Reefer Madness on Anaheim’s Consent Calendar: Behold Item 33, Which Oughta Be Pulled


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It came without warning! Except here on Orange Juice Blog!

Anaheim’s City Manager Paul Emery has placed Item 33 on the City Council’s “consent calendar,” which is supposed to contain items insufficiently controversial to require debate.  Item 33, however, looks like it might elicit enough public interest that debate would be warranted.  All it takes is one member of the Council to pull an item from the Consent Calendar so as to let the public hear the Staff Report, and let the Council ask some questions of Staff, and allow for debate.  This is, after all, merely a proposal being snuck through here.

Given that this report seems to incorporate some at least questionable assertions and assumptions, and given that this ordinance (unless redrafted at Council’s direction) will criminalize certain activities that will be legal elsewhere in California, and given that criminal enforcement of those activities will probably (the world being what it is) focus largely on the poorer and less privileged sectors of the population — meaning that some people may well die over this — it may be appropriate for the Council to at least allow some public debate to take place.

I’ll have a few words to say on the topic after we consider the Staff Report on the item — notable sections of which have been converted to boldface or even boldface red — and the proposed ordinance.

CITY COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT
City of Anaheim
PLANNING AND BUILDING DEPARTMENT
DATE: APRIL 25, 2017

FROM: PLANNING AND BUILDING DEPARTMENT

SUBJECT: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF ANAHEIM ADDING CHAPTER 4.100 TO TITLE 4 OF THE ANAHEIM MUNICIPAL CODE TO PROHIBIT COMMERCIAL MARIJUANA ACTIVITIES AND BAN THE OUTDOOR CULTIVATION OF MARIJUANA

ATTACHMENT (Y/N): YES                                     ITEM # 33

RECOMMENDATION:
That the City Council, by Motion, introduce an ordinance adding Chapter 4.100 to the Anaheim Municipal Code, in accordance with Proposition 64, in order to prohibit commercial marijuana activities and ban outdoor cultivation of marijuana in the City of Anaheim.

BACKGROUND:
The City Council has consistently taken the position that medical marijuana operations are detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare and has adopted regulations prohibiting such operations in the City. In 2007, the City adopted an ordinance prohibiting the establishment and operation of medical marijuana dispensaries in the City of Anaheim. The City was subsequently sued, and the pending litigation impacted the City’s ability to enforce its ban due to possible preemption issues. As a result, the number of dispensaries in the City began to grow, as did public complaints regarding dispensaries. In 2011, in order to prevent the proliferation of new dispensaries during the pending litigation, the City adopted an interim urgency ordinance imposing a temporary moratorium on the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries. The interim moratorium remained in place for two years.

In 2013, the City expanded the prohibition on medical marijuana dispensaries to include mobile medical marijuana dispensaries. In 2014 and 2015, the California courts issued decisions upholding a city’s right to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, including a case upholding Anaheim’s civil and criminal enforcement of its dispensary ban. Thereafter, the City amended the Anaheim Municipal Code to clarify that the prohibitions applied to property owners, landlords and/or property managers. In 2016, in preparation of the pending implementation of the “Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act,” the City adopted an ordinance prohibiting the cultivation and processing of medical marijuana.

Even with these efforts, the City of Anaheim, like most cities, has experienced numerous adverse impacts from marijuana activities as a result of establishments that have operated illegally, including medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation sites. Adverse impacts, documented by the City’s Police Department and Code Enforcement Division, include criminal activity such as burglaries, armed robberies and a homicide, as well as health and safety concerns caused by unpermitted tenant improvements, including illegal wiring of electrical panels and unpermitted and unsafe structural modifications. There have also been repeated citizen complaints about the adverse impacts of medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the City, and the Anaheim Police and Fire Departments have responded to numerous calls for service relating to unsafe conditions and criminal activities at medical marijuana dispensaries.

DISCUSSION:
Last November, California voters approved Proposition 64, which is known as ‘The Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use Marijuana Act (the “AUMA”). With the passage of the AUMA, personal and commercial (non-medical) use of marijuana is now decriminalized under California law, subject to certain restrictions. For example, individuals 21 years of age or older may now possess, transport, purchase, use, and transfer recreational marijuana. Under AUMA, adults may possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana, up to 8 grams of marijuana in the form of concentrated cannabis (which may be present in marijuana products such as edibles), and up to six living marijuana plants, and any marijuana produced by those plants, at their private residences. AUMA also decriminalized the cultivation of recreational marijuana, commercial marijuana delivery services, and commercial (non-medical) marijuana retail services. AUMA did little to change existing law that governs medical marijuana; consequently, these laws remain substantively intact.

