This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund If you appreciate our service to voters, please consider helping us with a donation.
Smart Voter
San Luis Obispo County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Measure B-10
Prohibit Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
City of Morro Bay

Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

Fail: 2169 / 44.33% Yes votes ...... 2724 / 55.67% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 23 11:12am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (6/6)
51.1% Voter Turnout (4893/9576)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Shall an ordinance be adopted to prohibit Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in the City of Morro Bay?

Impartial Analysis from Robert Schultz
City Attorney
Measure B-10 appears on the ballot as a result of initiative petitions which gathered more than the number of signatures required by state law for placement on the ballot. If enacted, the measure would require the City of Morro Bay to amend its Municipal Code to prohibit Medical Marijuana Dispensaries.

Under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. This federal law makes it illegal to import, manufacture, distribute, possess, or use marijuana in the United States. Use of marijuana is also prohibited under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

In 1996, California voters enacted the Compassionate Use Act, which protects qualified patients and their primary caregivers from prosecution under California laws for possession or cultivation of marijuana to treat serious illness pursuant to a doctor's recommendation. In 2003, the state legislature passed legislation (SB 420) to allow qualified patients and caregivers to obtain identification cards that insulate them from arrest for cultivation and/or use of marijuana for authorized medical purposes.

Since the passage of the Compassionate Use Act, many cities in California have allowed "storefront" marijuana businesses, often called dispensaries. These facilities operate like pharmacies and dispense different types of marijuana and some offer baked goods that contain marijuana. However, under federal law, these storefront dispensaries are illegal so many other cities in California have banned them from operating.

One purpose of the Compassionate Use Act and SB 420 is to encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana. However, neither the federal nor the state government has implemented a plan to provide medical marijuana under these guidelines and current law does not explicitly address the role of dispensaries, nor does it require cities provide for or allow the establishment and/or operation of medical marijuana dispensaries.

The ongoing conflict between federal and state law on this subject has created a dilemma for local governments with regard to medical marijuana dispensaries. The Municipal Code for the City of Morro Bay currently does not address or regulate in any manner the existence or location of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries within the City of Morro Bay. Measure B-10 would amend the Morro Bay Municipal Code to prohibit Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and prohibit the City from issuing any permits, variances, licenses and entitlements for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries. A Medical Marijuana Dispensary is defined as any facility in a single fixed location that sells, transmits, gives, or otherwise provides medical marijuana.

If enacted, Measure B-10 would not prohibit nor eliminate the availability and use of medical marijuana in the City. Measure B-10 is also not in conflict with California Proposition 19, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative. If California Proposition 19 and Measure B-10 both pass, people 21 years old or older would be allowed to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use; however marijuana could not be sold in a fixed retail location in Morro Bay.

  Official Information

City of Morro Bay
This election is archived. Any links to sources outside of Smart Voter may no longer be active. No further links will be added to this page.
Links to sources outside of Smart Voter are provided for information only and do not imply endorsement.

Arguments For Measure B-10 Arguments Against Measure B-10
We are not opposed to Medical Marijuana for persons with a medical need for the product. We object to a storefront in the existing commercial or retail areas in Morro Bay. There is a service throughout San Luis Obispo County providing same day delivery for medical marijuana users. Morro Bay's access to medical marijuana is not an issue.

Also on this ballot is an initiative legalizing marijuana for individuals in California. This measure does not conflict with that initiative. If the State initiative and this measure both pass, individuals could consume and grow marijuana for personal use in Morro Bay; however medical marijuana could not be sold in a fixed retail location.

The Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce has been promoting Morro Bay as a nature lover's, family friendly, and tourist destination. How can that possibly be reconciled with storefronts selling a drug illegal under Federal Law? Families not wanting to expose their children to that environment will vacation in Pismo Beach or Cayucos. After the "patient" buys medical marijuana what is to prevent that individual from selling it to a teenager?

The Morro Bay police department is adamantly opposed to allowing a marijuana dispensary in the city. They know that crime will increase. Morro Bay's finances are already stressed. Medical Marijuana dispensaries in our business districts will only deter legitimate patrons from shopping. They will go elsewhere, robbing the City of much needed sales tax. City services will suffer.

Regardless of the results of this election marijuana still is a Schedule One Narcotic under Federal Law.

If medical marijuana dispensaries are such a great idea, why has every

other San Luis Obispo County community turned them down? Vote Yes on Measure B-10.

s/ Michael D. Durick
Commissioner, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service (Ret)

s/ John Gajdos
Morro Bay Police, Sergeant (Ret)

s/ Nancy E. Johnson
Chair, Morro Bay Planning Commission

s/ William H. Peirce
Three term Morro Bay City Councilman

s/ James A. Ross
Business Owner, Electrical Contractor

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Safe, comfortable, dignified access to medical marijuana is precisely the issue. Access to medical cannabis only through home delivery causes suffering patients to feel stigmatized and discriminated against; many would prefer the sterile, open environment of a dispensary over home delivery.

Any dispensary allowed will bring more good to the city than harm. It won't affect tourism in the slightest. More patients would travel to Morro Bay due to access to their medication, thus it will likely draw locals of other communities to spend money in Morro Bay.

A dispensary would maintain a price on medications where no value could be made through re-sale on the street. Re-selling is illegal, and a violator would be banned from future dispensary visits. Pharmacies also have the issue with re-selling of prescription medications.

