Palo Alto Weekly

News - September 30, 2011

Palo Alto mulls election to legalize marijuana shops

Reluctant council forced to revisit subject by citizen initiative

by Gennady Sheyner

When Palo Alto's elected officials talk about "going green," they're usually discussing blue bins and bike lanes not selling marijuana.

On Monday, however, the City Council will have to confront an issue that other cities, including San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley and Vallejo, have been wrestling with for the past 15 years: Should the city allow medical marijuana dispensaries to set up shop in the city?

In Palo Alto, the issue could go directly from the elected leaders' consideration to the electorates'. In July, a group of citizens led by Thomas and Cassandra Moore, submitted a ballot initiative that would allow up to three marijuana dispensaries to operate in Palo Alto and create zoning restrictions and taxing mechanisms for these cooperatives. The initiative, which required more than 4,000 signatures to qualify, did so with about 500 to spare.

The citizen initiative means that the council now has no choice but to confront the issue that hasn't been in the spotlight since 1996, when state voters passed Proposition 215, legalizing medical marijuana dispensaries. Dozens of cities, including Palo Alto, responded by passing bans on dispensaries in their communities. Now, the council's only options are to adopt the ordinance in the initiative outright (an action that would run against both precedent and staff recommendation), craft a similar ordinance or place the issue on the ballot.

But pot-loving entrepreneurs shouldn't rush to the city just yet. According to a new report from City Clerk Donna Grider, the earliest ballot on which the issue could appear would be November 2012, the same election in which residents will be voting for a U.S. president and four City Council members. That's because state law limits cities to one special election per year and Palo Alto already has an election scheduled for this November.

Staff recommends putting the issue on the ballot rather than adopting it outright.

The citizen initiative would impose a 4 percent tax on the gross receipts of the medical pot shops. Each dispensary would also have to pay a $10,000 permit fee. The proposed ordinance also limits the hours of operation for these businesses to between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. and specifies that they cannot operate in residential zones or near schools, libraries or daycare facilities.

The petition touts legalized marijuana as both a humane palliative for terminally ill patients and as a potential revenue source for the city. It notes that San Jose generated $290,000 in revenues from its dispensaries in the first month of the city's ordinance.

In Palo Alto, the figure would likely be more modest. San Jose revenues came from 74 medical marijuana collectives. Four other collectives submitted their taxes for the following months early, giving the city another $20,000. The revenue figures could change significantly next year, however. This week, San Jose put out a memo calling for the marijuana collectives to stop operating on Oct. 27 and to apply for permits, only 10 of which would be issued by the city.

In Oakland, where voters last year raised the tax rate for dispensaries from 1.8 percent to 5 percent, the figures are expected to soar. According to the ballot analysis for Measure V, the city expects annual revenues from the new tax rate to reach $1.4 million (up from $500,518 before the rate change).

Vallejo, which was rocked by bankruptcy in 2008 and continues to struggle financially, also hopes new dispensaries would provide some relief for its chronic budget woes. Voters will have a chance in November to pass an ordinance that would establish a $500 fee and a 10 percent tax on gross receipts for dispensaries.

Most cities, however, have been reluctant to embrace marijuana cooperatives. According to the marijuana-advocacy organization Americans for Safe Access, 168 California cities had passed ordinances banning these facilities, including East Palo Alto and Sunnyvale. Another 81, Redwood City and Mountain View among them, have moratoriums on dispensaries. And 48 cities including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Berkeley currently have ordinances regulating marijuana sales.

In Palo Alto, the council has traditionally proceeded with caution on the subject. In 1996, the council responded to a request for a dispensary by swiftly passing an emergency ordinance banning such facilities. The 1996 ordinance states that "a number of regulatory issues should be carefully considered prior to allowing establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries in order to prevent crime and ensure compatibility with other uses, including residential uses and schools."

"In light of the expressed interest in establishing a medical marijuana dispensary in Palo Alto, and the time required to study and develop appropriate regulations, an urgency ordinance is necessary to provide a clear statement of existing law and to protect the public peace, health and safety," the ordinance reads.

