Differing ways to approach marijuana
While two cities are contemplating easing up on marijuana policies, San Bernardino County has affirmed its opposition to the drug.
The Board of Supervisors recently approved an ordinance maintaining the county’s prohibition of marijuana cultivation and sales even if recreational marijuana is legalized by voters in November.
The county already bans dispensaries in the unincorporated parts of the county, but the board made clear that its prohibition will remain in place even in the event of legalization. The county seeks to prevent the “commercial cultivation, distribution, transportation, delivery, storage, laboratory testing, manufacturing, processing, provision or sale of cannabis products.”
We encourage the board to keep an open mind, and resist any inclination to regulate and prohibit any industry, including marijuana, purely on moral grounds.
“I wonder if we’re being short-sighted to some of the economic impacts,” said Supervisor Curt Hagman at the meeting, noting that prohibiting the marijuana market from operating in the county also curtails some potential economic opportunities.
The county’s approach is in stark contrast to that of Adelanto, which has embraced the potential of large-scale cultivation for medical marijuana. At the very least, it’s something to remain mindful of, and fortunately surrounding communities and governments will be able to learn lessons from the county and Adelanto.
Meanwhile, voters in the cities of San Bernardino and Upland will decide in November whether or not to allow marijuana dispensaries to operate. Both cities have struggled to shut down dispensaries, despite the costs involved.
Upland has shut down two dozen dispensaries since 2014, but still has a dozen or so operating at any given time. San Bernardino has similarly experienced the fruitless, costly game of whack-a-mole.
Generally speaking, we are inclined to support the thoughtful, responsible regulation of such establishments, if only to provide communities some measure of control over what can at times be unwieldy and undesirable establishments. One doesn’t need to approve of marijuana, for medicinal or recreational use, to be open to the possibility of bringing the market above ground.