Op-Ed: Medical Marijuana (by Dan Furtado)

Posted on March 10th, 2017 by Downtown Campbell

Editor's Note: We don't normally publish op-eds on DowntownCampbell.com, but Dan Furtado, a former mayor of Campbell asked us to post this so we're making an exception this time.

Medical marijuana has been approved for use in California. Following guidelines established by California state law and regulations, patients may acquire and use marijuana. In Campbell, medical marijuana patients may have marijuana delivered from dispensaries established in other cities, patients may possess and use marijuana and grow up to six plants for personal use. Last November, California voters also passed Proposition 64, legalizing marijuana use for recreational purposes. Implementing regulations for recreational use of marijuana will be published in 2018, but at present, Proposition 64 allows possession and personal use of an ounce of marijuana and ability to also grow up to six plants. Additional regulations on use of medical marijuana will likewise be published in 2018.

The local initiative, Measure B, seeks to immediately allow up to 3 medical marijuana dispensaries to be established in Campbell, as well as allow for increased cultivation of medical marijuana within city limits. These dispensaries could be located near daycare centers, parks, and homes. The initiative further provides that patients could cultivate up to 100 square feet of marijuana plants without a license from the city and caregivers could cultivate up to 500 square feet of plants without a license from the city. There is no restriction placed on where cultivation can take place.

Measures C, however, provides for a more safe and reasonable approach to access and use of medical marijuana. Measure C on the ballot would impose a moratorium on marijuana dispensaries located in Campbell until April 2019. The measure would also provide that dispensaries be at least 100 feet from residential properties and 600 feet from child care facilities, schools, parks and community centers. Remember, delivery of medical marijuana is legal in Campbell under current law. Experience in other cities has demonstrated that traffic, congestion, and community disruption occur in areas close to dispensaries.

Measure A on the ballot provides for a Gross Receipts tax on marijuana businesses that might ultimately be approved in the City. Similar to other cities, the initial tax would be between 7-15% to cover increased city expenses for services, such as police, fire, and code enforcement.

Vote Yes on Measures A and C for a safe method to implement medical marijuana. Protect our children.

Vote No on Measure B, as it allows little control of dispensary location and extensive growth of marijuana plants in the city limits.

Sincerely, Dan Furtado, Former Mayor, City of Campbell

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