The current council has been reluctant to take a strong stance on the issue, one way or another. In September 2010, as the council was considering the city's position on various propositions, Councilwoman Gail Price was the only member who recommended supporting state Proposition 19, which would have legalized and regulated marijuana sales in California. Councilwoman Karen Holman said the issue warrants more vetting, but Councilman Larry Klein said the council has nothing to add to the discussion.

The council then voted to not discuss the issue any further.

"I think this is a personal choice, and I don't think the City Council should be taken this issue on," Councilman Greg Schmid said at that meeting

Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at gsheyner@paweekly.com.

Comments

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2011 at 9:09 am

The fact that this is being touted as a revenue source for the City is laughable.

The City will not give us decent retail to improve sales tax when many of us have been screaming for decent retail for years. We want full service supermarkets and affordable household and clothing retailers at a one stop location so that we can buy what we need on a regular basis in Palo Alto without having to go out of town.

For the City to expect to make money from a federally illegal activity which only a certain subset of the community wants, let alone will use, plus will attract out of towners to come to Palo Alto since their sensible cities will not allow it, just abhors the sensitivities of those of us who don't approve of smoking pot or anything else.

The medical debate is only a side issue. There are many ways the so called patients can get their supplies without the need to have the so called dispensaries in town. If a doctor is going to prescribe the drug then that doctor should also provide a place for the patient to imbibe, just like chemo or dialisis.

We need to watch each individual council member on this one and see exactly why they are voting the way they do. Then we need to remember in the future.


Posted by NIMBY, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2011 at 10:15 am

This time I will be one:

Not In My Back Yard.

Really, no, thank you.


Posted by Judith, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2011 at 10:26 am

Dear Resident -
How do you suppose the city can "give us decent retail to improve sales tax"? The city does not own the property, nor is it in the retail business. Perhaps you would like to buy or rent a storefront and run a store? That's how we get retail around here.


Posted by Bob, a resident of another community
on Sep 29, 2011 at 10:43 am

"Medical" marijuana. What a scam.

If you think everyone who uses these "clinics" does so for medical purposes then you've been smoking too much. Getting the "medical" marijuana card is easier than getting a Safeway discount card.

One of my friend's son (he's over 18 yrs old) got a card from a "doctor" at a marijuana symposium. No charge and no medical records needed. According to her he told the doc his knee hurt. That was it and now he goes to the clinics to get social weed for himself and his friends. The mother - she's ok with this because she prefers it to him buying the grass from strangers on the street. The only thing that worries her is that they smoke in their cars and she's afraid they'll have an accident.

What a lot of middle-age and older folks don't understand is that the grass is so much more potent these days than what they remember from the 1960s and 1970s.


Posted by Green, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 29, 2011 at 10:58 am

It's my understanding that not all marijuana sold through dispensaries is as potent as that found on the street. Instead, there's a range of strengths and some marijuana is sold as "edibles" in brownies, cookies. etc. so smoke isn't an issue there.

The reason the street marijuana is so potent is so the dealers can charge premium prices because if they're busted, they're busted by weight not price. Hence it's in their interest to sell super-premium.

The dispensaries would offer more choice.

And the restaurants and grocers should love the increased traffic from people with the "munchies" thus raising more sales tax revenue and eliminating the need for our Utility Dept. to keep raising rates to offset the short-fall in sales tax revenues.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2011 at 11:07 am

Judith

Simple. The city refuses to let large supermarkets and big box stores open in Palo Alto. We are only allowed boutique supermarkets and posh shops, not the regular type that most of us do most of our shopping at, eg. Target, Sears, supersized Safeway, etc. Whenever a useful type store wants to open a large store, they won't let it.

If the City wants revenue, then they should allow some decent stores in some of our blighted areas, namely Charleston/San Antonio where Western Marine used to be, and Edgewood Plaza for example. They lost the chance to build a decent full sized supermarket at Alma.


Posted by thanksbutnothanks, a resident of University South
on Sep 29, 2011 at 11:13 am

Until EVERY city and town in California allows marijuana dispensaries, keep them out of Palo Alto.

This is not the kind of destination retailer I want nearby. Sorry.


Posted by Gethin, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2011 at 11:32 am

As the major center for the use of marijuana, for both medicinal and non-medicinal purposes is undoubtable Stanford University, I recommend that the initial marijuana dispensary be located conveniently nearby in Professorville.


