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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Alameda County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Measure Z
Marijuana Law Enforcement
City of Oakland

87,201 / 65.2% Yes votes ...... 46,563 / 34.8% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 15 1:28pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (257/257)
Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Shall the ordinance requiring the City of Oakland (1) to make law enforcement related to private adult cannabis (marijuana) use, distribution, sale, cultivation and possession, the City's lowest law enforcement priority; (2) to lobby to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis for adult private use, distribution, sale, cultivation and possession; (3) to license, tax and regulate cannabis sales if California law is amended to allow such actions; and (4) to create a committee to oversee the ordinance's implementation, be adopted?

Summary Prepared by City Attorney:
Title: Cannabis Regulation - An Ordinance that Would Require that the City (1) Establish a System to License, Tax and Regulate Cannabis (Marijuana) Sales As Soon as Possible under California Law; (2) Create a Committee to Oversee the Ordinance's Implementation and Disbursement of Revenue from Licensing and Taxation of Businesses that Sell Cannabis; (3) Adopt Law Enforcement Policies Related to Cannabis; and (4) Advocate for Changes in Laws to Support Implementation and Goals of the Ordinance

Summary: This proposed ordinance would require that the City of Oakland establish a system to license, tax and regulate cannabis for adult use as soon as possible under California law and adopt regulations regarding licensing and taxation of businesses that sell cannabis. The proposed ordinance makes investigation, citation, and arrest for private adult cannabis offenses Oakland's lowest law enforcement priority.

The proposed ordinance would require that the City create an eleven (11) member committee to oversee the implementation of the ordinance. The Committee's responsibilities include (1) ensuring timely implementation of the ordinance's provisions and (2) overseeing disbursement of revenues generated from licensing, regulation and taxation of licensed cannabis businesses to ensure that revenues are spent on City services such as schools, libraries and youth programs.

The ordinance also requires that the City advocate for changes in state and other laws that would allow taxation and regulation of cannabis and end prosecution, arrest, investigation and imprisonment for adult, private cannabis offenses.

s/JOHN RUSSO City Attorney

Fiscal Impact from City Auditor:
SUMMARY

This measure authorizes the City of Oakland to submit to the voters a ballot measure that would require the City to:

1. make law enforcement related to private adult cannabis (marijuana) use the lowest law enforcement priority;

2. lobby to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis (marijuana) for adult private use, distribution, sale, cultivation and possession;

3. license, tax and regulate cannabis (marijuana) sales if California law is amended to allow and authorize such actions; and

4. create a Community Committee to oversee the ordinance's implementation. The "lowest law enforcement priority" provision shall not apply to minors. The Community Oversight Committee (to insure the timely implementation of the Oakland Cannabis Regulation) shall be composed of members appointed by the City Council, the Mayor, the City Auditor, and the City Manager. The committee's responsibilities shall include implementation of the Lowest Law Enforcement Priority policy; making recommendations; monitoring the disbursement of funds generated by the cannabis revenue; and reporting annually to the Council on the implementation of this ordinance. The ordinance does not contain a specific provision to finance the costs of performing annual audits.

FISCAL IMPACT

The City of Oakland has not prepared an estimate related to changing enforcement priorities based on the passage of this measure. Therefore it is difficult to render an opinion with insufficient data.

s/ROLAND E. SMITH, CPA, CFS City Auditor

Impartial Analysis from City Attorney
This voter initiative would make private adult cannabis (marijuana) offenses the City of Oakland's lowest law enforcement priority (6); require the City to lobby to eliminate criminal penalties for private adult cannabis offenses (8) and license, tax and regulate cannabis businesses if State of California laws are amended to allow such actions (5); and create an oversight committee (7).

Two of the Measure's Provisions are Unconstitutional

Sections 5 and 8 of this measure are unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable. Section 5 requires that the City of Oakland license, tax and regulate the sale of cannabis for adult use if state law is amended to permit such actions. Section 8 requires that the City of Oakland lobby for changes in laws to (1) eliminate criminal penalties for private adult cannabis use, distribution, sale, cultivation and possession and (2) allow cities and counties to license, regulate and tax cannabis businesses.

These provisions are unconstitutional because they do not enact a law. Neither the lobbying provision, nor the requirement that the City pass legislation that would regulate and tax cannabis businesses, if state law is amended, enacts a law.

The initiative power may be exercised only to adopt or reject laws. Cal. Const. Art. 11, Section 8; American Federation of Labor v. Eu, 36 Cal. 3d 687, 708 (1984) (invalidating an initiative that required state legislature to ask Congress to change federal law); Marblehead v. City of San Clemente, 226 Cal.App.3d 1504, 1509, 1510 (1991) (court struck down an initiative that directed City Council to amend the General Plan rather than amending the General Plan directly); Fishman v. City of Palo Alto, 86 Cal.App.3d 506, 509 (1978).

