Legendary Oregon activist John Sajo has been on social media quite a bit lately discussing votes on local bans and taxes in Oregon. Oregon voters approved marijuana legalization nearly two years ago on Election Day in 2014. Almost immediately bans started popping up all over Oregon, especially in Eastern Oregon. John Sajo has pointed out several times to activists in other states that the battle to legalize marijuana is not over once an initiative passes. In fact, it’s just the beginning of the second battle to end prohibition.
We now know that after a state legalizes, the battle moves from the state level to the local level. It has happened in every state that has legalized so far, and I’m sure it will be something that we see in every other state that chooses to legalize marijuana. There will always be provisions that allow municipalities to opt out of the marijuana industry. They won’t be able to opt out of marijuana legalization altogether, as people will still be able to experience the freedoms of marijuana legalization in a personal fashion.
But outdoor cultivation (even on a personal level), all industrial cultivation and processing, and other things will most certainly be banned in one or more areas of states that legalize, if only temporary. It’s already starting in California where legalization is expected to pass next week based off of strong polling. Obviously anything can happen in a week, but some local governments in California are already acting as if it’s a sure thing, and are pushing for bans. Per Mercury News:
San Jose is the latest city considering steps that would prohibit growing, processing and selling weed for commercial purposes — an effort that is designed to buy time until City Hall can decide how to regulate the new industry.
San Jose isn’t alone. Berkeley just approved its own policy banning recreational cannabis businesses until after the city crafts regulations and a licensing process. Palo Alto, Campbell, Foster City, Hayward, Davis, Martinez and other cities are also pushing for various types of local controls or temporary bans before voters decide on Nov. 8 whether to legalize recreational marijuana.
If you live in these areas, now is the time to start contacting your local elected officials. Don’t wait until after Election Day. The push for local bans is occurring now, so your opposition to those bans should start now. Regardless of how you feel about the California initiative language, I hope we all agree that a complete ban on the cannabis industry in any area is bad. A lot of cities and towns in California have economies that have been struggling for years, and they need the jobs and revenue that the cannabis industry can bring to the areas.