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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Medical Marijuana Dispensary Permits
City of Berkeley
Citizen Initiative - Majority Approval Required
24,958 / 49.8% Yes votes ...... 25,160 / 50.2% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Dec 15 1:28pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (88/88)|
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
Shall the City's ordinances be amended to require the City to issue a permit to medical marijuana dispensaries as a matter of right and without a public hearing, eliminate limits on the amounts of medical marijuana possessed by patients or caregivers; and establish a peer review group for medical marijuana collectives? Financial Implications: Possible increase in law enforcement costs and possible zoning related cost savings from change in public hearing requirement for marijuana dispensary permits.
1. The ordinance would eliminate the existing limits on the amount of medical marijuana a qualified patient or primary caregiver can possess and cultivate, which are currently 2.5 pounds of dried cannabis (if grown outdoors) or 1.5 pounds of dried cannabis (if grown indoors), and up to 10 cannabis plants (indoors or outdoors) at any one time, unless a medical doctor authorizes the patient to posses or cultivate more. The amendment retains but modifies the current limit of 10 outdoor cannabis plants on a single parcel, to only count plants that are visible from other property.
2. The ordinance would eliminate the existing limits of 12.5 pounds of dried cannabis and 50 cannabis plants that a collective composed of qualified patients and primary caregivers can possess, and provide instead that such a collective may possess a reasonable quantity of dried cannabis and cannabis plants to meet the medical needs of patient members as long as no more cannabis is accumulated than is necessary to meet such needs.
3. The ordinance would establish a Peer Review Committee composed to certify that any new cannabis collective or dispensary has a strategy to meet safety and operational compliance standards established by the Peer Review Committee, and to refer dispensaries found to be in willful or ongoing violation of the standards to the City for action. No such committee is currently required by law.
4. The ordinance would require the City to deputize individuals operating collectives or dispensaries, who are on the Peer Review Committee, as "Drug Control Officers" for the purpose of providing them with immunity under federal law 21 U.S.C. Section 885(d), and reasonably accommodate the provision of medical cannabis to patients and their primary caregivers within 30 days if access to cannabis is interrupted by federal law enforcement activity. There is no similar obligation imposed by current law.
5. The ordinance would provide that qualified patients may cultivate medical cannabis in their residence or on their property in compliance with BMC Chapter 12.26 governing medical cannabis protocols, as amended by this initiative, without securing a use permit. This is declaratory of existing law.
6. The ordinance would establish that medical cannabis dispensaries in compliance with BMC Chapter 12.26 governing medical cannabis protocols, as amended by this initiative, would be permitted as of right, without the need for a public hearing to secure a use permit, as a Retail Sales Use under the City's existing zoning ordinance, BMC Title 23, in districts where such uses are otherwise permitted. Under current law such uses would be subject to a use permit and thus require a public hearing.
Financial Implications Uncertain possible increase in law enforcement costs if the additional marijuana permitted result in robberies of dispensaries or requires other law enforcement response. Uncertain limited cost savings as a result of changing the permit requirement for medical marijuana dispensaries from a use permit requiring a public hearing to a zoning permit issued as a matter of right if the dispensary otherwise meets zoning standards.
s/MANUELA ALBUQUERQUE, Berkeley City Attorney
|Arguments For Measure R||Arguments Against Measure R|
|Berkeley's medical marijuana law is outdated and needs revision. Measure R, the Patients Access to Medical Cannabis Act of 2004 (PAMCA), will bring Berkeley's law into compliance with state law and recent court rulings. This measure was written by patients, doctors, caregivers, and concerned citizens to protect patients' rights and safeguard access to medical marijuana in Berkeley.
PAMCA will (1) replace Berkeley's arbitrary limits on medical marijuana with those supported by doctors and based on personal medical need, (2) establish a formal peer-review committee to publish and enforce protocols at local dispensaries, (3) create a review process and zoning certificate for medical marijuana dispensaries, and (4) provide a forum for community input and oversight into medical marijuana implementation in Berkeley. Unlike the current law, PAMCA contains strong language prohibiting for profit cultivation and diversion for non-medical use.
In 1996, 86% of Berkeley voters approved the statewide medical marijuana initiative, Proposition 215. Since then, the Berkeley City Council, Health Department, and Zoning Department have been reluctant to implement this law. The local medical marijuana ordinance (BMC 12.26), passed by the City Council in 2001, is one of the most restrictive in the state. It places both patients and caregivers at risk of arrest, and leaves the city of Berkeley vulnerable to lawsuits and costly legal challenges. It passed against the recommendation of the City Health Commission and Police Review Commission, and was actively opposed by local doctors, medical marijuana patients, and their caregivers.
Patients and caregivers need your help now to change this outdated law. Protect safe access to medical marijuana in Berkeley. Vote yes on the Patients Access to Medical Cannabis Act, Measure R.
s/JAMES BLAIR, Patient Advocate and Measure Proponent
We all want to ensure that patients get their medicine and have no problems acquiring it. There have been no reports that Berkeley's framework for dispensing medical cannabis is causing problems.
Berkeley's ordinances are very close to Oakland's. Berkeley requires that medical marijuana outlets go through the City's standard permit-approval process. Oakland requires similar business-license approval.
Measure R would eliminate Berkeley's approval process entirely.