Posted by KP, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2011 at 11:43 am

I'm not a user - I don't care if it comes or not...and if it does, it wouldn't bother me.
Anyone using it will still be using it, just not have to drive as far. People who don't, won't even see a difference. You that don't, don't know who does as it is now.
It might even help get street sellers out of town.

I think we should be more concerned with the over abundance of housing being built and no schools for all the kids coming in.
Why DON"T we have a full service grocer (affordable/Safeway) like Menlo & Mtn View?
Why the need to put more housing on Alma & E Meadow, when we REALLY could have used a Safeway, Lucky's, Target, do I need to go on?

Who in the City counsel is getting their palms greased? Because it's guaranteed SOMEONE IS! And it's not someone who cares about our community or revenue for the City of Palo Alto


Posted by G TOWN, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 29, 2011 at 11:46 am

Why not?I cant wait for the slap in the face to hit palo alto.People in palo alto smoke,even a couple of P A cops do.Your hood will have green for sale cant wait.


Posted by that skunky smell, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 29, 2011 at 12:12 pm

That vaguely skunky smell you notice when you go on your evening constitutional in PA's loveliest neighborhoods?

C'mon folks, PA and every town has dopers in all the best neighborhoods! They step outside post cocktail hour and have a couple puffs. It's REALLY good quality (that's that extraordinary smell you sometimes wonder about) and a hit of two is all I need.

Cops have a stressful job. How else do you think they relax?

You didn't really think PA had THAT many skunks.


Posted by KP, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2011 at 12:27 pm

...Speaking of greased palms...who authorized the double cost overage of the Mitchell Park library? It's going to cost the base price approved and double the approved overage price to finish the project.

What person takes responsibility for this huge mismanagement? Palo Alto is getting to be well know for greasy palm and slippery hands!

What a disgrace!


Posted by Tracey Chen, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Thank you Gethin, for being a voice of reason. We need to educate the people who don't understand this issue. It is an utterly harmless agent that has tremendous efficacy in many, many medical conditions. If you do not believe this, you have been force-fed lies and you need to read to learn more. Many of us need it to be able to function at all because of how it helps in our auto-immune and neurological conditions. It is unreasonable to require us to drive long distances and stand in long lines (suffering for hours if not days afterwards because of that) to get something we pay a fortune for, are under the threat of federal prosecution for (but we need it and are harming NO ONE, the prohibition of its use is disgusting and causes thousands of deaths of innocent people every year in this country and Mexico, the U.S. supplies the weapons used by illegal non-U.S. drug cartels). As patients with real physical limitations, we cannot all grow our own or enough of our own to supply even ourselves. We do not harm the community; we are part of it. The voters in this state have given us the right to it. People who continue to want it banned are uninformed on the issues, and if they fail to learn more about this and change their minds to understand that we live here too, are hurting no one, have a right to it in this state, and they are hurting us would then also cold-hearted and selfish. I would invite doctors and nurses at Stanford to chime in on this issue. And anyone is free to contact me if they want more information on any of the issues surrounding medical marijuana and dispensaries. Thank you.


Posted by Jay, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Marijuana is NOT harmless. It is NOT healthy for you. We the people of Palo Alto are going to be able to vote on this, and the majority of people in our town don't want marijuana dispensaries here. Of course. there's no reason for an out-of-proportion amount of prosecution for marijuana use and distribution, but on the other hand, we are under no obligation to sanction its sale here in our town.


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm

In related news, two teenage potheads were arrested after trying to break into a woman's Menlo Park home.

Web Link

:-P


Posted by Free Weed, a resident of another community
on Sep 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm

The City of Palo Alto should buy and distribute free high quality weed to all residents. That way, City Hall can get away with even more shenanigans and the voters won't even notice!


Posted by that skunky smell, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm

omigawd!!! 2 alleged B&E potheads!!!

PROHIBITION TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good thing no one ever breaks the law after having a beer or anything!

We'd have to PROHIBIT ALCOHOL!

Oh, yeah, we tried that... how'd that work out? Lots of gangsters, filling up our jails, bribes, graft, lots of good folk disobeying the law?

