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Reefer Madness
Liberal Californians Want Legal Weed, Just Not in Their Neighborhoods

Residents of San Mateo, California, an affluent region in the heart of Silicon Valley, voted overwhelmingly (63 to 37 percent) to legalize marijuana for recreational use at the state level. But now that the measure has passed, the county’s Board of Supervisors has opted to put legalization on hold within its own jurisdiction. The San Mateo Daily Journal reports:

The board met Tuesday to enact a moratorium on outdoor marijuana growing as well as commercial operations in response to voters approving Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state.

The temporary ban will initially last for 45 days and could be extended to two years, but the end goal is to study potential regulations and attempt to create a more regional approach. Getting feedback from stakeholders may assist the county in forming a blueprint law cities in the county could adopt.

San Mateo isn’t the only liberal Bay Area region to support different policies at the state and county level. Ahead of the November vote on Prop. 64, the San Jose City Council responded to concerns about the effect the measure might have on the local community by moving to ban marijuana sales within city limits.

Of course, there are legitimate reasons why a county or city government might want to postpone marijuana legalization to develop its own particular taxes and regulations. But the proliferation of strict new weed regulations across liberal Bay Area towns as the state prepares to unleash a commercial marijuana industry suggests that NIMBYism is at work, too.

Many social libertarians support the idea of legal marijuana in the abstract, but would prefer if most of the dispensaries and habitual users they attract were concentrated in other parts of the state. It would be unfortunate, but not entirely surprising, if affluent Bay Area counties carried Prop. 64 to victory, only to have the bulk of the social impact of the drug born by the state’s poorer regions.

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  • victoria wilson – mn

    It seems like we see this pattern of ‘what’s good for thee is not so good for me’ in the rule making arena. In an effort to get the rules right from the outset, and avoid disruptive moratoriums and delayed infrastructure projects, perhaps there should be some tie-in between what a community votes for/supports regionally and what it can then veto for its own little nook on the world. For instance we have a neighborhood that overwhelmingly supports light rail- that is until it is scheduled through a corridor abutting their properties. Then there are years of delays, price increases, and law suits between varying public entities. And perhaps most tragically nothing happens at all.
    Everyone has ideals of the way the world should be but often fail to consider the tradeoffs. Knowing at the outset that their choices could come home to roost could make for more efficient governance.

    • Angel Martin

      Junkies for ye, but not for me…

  • Andy

    “… the bulk of the social impact of the drug born by the state’s poorer regions.”

    So basically they want it to be exactly how it is now, except without having to interact with their dealers and without the risk of being arrested themselves when they decide to party a little.

  • Boritz

    Reminds me of the municipalities and counties with numerous churches and no liquor stores. There is always an enormous liquor superstore with a full parking lot twenty feet past the county line, Add this to What liberals can learn have learned from conservatives.

  • Matt_Thullen

    This is a great example of the reverse hypocrisy of liberals. Liberals have for decades condemned traditional hypocrisy–the “do as I say, not as I do” approach that, for all of its flaws, at least pointed people to a better life. They delighted in showing examples of people who pointed out how to act fell short of these actions in their own lives.

    Liberals now have the opposite approach–they advocate for actions that they themselves won’t tolerate in their own lives. Free and easy divorce, active teenage sexuality, recreational drug use–liberals are all in favor of these–except when it comes to their own families.

    • LarryD

      “–liberals are all in favor of these–except when it comes to their own families.” Which is why I strongly suspect them of engaging in deliberate sabotage of others lives, families, communities. It is so much easier to stay on top when your potential rivals are undermined by drugs and broken families.

  • Andrew Allison

    “But the proliferation of strict new weed regulations across liberal Bay Area towns as the state prepares to unleash a commercial marijuana industry suggests that NIMBYism is at work, too.” is completely unwarranted and in fact directly contradicted by the preceding sentence.

    • Jim__L

      No, not really.

      In San Jose, the pot collectives are right next door to the “day spa” places that offer “massage” services, check cashing, “we buy gold” shops, and XXX bookstores.

      Marijuana shops are a sign you’re not living in one of the better neighborhoods.

      • Andrew Allison

        Please re-read my comment and address the issue raised. Your argument is just another reason why regulation is required.

        • Jim__L

          I intended my comment to be basically a statement of the definition of NIMBYism, as it applies to this instance of policy.

          At this point I’m not sure I understand your comment.

  • seattleoutcast

    Nimbyism, not just a leftist disease, but it so often prevails on the left.

  • FriendlyGoat

    The future of legal weed may have changed with the recent federal election. At some point, there has to be a reconciliation of federal and state(s) laws. It’s hard to imagine Sessions and the new Congress wishing themselves to be considered “nullified” on this subject.

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