Editor:

Santa Monicans for Safe Access (SAMOSA) would like to comment on the news that there will be a proposition on this November’s state ballot which, if passed, would allow adult recreational use of marijuana. While SAMOSA is not a cheerleader for recreational use, we are a proponent of medical use on compassionate grounds for our City’s residents. Santa Monica’s ordinance permits medical marijuana only for qualified patients. If the proposition were to pass and if the City so desired, it could easily amend the ordinance to allow adult recreational use — or not.

Whether California enacts adult recreational use or not this November, there will be full local control under any circumstance. The decision about whether any city wants medical use only, recreational use or a total ban on all marijuana remains fully within a city’s control. That language is contained in the ballot proposition (Prop. 64).

Additionally, the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), which was enacted this past October, also mandates local control. Indeed, the California Supreme Court made the matter of local control perfectly clear in its 2013 ruling. Santa Monica’s ordinance, which was adopted last July, is already commensurate with the MMRSA and Prop. 64. There is nothing that conflicts. In fact, Santa Monica’s ordinance contains rules that are more strict than those found in MMRSA and Prop. 64.

It has now been one year since the City Council directed city staff to bring it rules for the implementation of the ordinance. In that time, countless other cities like Malibu, West Hollywood and Palm Springs continue to afford their residents safe, local access.

Bill Leahy
Santa Monicans for Safe Access