The City must Comply with the Other Provisions of the Measure if it Passes If this initiative passes, the City must (1) make investigation, citation and arrest of private adult cannabis offenses (e.g. use, distribution, sale, cultivation and possession of cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes) its lowest law enforcement priority; and (2) create an eleven member (11) oversight committee to "oversee" the ordinance's implementation.

Passage of this Measure will not Change California and Federal Law Both of which Prohibit Non-Medical Cannabis Use

Private adult cannabis offenses would remain unlawful if this measure passes; both California and federal law prohibit non-medical use, possession, cultivation, distribution of cannabis. The City would continue to have the power to enforce laws prohibiting non-medical use, possession, cultivation, distribution and sale of cannabis, although the enforcement would be its lowest law enforcement priority.

The terms "lowest law enforcement priority" and "private adult cannabis offenses" are not defined in the measure. The common sense meaning of "lowest law enforcement priority" would require that the City make all other law enforcement priorities a higher priority. "Private adult cannabis offenses" presumably refers to marijuana use, cultivation, sale, possession, distribution that occurs in a private place, such as an adult's home. Nothing in this measure would limit the City's power to arrest, cite and investigate individuals for such activity so long as the enforcement action is consistent with the lowest law enforcement priority policy.

s/JOHN RUSSO City Attorney

  News and Analysis

Oakland Tribune

Suggest a link related to Measure Z
Links to sources outside of Smart Voter are provided for information only and do not imply endorsement.

Arguments For Measure Z Arguments Against Measure Z
The federal government's war on drugs has been costly, ineffective, and unjust. Criminalizing cannabis (marijuana) has unfairly imprisoned thousands of non-violent offenders, including a disproportionate number of people of color.

Measure Z allows Oakland police to focus their time and resources on fighting violent crime and reducing the murder rate, instead of wasting their time on adult nonviolent marijuana offenses.

Every year California spends $150 million to arrest, prosecute and imprison marijuana offenders. It makes more economic sense to raise money by taxing and regulating the adult use of marijuana, instead of spending money to criminalize it.

Revenue raised will help pay for vital city services like schools, libraries, and health care. Furthermore, allowing marijuana to be sold by licensed businesses will get drug dealers off the streets and break their hold on our neighborhoods.

Measure Z makes it easier for medical patients to buy medical marijuana from licensed Oakland businesses. Patients deserve safe, secure and affordable access to medicine. While we can't change federal law, we can instruct our local police not to arrest or harass marijuana users. Measure Z controls marijuana sales; it does not legalize sales on the streets, near schools or to minors. It does not promote marijuana use, or allow broadcast or billboard advertising.

The Drug War has failed. It's time for a new approach. That's why community groups, elected officials, educators, religious leaders, and doctors all agree: Measure Z is the right thing to do. Measure Z is endorsed by the Metropolitan Greater Oakland Democratic Club, the Family Council on Drug Awareness, the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, California Superior Court Judge James P. Gray, and many others. Please join us in voting YES ON MEASURE Z. For more information, please visit http://www.YesonZ.org.

s/NATE MILEY Alameda County Supervisor, District 4

s/DR. FRANK LUCIDO, MD Family Practice Physician

s/DAN SIEGEL Oakland School Board Member

s/THE REV. HAROLD MAYBERRY Minister, First African Methodist Episcopal (FAME) Church of Oakland

s/DESLEY BROOKS Oakland City Councilmember, District 6

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Measure Z does nothing to stop the federal government's war on drugs. Instead, it will weaken Oakland's ability to keep the peace in neighborhoods where desperate young men lose their lives over drug sales.

Measure Z does not help the occasional pot smoker. California law governs marijuana use and already treats mere possession of marijuana like a parking ticket.

Measure Z offers nothing to keep our young people out of prison. It just floods our streets with more drugs and invites federal and state law enforcement to increase arrests of our young people

Measure Z is outside interests and marijuana marketers using Oakland for social experimentation. The top three donors to this measure are from New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., and they've already shelled out more than $70,000!

Oakland already suffers from people coming from the suburbs to buy their drugs here. Yet, Oakland won't see a dime from marijuana sales because a city cannot legalize marijuana or tax it.

It would have been much fairer to start Measure Z in Beverly Hills where young people of color are not being gunned down in street corner drug disputes _ disputes that include marijuana as well as crack and heroin. Few dealers specialize in one drug.

