Monday, May 24, 2010

Marijuana Co-ops and Distribution Centers in Eureka, CA?

I’m on the Planning Commission for the city of Eureka, CA, and on Tuesday, June 1 from 2:00 – 4:00 we are looking at a city planning ordinance to deal with medical marijuana. The ordinance has 2 parts. Part 1 is about individuals with a 215 card growing their own marijuana in their own homes; it’s pretty straight forward. State law and subsequent court cases say we have to allow them to grow their own pot, so the ordinance sets up guidelines about how that can be done. I encourage you to read the text of Prop. 215.

The 2nd part of the ordinance, though, is more controversial. There are those 215 permit holders who aren’t able to grow their own marijuana (health impediments or lack of permission from landlords, for example) so we are discussing whether the City of Eureka should allow for 215 Cooperatives to grow marijuana on larger scales, and whether they should be allowed to set up distribution centers for their members.

Theoretically, the 215 card holders would set up a cooperative that would grow the marijuana in an industrial building somewhere, for example, and then set up a distribution center in some place like an office complex for their members to pick up their marijuana. The questions are 1) Does the City want marijuana cooperatives and distribution centers at all, 2) Does the City want to allow a limited number of them, or 3) Does the City want to allow an unlimited number of them.

The first time this came before us we had a lot of “unlimited” proponents, folks who have 215 cards, and some health professionals that promote the use of medicinal marijuana. We didn’t have any of the following:

1) Health professionals that don’t support medical marijuana
2) Community members concerned about the sociological impact of marijuana coops and distribution centers
3) Law enforcement folks concerned about crime associated with marijuana coops and distribution centers
4) Youth/Education folks concerned about access for young people

So if you or someone you know falls into one of these categories, either pass this blog's link on to them or send me their name and contact info so I can contact them directly.

Also, if you have strong feelings on this issue, show up at the City Council Chambers in City Hall on Tuesday, June 1 at 2:00 to voice your concerns.