Good thing we don't have that happening with drugs these days!!!

How's that working out?

Where are the Libertarians? Why do so many folks want big government?




Posted by PA Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm

What amazes me about these ballot initiatives is the number of people who actually sign them. Their argument, as usual, is I only signed the Petition to get it on the ballot. Now our City is faced with paying the County somewhere over $150,000 to put it on the ballot, what a waste of money!

Don't residents who sign these Petitions realize it costs money to get it on the ballot? In future I think that those who want ballot initiatives put before the voters should be the ones who pay the County for placing it on the ballot, and not the resident taxpayers of the City.


Posted by Herb Borock, a resident of Professorville
on Sep 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Cassandra Moore's initiative petition for authorizing marijuana dispensaries in Palo Alto enabled me to flash back to the 1983 City Council campaign when Moore espoused her Libertarian philosophy and accepted $8,000 in campaign contributions from real estate developers to finance a last minute slate mailing for herself and four other candidates that the Palo Alto Weekly editorial of November 9, 1983 (page 22) called "an unfair campaign practice". (Moore's campaign manager in her 1983 Council campaign was Bill Evers.)

Maybe the Weekly can provide a link to a copy of that editorial.

The developers who financed the Moore mailing called themselves Committee for Balanced Growth, and the committee consisted of Scott Carey, Chop Keenan, and Ry Kelley who said, "We can't adopt the Libertine attitude, but in local development matters we think she'll come down in a reasoned way."

In the 1983 City Council election candidates competed for four at-large four-year seats and the two years remaining for one other seat.

In the election for the two-year seat, the developers $8,000 was more than the total spent by developer candidate Anne Witherspoon and opponent Bob Moss combined. The Moore slate mailing helped Witherspoon win by 132 votes.

In the race for the four-year seats, the Moore slate mailing helped developer candidate Gail Woolley get more votes than incumbents Leland Levy and Emily Renzel, and also helped developer candidate Jack Sutorius defeat Pat Cullen for the fourth at-large seat. Cullen had been a key opponet of excessive developer during the 1970s.

Now that Moore's initiative has qualified for the 2012 City Council election, I wonder if she will be doing slate mailings for the same kind of candidates.

This time people who will responding positively to Moore's initiative petition could be told by her again to also vote for pro-development candidates backed by real estate developers like Scott Carey, Chop Keenan, and Ry Kelley.

I thought Moore's 1983 Council campaign was a phoney campaign designed to help real estate developers elect their candidates to City Council.

I believe Moore's current marijuana campaign is another phoney campaign that has nothing to do with the initiative measure itself, but could be just another device to mislead voters into supporting City Council candidates Moore supports for their pro-development views.




Posted by Tracey Chen, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Dear Herb Borack, Thank you so much for providing this background info on the creators of the petition. When I ran into the guy asking for signatures at Piazza's, I looked at the little bit I could see of the text on his petition, and it was OBVIOUSLY NOT pro-marijuana. It does not even come close to following ASA recommendations. It is FAR too restrictive, and essentially plays with our city council's time and our money, wasting it, because if it passes in it's current state (without many amendments), it will just be a new ban anyway; one that makes it LOOK like we've addressed it as a city, when really they've just played us. I was disgusted at his tactics. He was giving out lines to play both sides of the issue, and with me, his guess about me was wrong (saying "we need to keep this far away from our kids" etc.). I told him. No, we need to educate people and stop spreading fear based on lies. I refused to sign the crap in that measure, because I am for safe access. If the council does not vote to approve dispensaries with a MUCH less restrictive set of guidelines than proposed in this measure, what they are doing is essentially caving in to the uninformed mobs who fear what they do not understand, at the expense of those of us who really need this to function with debilitating conditions.

To the gentleman who said it is dangerous. You are flat out wrong and obviously don't read much.


Posted by potin, a resident of Southgate
on Sep 29, 2011 at 3:38 pm

pot in paloalto? bring it on!