In 2018, State agencies will start to issue licenses for the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, transportation, and retail sales of recreational marijuana. Unless otherwise prohibited by the City (which is allowed in the AUMA), this creates the opportunity for the proliferation of various commercial marijuana-related activities, including retail storefronts. Given the City’s experience with adverse impacts associated with marijuana dispensaries and cultivation sites, the potential proliferation of commercial marijuana establishments would be contrary to the City’s previous efforts to maintain local control and offer all available protections afforded by State law.

To this end, the City Attorney’s Office prepared the attached ordinance (“Ordinance”). The proposed Ordinance would prohibit all commercial marijuana activities in the City, which includes the cultivation, possession, manufacture, distribution, processing, storing, laboratory testing, labeling, transportation, distribution, delivery, trade or sale of marijuana and marijuana products by any person, entity, commercial or business enterprise, whether for-profit or nonprofit. Additionally, the ordinance would prohibit the outdoor cultivation of marijuana, which would include any activity involving the planting, growing, harvesting, drying, curing, grading, or trimming of marijuana that is not within a fully enclosed and secure structure. Consistent with the requirements of the AUMA, the ordinance would not prohibit the cultivation of up to six marijuana plants inside a person’s private residence (which would not include his/her place of business) and inside a fully enclosed accessory structure to a person’s private residence. The Ordinance would not alter the protections afforded by the previous ordinances adopted by the City Council concerning medical marijuana dispensaries, mobile medical marijuana dispensaries, and the cultivation and processing of medical marijuana.

The proposed Ordinance would add a new Chapter (4.100) to Title 4 of the Anaheim Municipal Code and is attached to this report.

IMPACT ON BUDGET:
There is no budgetary impact.

Respectfully submitted,

David Belmer, Planning and Building Director
Concurred, Kristin Pelletier Acting City Attorney

Attachment:1. Draft of Proposed Ordinance

Here’s that proposed ordinance:

ORDINANCE NO.

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF ANAHEIM ADDING CHAPTER 4.100 TO TITLE 4 OF THE ANAHEIM MUNICIPAL CODE (COMMERICAL MARIJUANA ACTIVITIES AND OUTDOOR CULTIVATION) TO PROHIBIT COMMERCIAL MARIJUANA ACTIVITIES AND BAN THE OUTDOOR CULTIVATION OF MARIJUANA IN THE CITY OF ANAHEIM AND DETERMINING PURSUANT TO THE CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (CEQA) THAT THIS ORDINANCE IS NOT A PROJECT PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 15060(C)(2), 15060(C)(3) AND 15378 OF THE CEQA GUIDELINES

WHEREAS, in November 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, which is known as The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (the “AUMA”); and

WHEREAS, one of the stated purposes of the AUMA is to strictly control the cultivation, processing, manufacture, distribution, testing and sale of nonmedical marijuana through a system of state licensing, regulation, and enforcement; and

WHEREAS, the AUMA authorizes the issuance of state licenses for “commercial marijuana activities” which include the cultivation, possession, manufacture, distribution, processing, storing, laboratory testing, labeling, transportation, delivery or sale of nonmedical marijuana or marijuana products as defined in Section 26001 of the California Business and Professions Code, which is part of the AUMA. Pursuant to the AUMA, no state license for any commercial marijuana activities may be issued if the approval will violate local ordinances; and

WHEREAS, Business and Professions Code Section 26200, which is included in the AUMA, expressly recognizes the authority of cities to completely prohibit commercial marijuana activities or businesses as a valid exercise their local powers; and

WHEREAS, on July 31, 2007, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 6067 adding Chapter 4.20 to Title 4 of the Anaheim Municipal Code (the “Code”) prohibiting the establishment and operation of medical marijuana dispensaries; and

WHEREAS, on July 23, 2013, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 6281 adding Chapter 4.21 to Title 4 of the Code prohibiting the establishment or operation of mobile medical marijuana dispensaries; and

WHEREAS, on February 3, 2015, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 6315, which made clarifying amendments to Chapters 4.20 and 4.21 of the Code to address enforcement against the owner or operator of a property on which a Code violation occurs; and

