Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Status of Measure P

Would anyone like to report on what they see as the progress of Measure P? This aptly named initative went into effect a few months ago and I heard on the radio that a City Council Committee was meeting soon to review its progress. Personally, I'm not sure the local police made such a big deal about marijuana anyway and it seems like a big waste of time and money if we have to have meetings on it at City Hall....what do you think?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The park between the Library and the Art Musseum now stinks from the filthy weed -- or is the slackers who now scare people away from a few more formerly cherished public institions?

3/07/2007 9:26 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Dodging the question for now about the moral turpitude aspects, Measure P is a step in the right direction for legalizing MJ vs not. Not sure what progress the council is looking for. Any help out there? Is there actualy a storefront here? I haven't noticed. As I've mentioned spending time in Amsterdam, I can tell you that although quasi legal, you really see very few run of the mill folks stumbling around on the streets looking stoned. Certainly unacceptable in the business enviroment and in general just doesn't seem to be a big deal for them. I think it's a crime that we waste so much tax dollars in this state on finding cultivators. Seems I remember hearing back in the 80's that pot was SB county's largest cash crop. Too bad we couldn't collect taxes on it and build some more infrastructure.

We allow many legal forms of mental attitude adjustment in this country. It seems a bit hypocritical to single out MJ as unacceptable. Alcohol and prescriptions meds have proven to be more toxic to the body. All types are in fact readily available. The biggest issue I see is the creation of a permanent criminal record for any one convicted of possesion. The feds have the authority to ignore state law at their will. Convicted dealers become felons and may spend time in prison. Our jails in Cali (and the country) are overspilling with drug offenders, many of them for MJ related offenses of possesion and distributon.

The mafia in this country was hugely empowered by alcohol prohibition. We now endure a similiar strong international criminal gang system that is decimating entire countries in Central America as our "War on Drugs" has pushed trafficing overland vs over water.

Anyone think the alcohol and drug lobbies have anything to do with continuing this war on pot?

3/07/2007 10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's funny that it passed with a 62% majority yet they can't find anybody to be on the oversight commission to make sure the police is not "over enforcing".

3/07/2007 10:50 PM  
Anonymous michelle dunoire said...


What's up with the Independent's Media Blog?

The last post there is dated February 27, 2007.

Has Ms. McCaw succeeded in silencing someone she can actually identify?

3/08/2007 7:28 AM  
Anonymous Hate Stupid Laws said...

SDLG you are SO right-----this measure and the campaign for it have absolutely no relationship to reality especially in SB. It was part of a larger campaign to ultimately 'legalize' marijuana. It has been decades since most law enforcment agencies ever stopped what they were doing to make a "marijuana arrest"---- so, for the city to put taxpayer and staff money into a COMMITTEEE to oversee FRIVOLOUS legislation is the bigger travesty.....hopefully the Courts will shoot this fiction of a law down in due time...

3/08/2007 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:52: The Council did find peole to be on the Oversight Commission --- people were appointed this past Tuesday. Check the City Council meeting, either video or online It's about 4 hours into the long afternoon meeting, item 14, after the Harbor and ABR commissions.

I don't see how it is a waste of money to have an unpaid citizens committee being an oversight/review board, especially since it is what we voted for in the last election!

3/08/2007 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, they are MJ storefronts in this town - and they already have been the scenes of break-in crimes, double parking and tons of extra graffiti. Nice.

No rules about where these storefronts are placed in this city - right next to families and children are A-OK.

3/08/2007 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

I am ambivalent to the whole legalized pot issue. On the one hand, we need to remove drugs as a way for crimminals to make a living. It is silly that everyday of the year someone gets killed (usually in some out-of-sight-out-of-mind place south of the border) for the pot, cocaine, meth, and heroin habits of Americans. On the other hand, I have watched pot sap the ambition and initiative from people and send them through doors and down pathways back from which they cannot travel. Meth is even worse. It is such a waste to see a bright young person with so much potential to benefit himself or herself, loved ones, and the community spiral down into the foggy labyrinth of mental numbness and apathy. Sure, pot is appropriate medicine in some cases, but let's not fool ourselves. The legalization movement is driven by recreational users. A part of me wants to legalize the stuff, put all the drug traffickers out of business, and let natural selection sort out the users. Another part of me wants to protect bright young minds from this plague that could be taking from us great leaders, great medical researchers, or even more importantly, wonderful spouses and parents.

3/08/2007 8:35 AM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

I am mostly in favor of decriminilization of MJ, but voted against Measure P.

I don't think it really makes progress toward decriminilization. Pot is still illegal, and P is merely an attempt to insert policy and procedure into police department operations. I don't think much of these kind of operational/procedural edicts. I would rather see more work done on getting a statewide initiative for decriminilization (though I am fed up with the initiative process too, and don't even come near me with any more dang petitions!).

I also think it planted seeds for an additional level of bureaucracy -- review boards and meetings as Sara pointed out, and also the potential for huge additional expenses for the city attorney's office (in cases where anyone arrested for a pot infraction could sue the city). I think the legal exposure alone is a huge can of worms. Am I wrong? I guess there are those who would say, "it wouldn't be a problem if the police just followed the letter of the Measure," but the truth is there will probably always be some arrests that occur that can be legally challenged based on P.