Posted by Tracey Chen, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 29, 2011 at 3:40 pm

P.S. And I really mean they were playing both sides: My husband signed it because he is FOR having dispensaries here even though he doesn't use cannabis, but that is because he went by what the guy told HIM (that is was to get the dispensaries) without showing him any of the text of the petition. But then again, my husband is not as informed about this issue as I am, and he would not have noticed the problems with the text. Like so many others who signed this, he just signed it because of what the man said. I don't think this measure is good in ANY way, unless it is to bring this issue to the attention of people in Palo Alto. More of whom I hope will come forward to help the city council make the best decisions for all of us. Please, ANYONE who wants to learn more about the issues or help me help them, I have time and will talk to you and work with you.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2011 at 4:53 pm

I will work on voting out each and every city council member that votes to approve this. This is just stupid to bring into the city. We don't need the modest taxes that would be generated. I doubt that the taxes would offset the increase in crime.
City Council Members remember we are watching how you vote on this issue and will work as hard as possible to make sure to end your representing us in the city.


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2011 at 5:21 pm

@ Steve:

Ditto.

I have stayed out of the local political process (other than voting), but I will be extremely vocal regarding any person who thinks that an inebriating drug like marijuana needs to be sold in our community.


Posted by that skunky smell, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm

PROHIBITION works!!! (not)

"but I will be extremely vocal regarding any person who thinks that an inebriating drug like < ALCOHOL > needs to be sold in our community"

Bad news, dude, they're both SOLD in your community.

One by big box stores and little retailers and restaurants and bars.

The other is sold by entrepreneurs on the street.


Posted by es, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU VOTE FOR

We've been through the cluster **** called High Speed Rail. Remember, the devil is in the details, folks. Think twice and ask really well thought out questions regarding actual implementation before fixing your signature to a petition or voting for a ballot measure.

And if someone says, we'll work that out as we go along....RUN FOR THE HILLS!t


Posted by Old Palo Alto, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 29, 2011 at 9:51 pm

I too will work to vote out any council member approving this non sense. I don't want more non tax paying, homeless potheads on the streets in Palo Alto pan handling. I'm always amazed at the hurdles a legitimate business goes through to get "approval" to do business in Palo Alto. But a "dispensary" now that's a no brainer for the council to approve.....Dispensary...what a joke, call it what it is, a head shop.


Posted by Not Too Emotional, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 30, 2011 at 6:34 am

I laugh when I read these posts then think about how many delivery services ALREADY supply Palo Alto. No we don't need a physical dispensary, but also, no, the existence of medical marijuana has been in Palo Alto for over a decade and there has been no tragic events as some suggest might happen. People who profess the doom and gloom of having legal mj avail to citizens of Palo Alto have already been proven wrong...5 or 6 yrs ago.
Relax, grow your own if you can't find it. Palo Alto's weather is PERFECT for some back porch plants.


Posted by Marilyn, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 30, 2011 at 8:59 am

Over a 30-year period, I've watched one of our sons use marijuana on a 'recreational basis' and develop a group of friends with similar interests. Not surprisingly, his teenage sons took to the habit and added alcohol to the mix, to the chagrin of his wife and mother of the boys.

About a year ago, one of the boys proudly showed me his medical marijuana card some doctor authorized for trumped up ailments. He uses it statewide to 'legally' buy pot for himself and his friends.

Their family of 20 years is just now imploding. My son may get fired from his job of 25 years, divorce is imminent, their Los Altos home is being sold so the proceeds can be split, the boys have dropped out of school and are heading ill-prepared into adulthood.

Clearly, I am disappointed in myself for failing to provide whatever my son and grandsons needed to overcome depression and choose better, more productive, ways. It is alarming to watch society wink at addictive behavior patterns, then lament at the destruction caused.

I'm not winking. I strongly oppose marijuana dispensaries and will do what I can to see they never open in Palo Alto.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2011 at 9:46 am

Marilyn

Thank you for your input.

I think that this is the exact type of scenario that many of us are afraid of. Please keep speaking up, we need this story to be heard.

My heart goes out to you.


Posted by that skunky smell, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 30, 2011 at 9:56 am

Marilyn - sorry to hear about your son's troubles. Wasn't quite sure you are blaming it ALL on pot or just implying. My "family" didn't make it 20 years before imploding, and neither of us smoke pot, although our kids do. What does it all mean?

Did you know that 90+% of pot smokers have parents who drank? Someone should do a study.

Away from a sad anecdote and looking at the larger picture....

