City of Napa Medical Marijuana Dispensary Referendum (November 2014)

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A City of Napa Medical Marijuana Dispensary Referendum will not be on the November 4, 2014 election ballot for voters in the city of Napa, in Napa County, California.

This measure would have been a veto referendum for a city ordinance adopted in 2010 which authorized one, very regulated medical marijuana dispensary in the city of Napa. This ordinance was never implemented because of legal concerns. On December 3, 2014, the city council voted three against two to repeal the ordinance entirely. Some residents did not take this well, however, and the group Napa’s Compassion Referendum Committee formed to begin a petition to put a referendum on the November ballot. The referendum would have given voters the option of overturning the council's repeal, reviving the city ordinance and allowing for a dispensary to be active in the city. The petitioners turned in 5,050 signatures on January 15, 2014, the last day they were able to do so.[1][2] They needed 3,852 of these signatures to be valid to qualify their measure for the ballot. After investigation by the county elections office, however, a random sampling of 500 signatures resulted in an estimate of 2,070 valid signatures contained in the petitions.[3]

In a press release, the group behind the petition said, “Too many citizens fell into the categories of not being registered voters, or not having renewed their voter registration address, and their petitions were discounted, leading city clerk Dorothy Roberts to declare the petition 'insufficient', and no further action will be taken on (it)."[3]

Petitioner Max Harpel said, “We were shocked. Standing in parking lots day after day we got to know so many people. The 'thank yous' and 'thumbs up' signs kept us confident we had the public's support.”[3]

Support

The Napa's Compassion Referendum Committee was behind the referendum.

Arguments in favor

Committee member Kyle Iverson said, "The Compassion Referendum Committee felt that the city was doing a disservice to those in the community suffering from AIDS, Cancer, Glycoma, paralysis and many other medical illness that medical cannabis has proven to aid. Many of these patients are unable to drive to dispensaries in other cities and do not feel safe relying on delivery services that are often unregulated and potentially dangerous."[4]

Iverson also argued, "Unregulated dispensaries are causing problems because they are operating without business permits and are frequently operating for profit." He went on to say, "Napa’s ordinance regulated and monitored a local non-profit dispensary, which would allow for funds going back into the community to assist with other non-profits. This money could help other organizations that focus on youth prevention and teen abuse."[4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in California

The group Napa's Compassion Referendum Committee formed to put this referendum on the ballot when the city council repealed an ordinance allowing a medical marijuana dispensary to operate in the city. The City Council voted to repeal the medical marijuana ordinance on December 3, 2013. The group needed to collect about 3,852 valid signatures to qualify their measure for the November 4, 2014 ballot. Moreover, the committee had to collect these signatures by January 15, 2014. On January 15, 2014, the petitioners turned in 5,050 signatures; they need 3,852 of these signatures to be valid to qualify their measure for the ballot. After investigation by the county elections office, a random sampling of 500 signatures resulted in an estimate of 2,070 valid signatures contained in the petitions. As this is not even close to the number required, the measure failed to reach the ballot.[3]

In a press release, the group behind the petition said, “Too many citizens fell into the categories of not being registered voters, or not having renewed their voter registration address, and their petitions were discounted, leading city clerk Dorothy Roberts to declare the petition 'insufficient', and no further action will be taken on (it)."[3]

Petitioner Max Harpel said, “We were shocked. Standing in parking lots day after day we got to know so many people. The 'thank yous' and 'thumbs up' signs kept us confident we had the public's support.”Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

Smith also said, “This campaign has been twofold. It's about providing patients with safe access to their medicine and providing our community with direct access through the democratic process.”[2]

Similar measures

Recreational

Colorado:

Defeatedd Town of Palmer Lake Marijuana Legalization Referendum (April 2014)

Maine:

Michigan:

New Mexico:
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Albuquerque Marijuana Decriminalization Measure (November 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Santa Fe Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative (November 2014)

Wisconsin:

Approveda Dane County State Legalization of Marijuana Referendum (April 2014)

Medical

California:

Approveda Lake County Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance 2997 Referendum, Measure N (June 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Imperial Beach "Compassionate Access Ordinance" Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Act (June 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Napa Medical Marijuana Dispensary Referendum (November 2014)


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