San Francisco Gears Up for Cannabis Legalization
April 29th, 2015
Policy, Top Story
San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener is looking to create a task force to help plan local policies if cannabis is legalized during the 2016 California election. If the city doesn’t prepare for the possibility, it could end up having a “chaotic fire drill” after legalization occurs, according to Mr. Wiener in a statement. He plans to introduce the legislation at the Board of Supervisors meeting this week.
The initial proposal calls for up to 19 representatives from the city’s Department of Public Health, Fire Department, Police Department, Department of Building Inspection, Planning Department, and San Francisco Unified School District, as well as numerous representatives from the cannabis community (both producers and users) to get together to form a task force to address the issue.
The need for a task force has been highlighted by the success of pro-legalization movements in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington DC, which have all legalized adult-use marijuana in recent years. Legal pro-legalization groups have been gaining momentum in California and are already crafting a statewide legalization ballot measure for the general election in 2016.
Since adult-use legalization, states like Washington have struggled with issues like youth marijuana use, public marijuana use, and limits on marijuana dispensary locations. Marijuana businesses have also been forced to deal with a myriad of issues like banking access and the violation of federal laws, due to the unclear nature of the laws on the state’s books.
The task force would not advocate for or against legalization, but it would prepare the city from a policy and administrative point of view for when the drug is legalized in the largest U.S. state – a potential change-of-tide for the nation.
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