The fight over the regulation of recreational marijuana is taking shape between the pot industry and the leaders of Imperial Beach and other local towns.
The IB’s current proposal, if passed, would put one or two dispensaries on Palm Avenue.
City council will vote on the draft ordinance regulating the sale of recreational marijuana on Wednesday.
The city is doing so after the Association of Cannabis Professionals (ACP) tried to put its own proposal to the polls.
The majority of Imperial Beach voters want access to marijuana, but Mayor Serge Dedina says, not at any cost.
âIt sounded like a Clint Eastwood movie, where these bad guys come in and kind of tell you what to do or else they’ll do it for you,â Mayor Dedina said.
Since the passage of Prop 64, legalizing the use of recreational marijuana, the CPA has lobbied local community leaders to get things moving.
“We are first and foremost advocates. A lot of us have been involved in politics over the past few years and we’ve kind of found a niche for ourselves,” said CAP executive director Dallin Young.
Dallin says the advocacy group used data from Prop 64 to determine in which communities voters overwhelmingly approved the use of recreational marijuana.
They include Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, Lemon Grove, Encinitas, Carlsbad, and Oceanside.
Young says part of the strategy to discourage an outright ban is to put your own proposal to a popular vote.
âWe gave them the benefit of the doubt by allowing them to do it on their own and none of them did,â Young said.
Dedina said it looked more like a threat to the community that the group’s proposal included growth in residential neighborhoods, smoking rooms and several dispensaries.
“These grass cowboys come in from the outside and put a gun to our head and tell us you’re going to change 35 years in 40 years of community zoning to put weed plants in the middle of residential neighborhoods.” , said Mayor Dedina.
As strong as it sounds, this is a strategy the leader of the advocacy group seems to agree with.
âWe have had medical marijuana in this state for 20 years. At this point we have three towns across the county that have regulations or ordinances in place. I would say if this is how they want to see it, sure, it’s about time, âYoung said.
The ACP measure filed with the IB city clerk was refused. Dedina said city council will consider its own ordinance at Wednesday’s council meeting.