With San Diego County district attorney Bonnie Dumanis and sheriff Bill Gore in attendance, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unaminously on Tuesday, October 4, against Proposition 64.
In a move that drew criticism, county supervisors vice chair Dianne Jacob didn’t place Proposition 64 on Tuesday’s agenda until the previous Friday.
In the November election, Proposition 64 — the Adult Use of Marijuana Act — would legalize use of marijuana and hemp in the state, as well as sales and cultivation.
Numerous San Diegans spoke at the County Administration Center on Harbor Drive, where the meeting was held, including Lee Lambert.
“I grew up in this city and, yes, I once was involved with the drug culture,” said Lee, dressed in a black Gulls shirt. “If it wasn’t for God touching my life in college, I don’t know where I’d be now. Whatever these people will tell you about pot, I can tell you firsthand, this drug is a gateway drug. Of the friends that I’ve known there are quite a few that have died from drugs. More than half of them started with pot....
"[In Colorado] there are pot stores all over the City of Denver. People line up at 5 a.m. and start doing pot at the side of the road....
“I know a landlord of a rental in La Jolla, near La Jolla High School, who didn’t know his tenant was growing pot plants in there.... When he wanted to sell the property, he had to put a huge amount of money to develop and improve the property.”
Carol Green, a mother of 3 children who mentioned she had 16 nieces and nephews, also spoke: “We have a vision for the county we want to live in, a vision of a county that does promote good mental health, that has safe roads to drive on, that doesn’t promote sexual assaults and bad decision-making, and it promotes a live well and healthy environment for all of our citizens. If there is one proposition that does exactly the opposite of all we’ve been doing, that’s Prop 64. It sends the wrong message to children and youth.”
Darrell Cotton, an epileptic patient, uses cannabis oil under Prop 215 protections. Opiates are hard on his liver. “It’s life and death for me. I know hundreds of people who take [cannabis] for health issues,” he said. Still, he’s an anti-64.
“It’s not concise, it has a lot of contradictions,” he said. “There are meanings in words. [Proposition 64] is supposed to take down 215 and hand it over to big agriculture and big pharma....
“We don’t want to hand this massive industry to a government not prepared for it.... In terms of six gallons per water per day, per plant, we can’t tolerate that. There are other techniques like aquaponics. We use that for hops. We need to curb our water use.”
Martha Sullivan lives above her business in Old Town. She’s anti-prohibition.
“I want to point out that you’re putting this on your agenda Friday for discussion early this morning is really not good government and it’s not in the spirit of transparency and citizen participation,” she began.
“Prohibition of alcohol back in the first quarter of this century undermined the respect that people have for law enforcement because people went ahead and consumed alcohol,” she opined. “Eventually, Prohibition was overturned because people recognized it was ridiculous to enforce that prohibition as it undermined respect for law enforcement. The same thing has happened with marijuana.”
Prop 64 San Diego Chapter political consultant Antonio Ley, who attended the meeting, posted on Facebook shortly after: “Our ethnically diverse County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to vote [against] Prop 64 based on absurd conclusions today about marijuana use.... Police officers target [persons of color] to look for warrants and sometimes deportations. I talked to Televisa and Univision today about how [persons of color] are six times more likely to be arrested for marijuana and how voting #Yeson64 helps our communities.”
Supervisor Jacob brought the motion to vote in favor of No on Prop 64.
“There’s overwhelming reason to oppose," she said, "and my intent in bringing it to the board is to get word out to our public, the people in San Diego County, that this is bad for San Diego.”
Bill Horn, veteran and representative for North San Diego County’s District 5, concurred: “I remember when I was a [commanding officer] of an artillery unit and had two Marines at a post who smoked pot,” he said. “I went out and visited their bodies because I found their throats cut by the North Vietnamese. They weren’t paying attention. And, since that day forward, I have been opposed to marijuana.”