look at the map that Planning had prepared back when the city was poised to grant permits to dispensaries under its old ordinance, and it was clear that all of the industrial areas are concentrated in just a few of the districts, meaning that most of the city would still lack safe access," stated Jina Nam, attorney for the Long Beach Collective Association who, along with Coltharp, advocates for having a limited number of dispensaries disbursed throughout the city in non exclusive-residential zones, far away from schools, parks and beaches -- and from each other. "Plus limiting (dispensaries) just to industrial zones discriminates against the seriously ill patients in wheelchairs or otherwise immobile who can't drive, who rely on public transportation to get around -- they would not be able to access industrial areas where there are no bus routes or areas located far away from bus stops. That's too ironic, especially since the CUA (Compassionate Use Act) was enacted to help the seriously ill to begin with," she added.

Ms. Nam and other advocates have since sought to point out these concerns to city officials and to try to address what additional guidelines should be provided to the City Attorney. "Some city officials have been really positive about having an open dialogue and show a willingness to hear all sides of this debate, and are truly committed to drafting something that is fair and reasonable and still prohibitive enough to avoid all the pitfalls associated with this industry," Ms. Nam noted. "But with some of the other officials, it has been an extremely frustrating process to even get their attention," she admitted.

Still, she and Coltharp remain hopeful that the city can still craft a well-balanced, well-drafted ordinance that will avoid the further need for another voter initiative. "In our initiative, we really tried to come up with a balanced ordinance that not only met the needs of the patients, but one that would support safe access and public safety throughout the City of Long Beach," explained Coltharp. "For this reason, we wanted to include a task force that would support input from the police department, city staff, surrounding neighbors, and citizens throughout the city, and have a stringent code of conduct of good practices. We now call on the City to adopt these measures into its ordinance. But if not, we are ready to go back to our 43,000 voters and beyond to put something on the next ballot if the 9th Circuit doesn't let our previous initiative move forward, or if the city fails to adopt something fair and reasonable. With over 70% of Americans supporting medical marijuana, this is an issue that is not going away. The City of Long Beach understands that not developing sound policy with strong and balanced regulation now will only result in further headaches and problems down the line. So we truly hope that sound leadership will prevail at the end of the day."

Contact:
Jina Nam
(562)467-8906

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, will go over the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, applicatio...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Microsoft Azure Container Services can be used for container deployment in a variety of ways including support for Orchestrators like Kubernetes, Docker Swarm and Mesos. However, the abstraction for app development that support application self-healing, scaling and so on may not be at the right level. Helm and Draft makes this a lot easier. In this primarily demo-driven session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Raghavan "Rags" Srinivas, a Cloud Solutions Architect/Evangelist at Microsoft, wi...
Though cloud is the future of enterprise computing, a smooth transition of legacy applications and systems is critical for seamless business operations. IT professionals are eager to start leveraging the cost, scale and other benefits of cloud, but with massive investments already in place in existing infrastructure and a number of compliance and resource hurdles, it can be challenging to move to a cloud-based infrastructure.
Containers are rapidly finding their way into enterprise data centers, but change is difficult. How do enterprises transform their architecture with technologies like containers without losing the reliable components of their current solutions? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Tony Campbell, Director, Educational Services at CoreOS, will explore the challenges organizations are facing today as they move to containers and go over how Kubernetes applications can deploy with lega...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of hybrid cloud enablement solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere Systems was created by file systems experts determined to reinvent storage by changing the way enterprises thought about and bought storage resources. With decades of experience behind the company’s founders, Avere got its ...
Today most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes significant work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reducti...
We all know that end users experience the Internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices – not doing so will be a path to eventual b...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
The session is centered around the tracing of systems on cloud using technologies like ebpf. The goal is to talk about what this technology is all about and what purpose it serves. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Shashank Jain, Development Architect at SAP, will touch upon concepts of observability in the cloud and also some of the challenges we have. Generally most cloud-based monitoring tools capture details at a very granular level. To troubleshoot problems this might not be good enough.
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...