Recommended viewing - Sunday at 8 on PBS: Prohibition, by Ken Burns

Explores Prohibition over several episodes including the positive effect it had on woman's equality.

For the sake of this discussion, it also explores the Volstead Act's role in putting together for the first time in America: organized crime.

Prohibiting alcohol was a catalyst to organized crime. Much the same as keeping drugs illegal is the holy grail to organized crime these days. Keeps our money going into a "war" on drugs and keeps our prison industrial complex spinning forward.

Burns: "But the draconian law that was passed, the Volstead Act, to administer the amendment was defining alcohol as one-half of 1 percent, and then it had other places where there were loopholes that gave the opportunities to criminals who were disorganized until prohibition to become organized and
create the worst unintended consequence of this all, which is the existence of organized crime."

As the great Mark Twain said: "Nothing so needs reforming as other people`s habits."



Posted by NIMBY, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2011 at 10:43 am

It is one thing to have marijuana discretely delivered to users in Palo Alto, if this is true. It is another thing to have a storefront with customers coming to it from Palo Alto and beyond.

NIMBY


Posted by Jane, a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 30, 2011 at 11:47 am

I hope it passes and that some dispensaries have cafe atmospheres where people can congregate, play Scrabble, drink cofee/tea and have a meeting place like the old neighborhood bars.

AARP can hold chapter meetings there since most of the smokers are 50+ taxpayers, non-violent and your neighbors.

As for the big box stores, isn't Palo Alto supposed to be unique and special? The Menlo Park Safeway is so huge it should have its own zip code and it's automating checkout so they're not even creating jobs.


Posted by Gotta Laugh, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 30, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Bring on the vote...and the yard signs will sprout...NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. The VAST majority of Palo Alto voters do not want a dispensary in Palo Alto.

If it is a medicine...then package it like every other medicine and sell it through existing pharmacies.

If you are sick...there are plenty of outlets within a 15 minute drive of downtown Palo Alto.

If you are just looking to spark some and want do it under cover of a bogus medical marijuana card...just shut up and drive to Mountain View. (Its not such a bad drive and you can stop at Clark's Char-Broiler for a really great cheeseburger once the munchies kick in)

In the mean time...how much money will the City need to spend to fend off the marijuana entrepreneurs...any amount is too much.


Posted by Genie is Out, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 30, 2011 at 12:38 pm

There's no dispensaries in Mtn View, but lots of local delivery services will support Palo Alto and have been doing so for years (sorry to burst the bubble of those who are opposed to it)
I agree, this "vote" is needless. I'm sure Palo Alto would fudge this up just like their traffic ideas, so yes, leave it up to the cities
who know how to do things right, and simply dial the phone to get it delivered in PA like its been done for years. I enjoy NOT having the cities fingers involved in it all. Everything is fine as is.


Posted by James Baloun, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 30, 2011 at 6:25 pm

At work I have the right to see a Material Safety Data Sheet for any chemical I am asked to use. When I buy a bottle of aspirin I am assured that the dosage is 500 mg, not 495 mg and not 505 mg. Just like I take my car to a trained mechanic to adjust the steering to get it done right, I do not cook up my own aspirin in my kitchen. Medical marijuanna implies it is sanction by the prescribing doctor. Even my bottle of orange juice has daily nutritional value. My questions are along the lines of: What exactly are the active medical ingredients? What are the pharmaceutical side effects? What are the second-hand smoke effects? Until a doctor can answer the basic medical questions with a straight face, I question how medical it is.


Posted by NIMBY, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I am not opposed to marijuana per se. I don't really care if there are deliveries. I am opposed to having marijuana stores in Palo Alto as long as most other cities prohibit them. So, again, not in Palo Alto.


Posted by Black Seed, a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2011 at 3:43 am

Everybody has a right to knowledge and the right to choose. By making Marijuana illegal in the first place the state violated individual rights. It is a fact that most adverse symptoms associated with Marijuana are falsified or inconclusive. The positive or palliative effects of Marijuana are rarely highlighted. In comparison to tobacco or alcohol which is sometimes sold at concentrations of over 40 percent, marijuana it has been established has milder effects on the human body. The mind altering effects of Marijuana have been exaggerated to the point that even learned people cease to be objective about it. If it is about personal health and protecting the sanctity of the human body then lets stop the pretense and ban everything including Tobacco, Alcohol, Chemotherapy, Sedatives and GUNS! The named vices kill, maim and destroy millions more, yet they are legal. If you do not want your kids doing pot; tell them not to! Explain to them why! Do not try to generalize and utilize your parenting skills which no authority has vetted on the rest of society!


