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San Jose Adopts Urgency Ordinance Prohibiting Recreational Pot

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- An urgency ordinance passed Tuesday by the San Jose City Council will prohibit recreational marijuana use ahead of the Nov. 8 election when Proposition 64 could receive the green light on the statewide ballot.

The council unanimously adopted the ordinance that reaffirms the city's rule that non-medical marijuana cannot be cultivated, processed, manufactured, distributed, tested or sold.

A new KPIX 5 SurveyUSA poll showed most voters are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. Of the more than 700 likely voters surveyed, 54 percent said they are voting yes on prop 64 with just 39 percent saying they are voting no.


The urgency ordinance allows the city to evaluate, reach out to the community and hold public hearings on whether to allow recreational marijuana use if most voters at the polls endorse the proposition.

The proposition would allow adults aged 21 and older to use marijuana for recreational purposes if passed by a majority vote and go into effect Nov. 9.

The proposition would permit marijuana possession, transportation, purchase, consumption and sharing to no more than one ounce.

Individuals would be allowed to have up to 28.5 grams of marijuana, 4 to 8 grams of concentrated cannabis and six living plants at their home, according to city officials.

"We want to make sure this doesn't become the Wild West again just because there's a new measure that's passed," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo

Liccardo said the city saw an explosion of pot clubs and dispensaries after the legalization of medical marijuana. He doesn't want to see the same thing happen if Prop 64 passes.

"This is an effort to hit the 'pause' button," explained Liccardo. "We know that the state will come out with regulations if the measure passes. But the problem is they're not in place on November 9th. It's going to take several months."

While Proposition 64 does allow local governments to decide where marijuana stores could open up, some feel like cities are trying to thwart the will of voters.

"The voters should get want they want," said Houdini Smoke Shop owner Naz Barak. And if it becomes legal, that's a good thing -- not just for the people, but for the state too."

Yes of Prop 64 spokesperson Tenoch Flores said over-regulation could have unintended consequences.

"To have a complete ban on marijuana sales and commercial availability does increase the likelihood that a black market will still maintain and thrive," said Flores.

Cities would be allowed to prohibit or regulate outdoor cultivation, but couldn't ban indoor cultivation, city officials said.

The proposition's passage would also make way for a state program to recreational marijuana businesses that would start issuing licenses in 2018.

If passed, the proposition would create a state Marijuana Tax Fund that would set aside 60 percent of the collected money for youth substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, 20 percent for law enforcement and 20 percent for environmental cleanup and enforcement, according to proponents.

Opponents have argued that the initiative doesn't set a standard for impaired marijuana use while driving and allows convicted methamphetamine and heroin dealers to obtain licenses.

TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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