Escondido Passes Pot Ordinance Among Toughest in State - NBC 7 San Diego

Escondido Passes Pot Ordinance Among Toughest in State

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    Escondido Passes Pot Ordinance Among Toughest in State

    NBC 7's Dave Summers reports form the "Just Say No" City." (Published Friday, Feb. 23, 2018)

    The Mayor of Escondido on Thursday addressed the newly passed marijuana ban that's earned his town the nickname "Just Say No" City.

    The City Council voted unanimously against allowing the sale of recreational and medical marijuana, despite several other county communities now welcoming commercial cannabis.

    Escondido's ordinance, which bars dispensaries, cultivating and deliveries within the city limits, is among the toughest prohibition of marijuana sales in the state to date.

    The "Just Say No City” is a nickname Escondido Mayor Sam Abed can live with. In fact, he called it a "Badge of honor."

    A week ago, the City Council unanimously voted to prohibit commercial cannabis in all forms.

    The passage of Proposition 64 legalized recreational use. Only 52 percent of voters in Escondido were in favor of it, one of the smallest margins of victory in all California communities.

    "Escondido is a faith-based community and we believe this is not good for our city," Mayor Abed said.

    Other San Diego communities are cautiously moving forward with the process of selling and cultivating cannabis.

    "It’s unfair, you know? We live in a city, we live in America. Everyone likes to smoke weed," Escondido resident Alan Bayat said.

    Mayor Abed says it is a health and safety issue for Escondido children.

    "They're going to get it if they want it. If they want it bad enough it is not going to make a difference where it is sold or isn't," former resident Deborah Beverson said.

    Prop 64 was attractive to many communities because the promise of a tax windfall.

    Mayor Abed says don't count your money yet.

    “We're not going to see any of that because we don't trust the state," Mayor Abed said. 

    There are still a lot of unknowns about the future of pot sales in San Diego County but there is one certainty: Mayor Abed won't have it on his watch.

    The Mayor and City Council took it one step further, adding stiffer penalties for social hosts.

    Adults who provide or permit underage party guests to drink alcohol or smoke pot could go to jail and face a $10,000 dollar fine.

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