This measure won't help medical marijuana patients. Oakland already ensures that there are several well managed facilities that offer medical marijuana.

Don't start this social experiment in Oakland. It is unconstitutional and will cost Oakland in lives and dollars. Vote NO on Measure Z.

s/JOSEPH J. HARABURDA President & CEO Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

s/LARRY E. REID Councilmember, District 7

Marijuana growers, distributors and advocates from outside Oakland are spending hundreds of thousands of collars on politicians and consultants to pass this Initiative. Why? Because, if passed, this Initiative would force the City of Oakland to spend your TAX DOLLARS to lobby for statewide legalization of RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA USE.

It would require Oakland government to appoint and staff a committee to study how to sell and distribute marijuana.

The Initiative would make Oakland the only California City that doesn't enforce against marijuana production, distribution and sales. Taxpayers would bear the health and safety costs of an unregulated mega-marketplace for marijuana buyers and sellers form all over the State.

This Initiative DOES NOT relate to medical marijuana, and threatens Oakland's medical marijuana program already in effect.

This Initiative DOES NOT allow Oakland to tax or regulate marijuana sales until the state government legalizes marijuana sales for recreational use. That won't happen anytime soon! Oakland cannot afford this Initiative given the City's many unfunded priorities, such as violence prevention and fixing potholes. This Initiative provides NO RESOURCES for enforcement against sales to teenagers and children and NO MONEY to pay for treatment of smoking-related illnesses.

This Initiative threatens Oakland's carefully implemented medical marijuana program. Under this program, the City of Oakland has licensed nonprofit organizations to dispense quality and safe medicinal marijuana to those with health needs.

If passed, this reckless measure would flood our streets with unsafe and unregulated marijuana. It would invite unwelcomed attention from federal prosecutors who are eager to make an example of Oakland by shutting down our medical marijuana providers.

THE CITY ATTORNEY SAYS THIS INITIATIVE IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND ILLEGAL.

Don't put Oakland's medical marijuana patients, safety and tax dollars at risk for a reckless campaign to benefit marijuana growers and distributors! VOTE NO ON MEASURE Z.

s/DANNYWAN Oakland City Councilmember

s/DAVID KAKISHIBA School Board Director

s/ROBERT L. JACKSON Bishop "Bob" Jackson Acts Full Gospel Church

s/FRAN MATARRESE Community Leader

s/ELLEN WYRICK PARKINSON West Oakland Community Leader.

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE Z If the opponents of Measure Z really want to help medical marijuana patients, they should listen to those patients and the doctors who treat them and support Measure Z.

Opponents claim the city provides for medical patients; but the fact is Oakland has SHUT DOWN most of our medical marijuana dispensaries, forcing patients onto the streets. Measure Z makes it easier for patients to have safe access to medical marijuana. That's why patients and doctors support Measure Z.

Measure Z is a citizen initiative signed by 23,000 Oakland voters. It's a sensible approach that makes private adult marijuana offenses the lowest police priority for Oakland, as it is in Seattle. According to the Seattle Times "despite predictions of naysayers, there is no evidence of widespread public pot consumption as a result of the measure."

Measure Z controls marijuana sales; it does not legalize sales on the streets, near schools or to minors. It does not promote marijuana use, or allow broadcast or billboard advertising. Opponents claim Measure Z could cost the city money; in fact it raises money for vital city services by allowing for the taxed and regulated sale of marijuana.

People who fear reform often lay claims of unconstitutionality. They said that about the California medical marijuana initiative, Prop 215, but the initiative passed and took effect. Citizens have a constitutional right to voice their opinions.

The Drug War has failed. It's time for a new approach. That's why doctors, nurses, and patients agree: Yes on Z.

s/MARTHA KUHL California Nurses Association

s/DON PERATA California State Senator, District 9

s/DR. MIKE ALCALAY, MD HIV Education and Prevention Project of Alameda County

s/JANE JACKSON Medical Marijuana Patient; Founder, Mayor's Commission on Persons with Disabilities; Member, Oakland Medical Marijuana Task Force

s/STEPHANIE SHERER Americans for Safe Access

Full Text of Measure Z
WHEREAS, the City Council does hereby submit to the qualified electors of the City of Oakland the aforesaid proposed initiative ballot measure to be voted upon at the General Municipal Election consolidated with the Statewide General Election to be held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004, now therefore be it

RESOLVED: that the proposed initiative ballot measure text shall read as follows:

Section 1: TITLE

Oakland Cannabis Regulation and Revenue Ordinance

Section 2: FINDINGS

The people of Oakland, California find as follows:

WHEREAS it is a goal of the people of Oakland to keep drugs off the streets and away from children, and to eliminate street dealing and violent crime; and

