Common sense be damned

City Council’s majority is tone deaf—and dumb—when it comes to cannabis

A hail Mary effort has gotten underway recently to halt a pending city ordinance prohibiting the local cannabis trade, as well as outdoor growing of the herb.

As Howard Hardee reports in Newslines this week (see page 9), a recently organized group led by a local cannabis delivery service owner has been attempting to gather enough signatures to put the issue before voters. That’s a huge undertaking, even for folks with vast experience in such efforts, so we don’t expect that the group will be successful by the deadline to submit the petition, today (Dec. 7). As of Tuesday evening, the effort was far short of reaching the 5,000-signature threshold.

But here’s the thing: We’re fairly certain how the community would weigh in, because citizens have already given their stance on cannabis legalization. Indeed, a solid majority of city residents approved Proposition 64 (60.9 percent voted yes; 39.1 percent no) during the 2016 general election. That’s a greater percentage than the results statewide (57.1 percent).

Despite that clear message from voters, the City Council’s conservative majority has rammed through its prohibition policy.

What does this mean for the community? For starters, the city will lose out on a much-needed source of potential revenue—in the form of taxes and fees that could be collected from permitting commercial operations. Additionally, it means that folks who use the herb, both recreationally and medicinally, will find it more difficult to procure. And irony of all ironies, the move will simply serve to enrich the black market.

All of this is common sense—a concept the council majority has trouble grasping.