WHEREAS, on January 12, 2016, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 6354 adding Chapter 4.19 to the Code prohibiting medical marijuana cultivation and processing activities; and

WHEREAS, concurrent with legislative action to adopt Ordinances Nos. 6067, 6281, 6315 and 6354, the City Council considered reports of criminal activities, hazardous practices and other persuasive, documented evidence regarding immediate threats to the public health, safety and welfare; and

WHEREAS, despite the City’s existing prohibition against all types of medical marijuana businesses, the City has experienced numerous adverse impacts from marijuana activities as a result of establishments that have operated illegally, including medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation sites; and

WHEREAS, a number of California cities have reported negative impacts of marijuana cultivation, processing and distribution, including offensive odors, illegal sales and distribution of marijuana, trespassing, theft, violent robberies and robbery attempts, homicides, fire hazards, and problems associated with mold, fungus, and pests; and

WHEREAS, the City’s Police Department and Code Enforcement Division have documented numerous adverse impacts caused by marijuana activities, including criminal activities such as burglaries, armed robberies and a homicide, as well as health and safety concerns caused by unpermitted tenant improvements, including illegal wiring of electrical panels and unpermitted and unsafe structural modifications; and

WHEREAS, there is significant evidence that marijuana delivery services are targets of violent crime and pose a danger to the public; and

WHEREAS, marijuana plants, as they begin to flower and for a period of two months or more, produce a strong odor, offensive to many people, and detectable far beyond property boundaries if grown outdoors; and

WHEREAS, the strong smell of marijuana creates an attractive nuisance, alerting persons to the location of the valuable plants, and creating a risk of burglary, robbery or armed robbery; and

WHEREAS, one marijuana plant needs five to ten gallons of water per day or an estimated three billion liters of water per square kilometer in one season, and marijuana farmers have been found directly siphoning water from tributaries and other bodies of water. This extraordinary consumption of water not only negatively impacts the City’s efforts to conserve water resources but the reduction in available water negatively affects other plants and wildlife; and

WHEREAS, heavy use of pesticides to prevent rodents and other wildlife from eating marijuana plants, as well as poorly-built irrigation systems, has polluted the ecosystem and contaminated soil, groundwater, sewer systems and storm drains; and

WHEREAS, the Attorney General’s August 2008 Guidelines for the Security and NonDiversion of Marijuana Grown for Medical Use recognizes that the cultivation or other concentration of marijuana in any location or premises without adequate security increases the risk that nearby homes or businesses may be negatively impacted by nuisance activity such as loitering or crime; and

WHEREAS, the California Police Chiefs Association has compiled an extensive report detailing the negative secondary effects associated with storefront medical marijuana dispensaries.  The City Council hereby finds that the report contains persuasive anecdotal and documentary evidence that both storefront and mobile medical marijuana dispensaries pose a threat to public health, safety and welfare, and that this threat is likely to be just as great, if not greater, with recreational marijuana dispensaries; and

WHEREAS, in Colorado, where recreational marijuana became legal and commercialized in 2013, the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police published a report describing the adverse community impacts related to recreational marijuana; and

WHEREAS, during a panel discussion on the AUMA held in Anaheim on October 4, 2016, moderated by the California Police Chiefs’ Association, John Jackson, Chief of Police of Greenwood Village, a suburb of Denver, confirmed that since recreational marijuana use became legal in Colorado, the state has experienced spikes in marijuana use by young people, traffic fatalities involving drivers under the influence of cannabis, homelessness, and criminal organizations moving to Colorado to produce and then illegally export marijuana to other states; and

WHEREAS, it is reasonable to conclude that similar adverse impacts on the public health, safety and welfare described above are likely to occur in Anaheim as a result of commercial marijuana activities; and

WHEREAS, all of the aforementioned findings, reports, and evidence shall be included as part of the record before the City in this matter, and are hereby incorporated into the City Council’s record and findings related to this ordinance; and

WHEREAS, the California Constitution grants charter cities the power to make and enforce all ordinances and regulations with respect to municipal affairs. Section 7 of Article XI of the California Constitution provides that a city may make and enforce within its limits all police, sanitary and other ordinances and regulations not in conflict with general laws; and

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim, as a charter city, by and through its City Council, has and may exercise all powers necessary to ensure the general welfare of its inhabitants; and

