City: Private Pot Sales Not Allowed

City: Private Pot Sales Not Allowed
Posted by CN Staff on December 22, 2005 at 07:52:15 PT
By Heather MacDonald, Staff Writer
Source: Oakland Tribune
Oakland -- Measure Z, which made private, adult use of cannabis the Police Department's lowest law enforcement priority, does not allow commercial sales of the drug at private clubs, the City Council decided Tuesday. Brimming with outrage, more than a dozen supporters of the measure  passed with 65.2 percent of the vote in November 2004  accused council members of thwarting the will of the voters by narrowing the measure's scope.
But a majority of the council decided allowing private clubs to sell cannabis to adults would threaten the city's medical marijuana dispensaries by inviting the federal government to crack down on Oakland. "It would be an enforcement nightmare," said Councilmember Jean Quan (Montclair-Laurel). Councilmembers Nancy Nadel (Downtown-West Oakland) and Desley Brooks (Eastmont-Seminary) voted no, and Vice Mayor Jane Brunner (North Oakland) abstained. Nadel and Brooks said they favored referring the matter to the Measure Z oversight committee to craft a definition of private marijuana use, cultivation, sale, possession and distribution under the ordinance. "We have to have facilities where adults can use cannabis like they can drink cocktails and smoke cigars elsewhere in the city of Oakland," said Dale Gieringer of California NORML. Richard Lee, the owner of SR 71, one of the city's medical marijuana dispensaries, said private clubs have been operating since the passage of Measure Z. "Work with us," Lee said. Measure Z also requires the city to lobby the state to legalize adult possession, cultivation, distribution and use of marijuana and set up a system to tax and regulate the sale of the drug if it is decriminalized. City Attorney John Russo has ruled those provisions unenforceable. The 11-member oversight committee finally has enough members to meet, 14 months after the election. Councilmember Larry Reid (Elmhurst-East Oakland) and Quan have not made their appointments, City Clerk LaTonda Simmons said. Susan Stephenson of the Oakland Civil Liberties Alliance said she is eager for the committee to start work and compile data from the Oakland Police Department to determine whether marijuana-related arrests have declined under Measure Z. "We're weighing our options," Stephenson said. The council also directed City Administrator Deborah Edgerly to expedite any requests for two unused medical marijuana dispensary permits. Two of the four clubs permitted in Oakland were recently closed down for a variety of code violations, Edgerly said. Note: Council says letting clubs peddle marijuana would invite fed crackdown.Source: Oakland Tribune (CA)Author: Heather MacDonald, Staff WriterPublished: December 22, 2005Copyright: 2005 MediaNews Group, Inc. Contact: triblet Website: NORML -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on December 22, 2005 at 15:52:05 PT
Related Article from United Press International
Oakland Council Blocks Marijuana Clubs***OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Oakland has refused to allow private marijuana clubs, fearing a federal crackdown that would close dispensaries for medical marijuana permitted in California. City Council members this week said Measure Z, which passed in November 2004, does not allow the commercial sale of marijuana. The referendum makes adult marijuana use the police department's lowest law-enforcement priority in an effort to decriminalize it. The U.S. Justice Department argues that federal laws supersede referendums approved in California and a few other states allowing people with cancer, AIDS and some other diseases to use marijuana. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the federal government. Federal agencies, so far, have avoided strict enforcement of the ban on medical marijuana. Copyright: 2005 United Press International, Inc. 
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