Riverside Voters Will Decide Whether or Not to Ban Weed Shops

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Mon, May 19, 2014 at 8:03 AM
  • File photo by Timothy Norris/LA Weekly
The Inland Empire city of Riverside has successfully shut out marijuana dispensaries, taking its fight for its right to do so all the way to the California Supreme Court.

City Hall won the battle, but a war still rages.

A group called Riverside Safe Access over the weekend announced that its measure to overturn the city's weed shop ban has qualified for the local ballot:

The organization failed to collect enough signatures to make the November ballot, but they squeaked by with enough to make the June, 2015 ballot.

The measure would rescind Riverside's ban, create a system of regulation for the stores, and limit the number of shops to 10.

Riverside Safe Access calls Riverside "ground zero in this epic battle" and notes that its supporters, including attorney Lanny Swerdlow, asked the council to ...
 ... appoint a commission like Palm Springs did to look into the regulation and licensing of medical marijuana collectives. The city refused to appoint a commission and ended any public discussion of the issue.
The group argues that "drug law enforcement organizations" and City Hall are bucking the will of the electorate and says the public will now get to hear out the idea.

Riverside County interim registrar of voters Rebecca Spensor says 13,640 valid signatures were produced and that 13,368 are needed.

The organization expects stiff opposition but insists it can win:
 ... It is a well-written and well-thought out piece of legislation that will be seen as reasonable and rational by almost everyone except the most reefer maddened of drug warriors.
Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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