Altered State

Support for Proposition 19 appears to be gathering momentum, per Jerry Roberts’ analysis of recent polling, and I’m happy to hear that the citizens of the state of California are willing to take action on this issue, unlike our local elected officials.

I have heard nothing from the Board of Supervisors or the city councils in our county indicating that they intend to get licensing and taxing plans in place before or shortly after the election. If they were acting in the best interests of their constituencies they would look at these issues before the vote instead of allowing governments like Oakland and Sacramento to beat them to the punch. Goleta says they’ll look at it after the election, not even that much info from the BoS or S.B. City Council.

If we don’t get some licensed growers and retailers in our county, local pot smokers will be smoking weed grown elsewhere and paying taxes to other counties and cities. Shame on our leaders for letting that potentially rich source of resources get away or even be delayed.

And double shame on the Santa Barbara City Council for spending taxpayer money on ballot measure T, asking voters to ban medical marijuana dispensaries when they could have just voted themselves to ban them. The council needs to be freshened with new blood, folks willing to do a job for their constituency. Let’s tax the dispensaries instead of banning them!

Then maybe the council could direct the city to negotiate a fair contract for the Santa Barbara Police officers instead of trying to force them to take a pay cut. We need a competent police force, and can’t weather the potential loss of 25 officers. It would be easier to pay these cops what they are worth if the city had a tax plan for pot growers and retailers in place after Prop 19 passes.—J.R. Nicholson, Goleta


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