By Eric Heinz
People can’t purchase, distribute or transfer marijuana within the city of San Clemente. But in November, voters will be asked whether use and commercial sales of recreational marijuana will be legal in California. The city has already implemented a preemptive ban on the controlled substance in anticipation of the law passing.
The ballot measure, Prop 64, would adopt the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), and it would not allow cities to ban cultivation outright. Instead, people would be able to grow and cultivate marijuana in their homes (up to six plants) but not outdoors, on their patio or anywhere else that isn’t confined by four walls and a roof.
On Wednesday, Sept. 7, the Planning Commission approved a zoning amendment that would require people who want to cultivate marijuana to obtain a permit with the city. This will now be decided by the City Council. Commissioners Wayne Eggleston and Michael Smith voted against the permitting, saying they would rather allow for home cultivation without a permit.
Eggleston said he doesn’t believe the government should have that much authority on what people do in their homes.
When the city took steps to regulate sober living homes, it justified it the same way it might with recreational marijuana: there are health and safety concerns as well as possible quality of life disruptions.
AUMA states a person must be 21 years of age in order to use, sell or cultivate marijuana.
The zoning amendment will be sent to City Council for the Sept. 20 meeting. AUMA is on the November ballot. If it fails to pass, then the laws will remain as they are.