WHEREAS, the City desires to exercise its local power and authority to prohibit commercial marijuana activities and ban outdoor cultivation of marijuana as part of Title 4 of the Anaheim Municipal Code (Business Regulation); and

WHEREAS, based on the findings, above, the City Council has determined that there exists a current and immediate threat to public health, safety and welfare if the City does not add  Chapter 4.100 to the Municipal Code to prohibit commercial marijuana activities and ban outdoor cultivation of marijuana in the City of Anaheim; and

WHEREAS, it is in the interest of the City, its residents, and its lawfully permitted businesses that the City adopt this ordinance to expressly prohibit the establishment and operation of commercial marijuana activities and outdoor cultivation of marijuana, except where the City is preempted by federal or state law from enacting a prohibition on any such establishment or activity; and

WHEREAS, the City Council determines that this ordinance is a matter of City-wide importance and necessary for the preservation and protection of the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City of Anaheim and is enacted pursuant to the City’s police power, as granted broadly under Section 7 of Article XI of the California Constitution and is consistent with the AUMA; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (Public Resources Code Section 21000 et seq.; herein referred to as “CEQA”) and the State of California Guidelines for Implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act (commencing with Section 15000 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations; herein referred to as the “State CEQA Guidelines”), the City is the “lead agency” for the preparation and consideration of environmental documents for this ordinance; and

WHEREAS, the City Council finds and determines that this ordinance is not subject to CEQA pursuant to Sections 15060(c)(2) and 15060(c)(3) of the State CEQA Guidelines, because it will not result in a direct or reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment and is not a “project”, as defined in Section 15378 of the CEQA Guidelines.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ANAHEIM DOES HEREBY ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. That new Chapter 4.100 (Commercial Marijuana Activities and Outdoor Cultivation of Marijuana) be, and the same is, hereby added to Title 4 of the Anaheim Municipal Code (Business Regulation) to read in full as follows:

CHAPTER 4.100 COMMERCIAL MARIJUANA ACTIVITIES AND OUTDOOR CULTIVATION OF MARIJUANA

Sections:
4.100.010 Purpose and Findings.
4.100.020 Definitions.
4.100.030 Commercial Marijuana Activities Prohibited.
4.100.035 Outdoor Cultivation of Marijuana Prohibited
4.100.040 Delivery of Marijuana and Marijuana Products Prohibited 4.100.045 Prohibited Commercial Marijuana Activities and Outdoor Cultivation Declared Public Nuisances
4.100.050 Use or Activity Prohibited by State or Federal Law.

4.100.010 PURPOSE AND FINDINGS.

The City Council finds that purpose and intent of this Chapter is to prohibit commercial activities involving nonmedical marijuana and marijuana products and to ban the outdoor cultivation of marijuana in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community.

4.19.020 [sic] DEFINITIONS.

For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

.010 “Marijuana ” mean all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa Linnaeus, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin, whether crude or purified, extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin. “Marijuana” does not mean “industrial hemp” as defined by Section 81000 of the Food and Agricultural Code or Section 11018.5 of the Health and Safety Code as the same may be amended from time to time. “Marijuana” does not include medical marijuana defined in Chapter 4.20.

.015 “Commercial marijuana activities” includes the cultivation, possession, manufacture, distribution, processing, storing, laboratory testing, labeling, transportation, distribution, delivery, trade or sale of marijuana and marijuana products by any person, entity, commercial or business enterprise, whether for-profit or nonprofit.

.020 “Delivery” means the transfer of marijuana or marijuana products to a location within the City of Anaheim.

.025 “Fully enclosed and secure structure” ” means a code compliant space within a building, greenhouse or other structure which has a complete roof enclosure supported by connecting walls extending from the ground to the roof, which is secure against unauthorized entry, provides complete visual screening, and which is accessible only through one or more locking doors.

.030 “Marijuana products” means marijuana that has undergone a process whereby the plant material has been transformed into a concentrate, including, but not limited to, concentrated cannabis, or an edible, ingestible or topical product containing marijuana or concentrated cannabis and other ingredients.

.035 “Outdoor cultivation” means any activity involving the planting, growing, harvesting, drying, curing, grading, or trimming of marijuana that is not within a fully enclosed and secure structure.