I know there are plenty of holes in my logic, and I'm sure many will disagree with my stance, but that was my rationale for being anti-P.

3/08/2007 9:01 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Michelle -- they interviewed me yesterday for a piece that I bet will be up soon. I don't think Matt and Drew are tied up in the back room being made to say "Uncle" to some attorney :) but it's got to be tough to put out a weekly paper and keep an expanding blog going at the same time.

8:05 AM -- even with citizen committee's there is staff time involved, meeting space usage, council agenda time, etc. Now that we have the law -- yes let's have the committee but I question whether the law was necessary.

3/08/2007 9:57 AM  
Blogger Ian said...


I agree that the law is likely to create additional bureaucracy and provide stubling blocks to the efficient functioning of the police and the City Attorney. But I think that's the point: to make prosecuting marijuana users becomes more hassle than it's worth.

3/08/2007 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Tessitura said...

uhhhh...I forget

3/08/2007 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Sara dlg: "8:05 AM -- even with citizen committee's there is staff time involved, meeting space usage, council agenda time, etc. Now that we have the law -- yes let's have the committee but I question whether the law was necessary.")

Good points --- and I question whether many of the laws on the books, the ballot initiatives are necessary, but this one seems pretty harmless. As for the meeting space, it will be unused otherwise, council agenda time? huh? And as for the staff time, probably a bit of the police time, but I think any attention to civil liberties (and that's what this is all about) by the police is good training in awareness.

People, some people, are going to smoke, drink, sniff, snort, drive too fast, etc. Unfortunately, better that then a rigid police state, imho, where everything is forbidden and spies are out there watching. It would be easier (and preferable, imho) to just tax mj like cigarettes rather than have a Measure P and its committee.

3/08/2007 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Moreno said...

I share your ambivalence, eckermann. As a former serious stoner I've seen way too many people fall down the hole. I'm just lucky I got away only minimally damaged.

But the law is an ass, and sending SWAT teams to take down grandmothers is obscene. Where is the social equilibrium? Do we legalize pakalolo and still criminalize meth? Sure, it makes sense to me, but the gray zone here looks like an abyss.

3/08/2007 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

Mr. Moreno, I agree with both your points. We are wasting resources and turning otherwise harmless citizens into criminals for absolutely no benefit to the community. But then, determining where to draw the line between legal drugs and illegal ones is arbitrary. Letting Darwin sort out the winners from the losers in the substance abuse lottery seems such a waste of human potential. I have no answer. I just ask every young person who will listen to not play Russian roulette with their precious minds. Thanks for the perspective Moreno.

3/09/2007 1:01 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Darn it, Mr. Moreno, you grabbed comment "13"...

To expand on two points:

The money spent on prohibition enforcement, adjudication, incarceration et al, is another example of the poor use of public money. It has been almost entirely ineffective and wasteful as drug (and pot) availability has not been stemmed (hee hee)at all. The money could have been much better used in treatment and youth education/diversion projects. Ironic that poppy production in Afganistan is at all time highs. I guess it just goes to show the difficulty in juggling more than one war at a time.

Although I agree with Al 805 and others, the thing about Measure P is that it allows higher level politicians to easily point to and support public opinion when there's been a positive local vote on a matter.

3/09/2007 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not spending time and money on people smoking a plant seems like it would save money,not waste it.In the last thirty years or so California has built 3 or 4 new universities and over 25 new prisons,not to mention new and expanded jails.The vast majority of those imprisoned or in jail are there because certain drugs are illegal.The overall cost in enforcement ,trial,incarceration ,
lost revenue potential and other collateral damage easily exceeds 100 BILLION dollars.I've seen the Santa Barbara police set up a deaf man on a $20 buy.Boy do I feel a lot safer now.
I've asked that the Measure P committee hold their first meeting in the near future.Yes it will use city resources.I have every reason to assume that the 66% of Sata Barbara voters who supported measure P were well aware of that.
This whole take on Measure P seems a non issue. It's the law.Shining a bright light on police activity is healthy in a free society.
David Bearman,M.D.
Member Measure P Committeee

3/15/2007 7:58 AM  
Anonymous "The Law" vs. Measure P said...

Sorry Dave, Measure P is not "the law" is an ill-conceived voter initiative that won't stand the slightest glimpse of daylight once the courts review it.

At least you're honest about your overarching goals--to decriminalize pot. now THAT would actually be changing the "law" and I would have no problem with that. But that is not Measure P.

"The Law" in california and the U.S. criminalizes posession of marijuana. "The Law" [832 pc] in California not only authorizes--but mandates that law enforcement officers enforce "the Law".......
Voter initiatives cannot supercede the California Penal Code or Federal Law--much as you might fantasize that it does. Local "measures" cannot undermine the chain of command or administrative regulations dictating the actions or inactions of public employees. How scary if that were true!

3/16/2007 7:37 PM  

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