Currently, the City can review and approve the location and operation of a new outlet, and place conditions on its operation. Measure R would discard this approval entirely! We've had a dangerous experience with one outlet, where several armed robberies, with guns, happened in a Berkeley neighborhood.
This measure would allow the medical marijuana outlets themselves, using "peer review," to approve new applications and under this measure the City would have no choice but to permit an "approved" outlet.
We need a review process the City can control.
Measure R would remove all limits on the amounts of medical marijuana a patient or an outlet could have on hand. Berkeley allows a patient up to 2.5 lbs. of medical marijuana at any time. Oakland's limit is 3 lbs.
If this measure passes Berkeley will have no limits at all.
The combination of removing limits on the amounts and eliminating City review and approval of new outlets, is too drastic a change.
This measure simply goes too far. Join eight City Council members and PLEASE VOTE NO ON MEASURE R.
s/DAVIDA COADY, M.D., Executive Director, Options Recovery Services
|RETAIN CITY OVERSIGHT - VOTE NO ON MEASURE R
Berkeley supports medical marijuana, and our existing medical cannabis outlets, but Measure R takes us in the wrong direction.
Measure R would exempt new medical marijuana outlets from City review and approval, and that is bad for Berkeley.
Berkeley voted overwhelmingly for Prop. 215 to make medical marijuana legal in California. Our support for patient needs in Berkeley is strong, but so is our support for safe neighborhoods through our permitting process. Businesses in Berkeley are required to go through a City review and approval process. Medical marijuana outlets should be no exception.
Medical marijuana outlets operate as businesses where cannabis is bought and sold to caregivers and patients at market rates. Berkeley's three existing outlets have operated responsibly and are well-managed. However, a former club had several armed invasion robberies and was shut down. The City's use-permit process will ensure that new outlets that apply to locate in Berkeley are well-managed and operated responsibly.
By law a patient in Berkeley can have a maximum of 2.5 lbs of medical marijuana and a club can have on hand a maximum of 12.5 pounds. Measure R erases these limits entirely.
The combination of large amounts of marijuana readily on hand and no City review or permitting process presents a dangerous combination for Berkeley.
We support medical marijuana within reasonable limits to ensure adequate supplies for those in need. Berkeley can have medical marijuana for patients without compromising the safety of our neighborhoods and exposing us to more crime. Retain City oversight and our use permit process.
Join former City Manager Weldon Rucker and David Manson, Executive Director of Berkeley Boosters. VOTE NO ON MEASURE R
s/MARGARET BRELAND, Councilmember
Berkeley's current medical marijuana law is not working. Patients and caregivers need your assistance now to guarantee access to safe medicine.
Patients Access to Medical Cannabis Act of 2004 (PAMCA) will:
Arbitrary limits on plant numbers are not scientific. There is no established average yield for a cannabis plant. Likewise, personal use patterns vary widely between patients. That is why no specific limits were set in Proposition 215.
Berkeley's dispensaries are safe and effective. There has been absolutely no increase in crime associated with medical cannabis. These fears are unfounded.
It has been eight years since Proposition 215, the medical cannabis law, passed statewide, and Berkeley patients are still at risk of arrest. Protect your neighbors and neighborhoods. Vote yes on Measure R.
s/ANGEL McCLARY RAICH, Medical Cannabis Patient
|Full Text of Measure R|
|THE PATIENTS ACCESS TO MEDICAL CANNABIS ACT OF 2004
The People of the City of Berkeley do hereby enact as follows:
THE PATIENTS ACCESS TO MEDICAL CANNABIS ACT OF 2004
SECTION 1 TITLE
SECTION2 FINDINGS AND DECLARATIONS
SECTION3 AMENDMENTS TO BERKELEY MUNICIPAL CODE CHAPTER 12.26
Section 12.26.010 Purposes.
Section 12.26.030 Definitions.
Section 12.26.040 Medical cannabis collectives.
Section 12.26.050 Availability in pharmacies.
Section 12.26.060 Quality control encouraged.
Section 12.26.070 Permissible quantities of medical cannabis.
Section 12.26.080 Transportation of medical cannabis. Aqualified patient or a primary caregiver of a qualified patient may transport medical cannabis within the City of Berkeley to the extent that the quantity transported and the method, timing, and distance of the transportation are reasonably related to the qualified patient's current medical need at the time of transport. (Ord. 6620-NS § 1, 2001)
Section 12.26.090 Medical cannabis paraphernalia. A qualified patient and the primary caregiver of a qualified patient may possess paraphernalia that the quali- fied patient needs to smoke or otherwise consume medical cannabis. (Ord. 6620-NS § 1, 2001)
Section 12.26.100 Police procedures and training.
Section 12.26.110 Peer Review Committee.
Section 12.26.120 Emergency Distribution. The City of Berkeley strongly opposes the federal prosecution of medical cannabis patients, caregivers, and providers. The City shall make all reasonable accommodation for the provision of medical cannabis to Qualified Patients or their Primary Caregivers in the event that access to medical cannabis is interrupted or severely diminished as the result of civil or criminal federal law enforcement activity. The City shall accommodate distribution of medical cannabis as early as possible following such a disruption and no later than thirty (30) days after the disruption.
SECTION 4 PERMITTING OF DISPENSARIES
SECTION 5 SEVERABILITY