WHEREAS each year California spends over $150 million enforcing cannabis (marijuana) laws, expending valuable law enforcement resources that would be better spent on fighting violent and serious crimes; and

WHEREAS medical and governmental studies have consistently found cannabis to be less dangerous than alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; and

WHEREAS otherwise law-abiding adults are being arrested or imprisoned for nonviolent cannabis offenses, clogging our courts and jails; and

WHEREAS controlling and regulating cannabis so that it is only sold by licensed businesses would undermine the hold of street dealers on our neighborhoods; and

WHEREAS in the face of the severe state and local budget crisis, the revenues from taxing and licensing cannabis would help fund vital Oakland city services; and

WHEREAS the current laws against cannabis have needlessly harmed patients who need it for medical purposes, and impeded the development of hemp for fiber, oil, and other industrial purposes; and

WHEREAS it is the hope of the people of Oakland that there will be state and federal law reform that will eliminate the problems and costs caused by cannabis prohibition;

THEREFORE the people of the City of Oakland do hereby enact the following ordinance establishing the cannabis policy of the city.

Section 3: DEFINITION

"Cannabis" - Means "marijuana" as currently defined in California Health & Safety Code Section 11018.

Section 4: PURPOSE

The purpose of this ordinance is:

a) To direct the City of Oakland to tax and regulate the sale of cannabis for adult use, so as to keep it off the streets and away from children and to raise revenue for the city, as soon as possible under state law.

b) To direct the Oakland Police Department to make investigation, citation, and arrest for private adult cannabis offenses the lowest law enforcement priority, effective immediately upon the passage of this ordinance.

c) To advocate for changes in state law (and at other levels as necessary) to authorize the taxation and regulation of cannabis and eliminate criminal penalties for private, adult cannabis use.

Section 5: REGULATION

The City of Oakland shall establish a system to license, tax and regulate cannabis for adult use as soon as possible under California law. At that time, the City Council shall promulgate regulations that include, but are not limited to, the following provisions consistent with California law:

a) The sale and distribution to minors will be strictly prohibited;

b) The city shall establish a licensing system for cannabis businesses, with regulations to assure good business practices, compliance with health and safety standards, access for persons with disabilities, and nuisance abatement;

c) Minors shall not be permitted in areas where cannabis is sold, nor shall minors be employed by licensed cannabis businesses;

d) No business licensed to sell cannabis will be located within 600 feet of a school;

e) Cannabis businesses shall be required to pay taxes and licensing fees;

f) The public advertising of cannabis through television, radio or billboards will be prohibited; and

g) Onsite consumption shall be licensed so as to keep cannabis off the streets and away from children, subject to reasonable air quality standards.

Section 6: LOWEST LAW ENFORCEMENT PRIORITY

a) The Oakland Police Department shall make investigation, citation, and arrest for private adult cannabis offenses Oakland's lowest law enforcement priority.

b) This "lowest law enforcement priority" policy shall not apply to distribution of cannabis to minors, distribution or consumption of cannabis on streets or other public places, or motor vehicle violations.

Section 7: COMMUNITY OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

A Community Oversight Committee shall be appointed to oversee the implementation of the Oakland Cannabis Regulation and Revenue Ordinance. The Committee will be composed of:

1 community member appointed by each member of the Oakland City Council,

1 community member appointed by the Mayor of Oakland,

1 representative of the Oakland City Auditor,

1 representative of the Oakland City Manager.

Responsibilities of the Committee shall include:

a) Ensure timely implementation of this ordinance

b) Oversee the implementation of the Lowest Law Enforcement Priority policy;

c) Make recommendations to the Oakland City Council regarding appropriate regulations, in accordance with Section 5 above;

d) Oversee the disbursement of revenues generated through the sale of cannabis by licensed cannabis busi- nesses to assure that funds go to vital city services such as schools, libraries and youth programs; and

e) Report annually to the Council on implementation of this ordinance.

Section 8: ADVOCACY FOR LEGISLATIVE REFORM

The City of Oakland shall advocate, through its lobbyist and other city officers, for changes to state law (and laws at other levels of government as necessary) to support the goals and implementation of this ordinance. Legislative changes to be advocated include:

a) Allow for taxation and regulation of cannabis for adults;

b) Grant local control to cities and counties to license and regulate cannabis businesses, and collect appropriate fees and/or taxes; and

c) End the prosecution, arrest, investigation and imprisonment for adult, private cannabis offenses.

Section 9: SEVERABILITY

If any provision of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the ordinance and the application of such provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.


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Created: December 15, 2004 13:28 PST
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