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West Hollywood City Council backs measure to legalize marijuana

WEST HOLLYWOOD — The City Council adopted a resolution Aug. 15 in support of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

West Hollywood is the first city in the state to endorse the proposition.

“West Hollywood has always been on the cutting edge of so many issues,” City Councilman John J. Duran said. “Marijuana use has been part of the WeHo culture for generations. It should be well regulated like alcohol or tobacco use. There is no longer a need to criminalize marijuana use based on unjustified fears of the past.”

If passed by California voters, Proposition 64 would allow adults, 21 and older, to possess, transport and use up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes, or to grow up to six plants. It would also authorize the state to control, regulate and tax the use, sale and cultivation of marijuana in California.

By legalizing and legitimizing marijuana for responsible personal use, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act would discourage trafficking and drug cartels. The legislation also stipulates strict environmental regulations to ensure that marijuana is grown efficiently and legally, to prevent waste water, and to regulate the use of pesticides.

In addition, Proposition 64 would generate and set aside significant funding for programs to prevent drug use by minors and to provide training for law enforcement. Marijuana use would remain illegal under federal law.

Signed copies of the city’s resolution in support of Proposition 64 will be sent to the offices of Gov. Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, State Sen. Ben Allen, and Assemblyman Richard Bloom.

Proposition 64 supporters include Newsom, the California NAACP, the California Medical Association, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Los Angeles County Democrats, among others.

The city has been at the forefront of the national discussion about decriminalizing the use of marijuana and the city has a long track record of supporting marijuana use for medicinal purposes. In 1996, the city was an early supporter of Proposition 215, also known as the Medical Use of Marijuana Initiative or the Compassionate Use Act, which was approved by voters and allows statewide use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

In 1998, the city approved a resolution to oppose the federal government’s efforts to terminate operations of community-based medical marijuana programs. In 2001, the city approved a resolution to declare West Hollywood a sanctuary for medical marijuana use, cultivation and distribution.

In 2006, the city adopted a formal policy declaration that the city’s position is to not target marijuana offenses.

On Aug. 20, the city conducted its second annual Cannabis Education Forum at the West Hollywood Library.

For more information, contact Hernan Molina, the city’s governmental affairs liaison at (323) 848-6364 or hmolina@weho.org.

 

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