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2011 at 8:27 am

This thread is not about banning pot or even whether or not it is beneficial to someone's health.

This thread is about whether to have pot shops or medical dispensaries in Palo Alto.

Having a pot shop in Palo Alto is not the way to generate sales tax and is not the way to encourage tourists to the city. If Palo Altans want pot they can drive elsewhere instead of us encouraging potheads to drive while under the influence to and from elsewhere.

This is so wrong on so many levels.


Posted by Sober streets, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 3, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Got to agree with the last comment. There is absolutely no reason to have a weed house in Palo Alto. What do you suppose the percentage of those with med cards actually live in Palo Alto? That's the fact I would like to see. With that information, I could decide if it would really help my community or would I be helping another one like the East side? I might support it if you had to be a resident to purchase. With that, you could put the little smokin house up in Foothill Park and have a weekly magic bus road trip for the hundreds with cancer and chemo eating disorders (yeah right). Thats why we voted to legalize medicinal herb ( at least that's what they told us).


Posted by JB, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 3, 2011 at 10:26 pm

To Black Seek,

My point is if MJ is to be called 'Medical' there should some effort to define what it is and to control it. By this I mean, define which varieties and how and under what conditions it is prepared. I do not see how any medical MJ can in any way mix with the uncontrolled street variety which is poured out and divided into portions on what, someone's garage or kitchen cutting board?

The nightmare scenario is bales of MJ making their way through a tunnel across the boarder with sewer water running along the corner of the tunnel.

Keep medical MJ source controlled under medical standards. Are the medical dispensaries up to the challenge? I mean really control the source.

Advocates will be quick to point out that dispensaries are all up to the highest (pun intended) standards. The reality is MJ has a bad rep to fight.


Posted by JB, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 3, 2011 at 10:56 pm

HSR and Caltrain on the Peninsula. It can be done. The property taking can be limited to a few feet. The railroad already has the right of way. It is in the greater interest of the people.

Again I refer you to Clem's
Corridor To Do List
where he offers excellent suggestions on how to do it right and is scrupulously critical of the CHSR authority.

Web Link

Here is his suggestion to cut in half the pouring of concrete

Web Link

If you are really serious in your opposition, please point out where Clem is wrong.


Posted by JB, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 3, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Apologies. Disregard previous post. Wrong discussion. Return to your previous ranting.


Posted by that skunky smell, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm

"Even my bottle of orange juice has daily nutritional value. My questions are along the lines of: What exactly are the active medical ingredients? "

Nice try. You can look up the nutritional value of an orange or an apple on a lot of websites, but when you buy one, you can only GUESS at the nutritional content of that particular piece of fruit.

Did you get your orange from Safeway or Dreagers? Organic or conventional? Picked yesterday or three weeks ago? (vitamin C decays in the fruit rapidly, like sugars) Grown in healthy soil or grown in cement and feed by chemicals?

How did y'all like that first episode of Ken Burn's Prohibition on PBS?

Mark Twain : "Nothing so needs reforming as other people`s habits."

Skol!


Posted by JB, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 3, 2011 at 11:17 pm

I would settle for bringing MJ up to the standards of the cigarette industry.

Maybe it wold make a dent in the gangs roaming the hills of Mendocino and New Mexico.


Posted by V Cardellini, a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 7, 2011 at 10:22 pm

The White House has petitions on it's web site. The petition to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana has a signature deadline of Oct. 22, 2011. Anyone wishing to sign has to create a log-in with their true name. Help spread the word.
Web Link


Posted by Dave, a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Dec 28, 2011 at 8:52 am

What's all the fuss about? Medical patients will be able to finally get their medication here in town without going to sf or san jose. Patients not in Palo alto will go to the closest place near them. Are the patients going to come kick your dog?


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