Vote NO on Measure A
The Raincross Group of civic leaders in Riverside urges a No vote on Measure A in the current mail-in city election that concludes on June 2. While there may be a place for carefully regulated medical marijuana sales in our city, Measure A is poorly drafted, overly broad, and would likely cause more problems than it would solve.
The fatal flaw in Measure A is this: It allows for no meaningful city regulation of marijuana dispensaries -- operations that can, absent proper oversight, bring a range of side effects that would impair quality of life and economic growth in our city. Under Measure A, Riverside officials would have little standing to enforce rules relating to marijuana shops' hours of operation, sales to minors, buffer distances from homes and schools, and responsible use of "mobile" dispensaries. Instead, Measure A calls for cannabis vendors to "self verify" compliance with such guidelines.
Yet amending the law to address any lack of voluntary compliance -- or to mitigate side effects as they arise -- would be impossible without another vote of the people. This would preclude making easy or timely adjustments to the law, regardless of any threats to public safety.
If Riverside residents wish to allow cannabis dispensaries in Riverside, a far better course would be to work with the City Council on an ordinance that would responsibly regulate medical marijuana sales -- and, going forward, enable timely course corrections by vote of the council.
Allowing unregulated dispensaries and hoping for the best is simply poor public policy. Riverside voters would do well to demand a better plan for any medical cannabis sales in our city, and reject Measure A.
- The Raincross Group