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Long Beach city clerk office receives petition to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries

Published On: 06-16-2016 in Category: Drug Abuse, medical marijuana


The demand to legalize medical marijuana use in the states where it remains banned is growing by the day. In the latest, nearly 35,000 petitions from registered Long Beach voters were submitted to the city clerk’s office recently. The submission will activate the process of verification that could lead to the matter being put on the ballot in November 2016, wherein the Long Beach voters might decide whether the ban on marijuana dispensaries should be lifted.

According to reports, Long Beach city clerk Maria de la Luz Garcia, who is in charge of counting the signatures, has appointed five seasoned members from her office to begin the raw count of the signatures. After the raw count, a random sampling technique will be followed to verify if the randomly selected names on the petition are on the Long Beach registered voters’ list.

If the total number of signatures meets the minimum requirement of 24,909, the city clerk office will begin the sampling of at least 500 signatures, or 3 percent of the total number, whichever is greater will be considered.

Garcia said, “If through the technique we find that more than 110 percent of the number of signatures that we’re checking are valid then we certify the petition as sufficient.” However, if the number is less, her office will need to verify each single signature, until they reach the 24,909 number.

Valid signatures will prompt submission of sufficiency certificates to city council

If the signatures submitted are all valid, the city clerk’s office would submit a certificate of sufficiency to the city council’s office. Garcia said that the council is liable to decide on any one of the following three options before August 12, 2016:

  • Accept the certificate of sufficiency at a city council meeting and adopt the ordinance automatically, without putting it on voting.
  • Submit the ordinance without alteration to the voters and let the voters decide on its viability.
  • Order a report at a regular meeting of city departments where the city clerk presents the certificate and city departments approach the council within 10 days to present their findings and potentially adopt the ordinance or let the voters decide accordingly.

Marijuana advocates positive about petition

Medical marijuana advocate Bob Kelton, a resident of Long Beach and a cancer survivor, submitted the petition and said, “I believe that it will pass easily in the November election.” Kelton wanted the initiative to be passed because he believes that marijuana should be made available as part of medical treatment to people who actually need it to treat certain ailments. He said that marijuana is far more effective and has less side effects than other medications.

According to the initiative proposed, medical marijuana dispensary will be available for every 18,000 residents or roughly 25 city-wide. Moreover, 1,000-foot buffer zones from all schools, 600-foot buffers from parks, beaches and libraries, and 1,000-foot buffers from other collectives will be maintained to adhere to operational parameters.

If the proposed ordinance is passed, the dispensaries will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and home deliveries will be allowed till 9 p.m. Moreover, 6 percent tax will be levied on cultivation sites that will act as potential revenues for Long Beach.

Seeking treatment for addiction

The legalization of medical marijuana has been a topic of debate for quite a long time now. Though the drug has medicinal effects, it is also a potential drug of abuse. Local governments should levy strict norms if medical marijuana is legalized; though its medicinal benefits for people who really need it cannot be ignored.

If you or your loved one is battling drug abuse, seek help from the Long Beach Drug Treatment and Rehab Center. Our deaddiction specialists can help you get the best treatment for attaining sobriety. Chat online or call at our 24/7 helpline number 562-846-1995 for more information.

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