Marijuana Moratorium – From the December 13 City Council Meeting
"No stems, no seeds, that we don't need" – Cheech and Chong, 1970
By ROBERT JENSEN The Desert Independent
December 22, 2016
BLYTHE, Calif – The City Council decision on what do to with the new recreational law for marijuana that was immediately put into effect on November 8 was short and swift.
Put a moratorium on it.
This was done so that the City Council would have the time to hold a study session as to the impact of legalized marijuana on the economy and crime rates of the city of Blythe.
The following is a listing of the discussion points surrounding the issue:
The first decision was to put any and all discussion on hold until an expert could come to Blythe, scrutinize the premises and make a preliminary decision.
There are fast-food and motel industries that would benefit from deregulation as well as out-of-state folks sticking around to enjoy the desert and the Colorado River.
There was a concern from the police that more crime would be imported into the area as well.
However, because this is a cash-heavy business – no credit cards, ATMs or banks – there would have to be heavy security, armored trucks and in-house safes. Hold-ups, not drug crimes, would seem to be type of crime wave to be expected.
The moratorium needs to be put into place until a decision on incensing or a lack thereof can take place as soon as a consultant can make a decision.
A local ordinance needs to be in place by June of 2017 – whether or not to ban dispensaries – or the State of California will take precedence and issue local licenses.
The State will take over all licensing by January of 2018 if local cities have not yet done so.
An unpopular suggestion was to check not only for age limits of 21 but for California residency as well.
At any rate, a decision has to be made by June otherwise the State will make the decision on a dispensary by January 1918.
The State has the right to a 15% tax on every 28 grams of weed sold.
The State also has the right to tax every square foot of marijuana plant grown for personal use.
One wag on the council stated that – with all the taxation – it might be cheaper to buy from the local merchant on the street corner.
The next meeting of the City Council will be held on January 10 at 6:00 in the City Council Chambers.