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The conservative-majority City Council ignores voters’ clear signals on marijuana

Once again, the conservatives on the Chico City Council proved that they are tone-deaf when it comes to cannabis legalization.

During the panel’s regular meeting on Tuesday (May 16), Vice Mayor Reanette Fillmer, without citing any sources, stated that 11 percent to 12 percent of the city’s population smokes marijuana. Her logic apparently is that those statistics aren’t significant enough to compel city leaders to allow for commercial sales and outdoor growing of the plant.

If Fillmer had done some quick research, however, she’d have learned that an overwhelming majority of Chicoans (61 percent) voted in favor of Proposition 64, the California law legalizing cannabis for recreational use. What that means is, regardless of what percentage of residents actually consume the herb, most who live here believe it should be legal to do so.

In that context, it makes sense that they’d also favor local places to purchase marijuana. The alternative is to buy it on the black market or to grow it, which, incidentally, the panel stands to make more difficult. During the meeting, the four conservatives voted to send a draft city ordinance that includes a ban on pot shops and personal outdoor grows to the Planning Commission for review.

Don’t like their efforts? Give them an earful. Clearly, they’re having difficulty getting the message from voters. And remember, three of their seats are up for grabs in 2018.