Dispensaries would be mandated to check IDs and doctors' recommendations. Products carried by pharmacies, cigarette and liquor stores pose much greater dangers to teenagers than a dispensary ever would.

The mantra that dispensaries cause crime doesn't really bear out, according to numerous studies and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. "Banks are more likely to get robbed than medical marijuana dispensaries," Beck said.

Why has no other city in the County of San Luis Obispo approved a dispensary? Because of the proliferation of fear mongering, the real reason behind Measure B-10.

Be courageous and compassionate: vote NO on B-10.

s/ Daniel Kraycik
Marketing and Website Design Consultant

s/ Laurence McNally
Medical Cannabis Patient, 36-Year Member of the Republican Party

s/ Frank Paredes
Musician/22-Year Employee of Ernie Ball

s/ Cynthia Smith
Small Business Owner

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE B-10 The most important reason to vote NO: Medical marijuana dispensaries help ease the suffering of seriously ill people -- your neighbors, friends and family members who are compliant with State law. In 1996, Morro Bay voted 57% to pass California's medical marijuana law; today, local patients are still denied their right of safe access to their doctor-approved medication.

The best reason to vote NO: Every city resident will directly benefit from dispensary-generated revenue. A dispensary will provide substantial city sales tax. Many local Chamber of Commerce members recognize that allowing a dispensary in town will be good for businesses throughout the city. Patients are consumers too. Morro Bay is SLO County's only town that has already had a successful dispensary operation. During the year it was open, there were no problems with loitering, with reduced tourism, with attracting a "criminal element" or repeated calls to police. Our Mayor actively solicited feedback from surrounding businesses and residents regarding any concerns; she received none. Many residents didn't even know the dispensary existed until it closed!

Patients need and deserve better access to their medication, but they can't get it. Delivery services are a necessity to the home-bound infirm; but a dispensary offers a more consistent supply of a variety of medications and a more comfortable, convenient, and secure location for the transaction to take place.

Our city is carefully crafting an ordinance to ensure that a dispensary here will only operate in a safe, discrete, community-friendly, lawabiding fashion.

Regarding the concern of a conflict between state and federal law, California is perfectly within its 10th Amendment constitutional right to choose not to enforce federal law with regard to cannabis. Vote FOR increased revenue to Morro Bay, FOR helping those suffering debilitating medical conditions: Vote NO on Measure B-10.

s/ Taylor Newton
Small Business Owner, Morro Bay Tree Committee Member, & Americans for Safe Access (ASA) Member

s/ Jennifer Randolph
Small Business Owner, ASA Member

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
The arguments used for voting against Measure B by the folks who want to allow Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Morro Bay are flawed.

Their claim that local patients are denied access to medical marijuana is not true. There is a very successful delivery business that offers same day service to anyone in Morro Bay who has a legitimate need to use medical marijuana. They further claim "patients need and deserve better access to their medication" and that a dispensary offers a "more comfortable, convenient, and secure locations." With a delivery service available to anyone, what can be more convenient and secure than your own home?

They also claim, "A dispensary will provide substantial sales tax." Definitely untrue. In August of 2005 the attorney for Americans for Safe Access (ASA) wrote to the State of California tax authorities stating that "medical marijuana sales by dispensaries should not be taxed." The signers of the argument against Measure B-10 are all ASA members. The fact is other businesses surrounding the dispensary will suffer and therefore the City will lose sales tax dollars.

They claim that Morro Bay "had a successful dispensary." If it was successful why was it raided and closed by the US Drug Enforcement Agency and the owner convicted of a felony?

Regarding conflict between California and federal law, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2005 (Gonzales v. Raich) that the Federal Government has the power to prohibit the use, possession, cultivation and sale of medical marijuana in California.

Vote Yes on Measure B-10.

s/ Carla L. Borchard
Morro Bay City Councilwoman, Morro Bay Business owner

s /Bertha M. Forsythe
Educator (Ret)

s/ Richard E. Grantham
Morro Bay City Councilman, Morro Bay Business owner (Ret)

s/ C. Stan House
Former member of the Morro Bay Recreation & Parks Commission

s/ Robert W. Kitzman
Morro Bay Business owner

Full Text of Measure B-10
Ban on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Morro Bay

Medical Marijuana dispensaries are prohibited in all zoning districts within the City of Morro Bay. No use permit, variance, business license or other applicable entitlement or approval will be accepted, approved or issued by the City of Morro Bay for the establishment or operation of a medical marijuana dispensary.

A medical marijuana dispensary is defined as any facility in a single fixed location where a primary caregiver makes available, sells, transmits, gives, or otherwise provides medical marijuana or cannabis for medical purposes to two or more qualified patients or persons with an identification card in accordance with Health and Safety Code section 11362.5

A medical marijuana dispensary shall not include the following uses as long as the location of such uses area is otherwise regulated by this Code or applicable law: a clinic licensed pursuant to Chapter 1 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code; a health care facility for persons with chronic life-threatening illness, licensed pursuant to Chapter 301 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code; a residential care facility for the elderly licensed pursuant to Chapter 32 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code; a residential hospice or a home health agency licensed pursuant to Chapter 8 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code; as long as any such use complies strictly with applicable California and federal law.

San Luis Obispo Home Page || Statewide Links || About Smart Voter || Feedback
Created: January 6, 2011 15:00 PST
Smart Voter <>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.