4.100.030 COMMERCIAL MARIJUANA ACTIVITIES PROHIBITED

Commercial marijuana activities are prohibited in the City of Anaheim. No use permit, variance, building permit, or any other entitlement, license or permit, whether administrative or discretionary, shall be approved or issued for commercial marijuana activities. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to own, manage, conduct, or operate, or as a landlord or land owner (or as such landlord or land owner’s agent, property manager or similar person having control over real property on behalf of its owner) to allow or permit to exist, or be established, conducted, operated, owned or managed on or within real property owned or controlled by such person, any commercial marijuana activity or to participate as a landlord, lessor, land owner, employee, contractor, agent or volunteer, or in any other manner or capacity, in any commercial marijuana activity. Each day a violation of this provision of this chapter is committed, or permitted to continue, shall constitute a separate offense.

4.100.035 OUTDOOR CULTIVATION OF MARIJUANA PROHIBITED

Outdoor cultivation of marijuana by any person owning, leasing, occupying, or having charge or possession of any parcel within any zoning district in the city is prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to own, manage, conduct, or operate, or as a landlord or land owner (or as such landlord or land owner’s agent, property manager or similar person having control over real property on behalf of its owner) to allow or permit to exist, or be established, conducted, operated, owned or managed on or within real property owned or controlled by such person, the outdoor cultivation of marijuana or to participate as a landlord, lessor, land owner, employee, contractor, agent or volunteer, or in any other manner or capacity, in the outdoor cultivation of marijuana. Each day a violation of this provision of this chapter is committed, or permitted to continue, shall constitute a separate offense.

4.100.040 DELIVERY OF MARIJUANA AND MARIJUANA PRODUCTS PROHIBITED

Delivery of marijuana or marijuana products is prohibited within the City of Anaheim.

4.100.045 PROHIBITED COMMERCIAL MARIJUANA ACTIVITIES AND OUTDOOR CULTIVATION DECLARED A PUBLIC NUISANCE

The establishment, maintenance, or operation of any commercial marijuana activity or outdoor cultivation of marijuana in violation of this Chapter within the City is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and may be abated by all available means.

4.100.050 USE OR ACTIVITY PROHIBITED BY STATE OR FEDERAL LAW.

Nothing contained in this chapter shall be deemed to permit or authorize any use or activity which is otherwise prohibited by any state or federal law.

SECTION 2. EXISTING NONCONFORMING USES.

Any business operation or outdoor cultivation activity existing or operating within the City of Anaheim on the effective date of this ordinance shall cease operations forthwith.

SECTION 3. SEVERABILITY.

The City Council of the City of Anaheim hereby declares that should any section, paragraph, sentence or word of this ordinance hereby adopted be declared for any reason to be invalid, it is the intent of the City Council that it would have passed all other portions of this ordinance independent of the elimination herefrom of any such portion as may be declared invalid.

SECTION 4. SAVINGS CLAUSE.

Neither the adoption of this ordinance nor the repeal of any other ordinance of this City shall in any manner affect the prosecution for violations of ordinances, which violations were committed prior to the effective date hereof, nor be construed as a waiver of any license or penalty or the penal provisions applicable to any violation thereof. The provisions of this ordinance, insofar as they are substantially the same as ordinance provisions previously adopted 8 by the City relating to the same subject matter, shall be construed as restatements and continuations, and not as new enactments.

SECTION 5. CERTIFICATION; PUBLICATION BY CLERK.

The City Clerk shall certify to the passage of this ordinance and shall cause this ordinance or a summary thereof to be printed once within fifteen (15) days after its adoption in the Anaheim Bulletin, a newspaper of general circulation, published and circulated in the City of Anaheim.

SECTION 6. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Ordinance shall take effect and be in full force thirty (30) days from and after its final passage.

THE FOREGOING ORDINANCE was introduced at a regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Anaheim held on the ____ day of ______________, 2017, and thereafter passed and adopted at a regular meeting of said City Council held on the ____ day of ______________, 2017, by the following roll call vote:

AYES:
NOES:
ABSENT:
ABSTAIN:

CITY OF ANAHEIM By: MAYOR OF THE CITY OF ANAHEIM _____________________________________

ATTEST: CITY CLERK OF THE CITY OF ANAHEIM

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Now let’s have a little discussion.

(1) There’s no doubt that Anaheim can pass something like this under the state’s new law.  Parts of it may be rejected by the courts, as the ordinance recognizes, but Anaheim can certainly be as draconian as it would like to be about cannabis.

(2) This is an extremely draconian law.

