Santa Ana, California City Council Backpedals on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries


Once more, Santa Ana’s City Council brought up the recent whirlwind of medical marijuana clinics at the September 16th city council meeting. For the first time since the July 15th meeting, they even decided to have a discussion about it. Prior attempts to do so have been delayed due to absent council members. At the July 15th city council meeting, the council voted in favor of allocating $500,000 toward marijuana enforcement, a move initiated by Councilwoman Michelle Martinez. However, they didn’t inform the general public at that meeting (or any subsequent meetings) that pulling money from the city’s reserve funds requires a “supermajority,” in this case, a minimum of 5 “yes” votes. As the July 15th vote didn’t actually have a supermajority, they had to vote on it again at the September 16th meeting.
All this after several high profile dispensary raids this summer.

The meeting agenda for September 16th, available online, includes a request from City Manager David Cavazos for a more specific distribution of the $500k that would allocate $350,000 to the police department and $150,000 to the City Attorney’s office.
During councilmember comment, Councilman Vincent Sarmiento voiced that the series of arrests throughout the last couple months resulted in a clogged misdemeanor court on September 2nd, one angry judge, and a looming series of expensive trials for the arrestees who are challenging their arrests. “To go out and do multiple arrests, not only does it cause a heavy workload and a burden on [the police dept.], but it burdens the court system also,” he said, referring to the misdemeanor court being shut down on September 2nd due to the volume of medical marijuana arraignments that occurred.
Naval Gazing has more details.