(3) Anaheim does not have to enact such a draconian policy.

(4) THERE IS NO WAY IN THE WORLD THAT SOMETHING THIS SIGNIFICANT THIS SHOULD BE ON THE CONSENT CALENDAR.

(5) Many of the statements in the resolution regarding the horrific effects of marijuana seem likely to be exaggerated — a judgment I make based on its discussion of the effects of marijuana legalization in Colorado, where it has been overwhelmingly been considered to have been a great success.

(6) Every single instance of how cannabis use and sale has had bad effects on Anaheim has occurred under a legal regime in which cannabis has been illegal under state law.  That is no longer the case.  One can no more use examples of how involvement of criminals in marijuana sale an distribution as an example of what to expect under a legal cannabis regime than one could use the acts of Al Capone and John Dillinger under Prohibition to predict the effect of alcohol sale and consumption in a world where alcohol can be purchased at Costco and Safeway and consumed in Dave & Busters and Angels Stadium.

(7) In criminal law, this is described as the difference between something that is malum in se — “bad in and of itself,” such as child molestation — and malum prohibitum — bad only because it is prohibited and you can therefore get arrested for it, such as possession of marijuana paraphernalia or parking on the wrong side of the street.

(8) At a time when the City claims that it doesn’t have the resources to engage in sufficient Code Enforcement for Short-Term Rentals (“STRs”) — residents of whom have been reported trespassing on property owners’ land and defecating on their lawns — this represents a huge increase in the demands on Code Enforcement (especially for cultivation of marijuana outdoors in “secure structures.”)  Won’t this detract from higher priorities?

(9) On the bright side, some of the language highlighted above will make it a lot easier to drive existing STR owners out of business, because as soon as some resident lights up a joint the owner is now engaged in the commercial marijuana business under Anaheim law.

(10) And if Disney permits people to possess cannabis on its property, isn’t it in violation of 4.100.030 of this code?  Surely commercial establishments aren’t exempt from these rules against allowing the possession (let alone use!) of recreational marijuana on their property!  (Of course the Council could exempt them from liability.  Haha, just kidding — that’s a trap!)  I look forward to learning about what provisions Disney plans to take to prevent its guests from smuggling in marijuana products in their orifices.  (Same goes for the Angels, Ducks, and other businesses.)  Hey, you write a draconian law, you suffer the consequences!

(11) And what about that part where “all of this other evidence [of these doubtful claims] becoming part of the record”?  Do you see it anywhere here for your consideration?  Isn’t it supposed to be distributed to you with the agenda?  Why is the City Manager allowing the Council to violate the Brown Act in this way?  (Damn, I hate having to write demands letters when I have other things to do!)

Now these next two points will be ultra-serious:

(12) WE KNOW (DON’T WE?) THAT THIS LAW WOULD BE ENFORCED MORE VIGOROUSLY AGAINST PEOPLE IN THE POORER COMMUNITIES OF ANAHEIM THAN IN THE HILLS AND OTHER WEALTHIER AREAS WHO WILL ALSO BE IN VIOLATION OF IT.  This law will therefore exacerbate the racial injustice problems in our community — and police shootings of those supposedly suspected of violating it.  So: more big lawsuits.  (There’s your “budget impact” right there!)  But it gets worse.

(13) (and I could go on, but after this this I’ll close:)  This law exempts medical marijuana from its own terms.  Medical marijuana is still protected.  How are the police — or other law enforcement — supposed to be able to tell medical marijuana products (including consumables) from recreational marijuana products that this makes illegal to possess, transport home from a legal dispensary, or deliver?

Any Council Member who votes for this without being able to answer these questions is not doing their job.  And if the city doesn’t suffer for it, it will only be because the victims of this law may not be able to afford legal counsel.  (Unless they’re killed for having medical marijuana products in their car — then they’re probably going to be able to find one.)

Add the fact that the city is trying to sneak through such a major and serious change in its law on the consent calendar — and I know that this is “only a first reading, but a first reading is supposed to mean something, not to be snuck past those who aren’t paying close attention — to the teetering existing stack of reasons why City Manager Paul Emery should be terminated.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose worker's rights and government accountability attorney, residing in northwest Brea. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Occasionally runs for office to challenge some nasty incumbent who would otherwise run unopposed. (Someday he might pick a fight with the intent to win rather than just dent someone. You'll know it when you see it.) He got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012 and in 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. A family member co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)