Jan 6, 2018
A cannabis-driven cultural shift is upon us, folks, and in this week's podcast, hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts sort out its significance.
The two talk about taxes on pot, the City Council's regulation and permitting of the budding industry so far and ponder what California's new law means for medical marijuana, the black market and delivery services.
And yes, Lewis and Scott also discuss the big pot memo.
Weed people panicked this week when Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the “Cole Memo,” an Obama-era rule that instructed U.S. attorneys to mostly be cool to the states that have legalized marijuana despite it still being illegal under federal law.
It isn't yet clear how Sessions' nixing of the memo will play out. Whether U.S. Attorneys will crack down on dispensaries in San Diego and other California cities that have implemented legal marijuana is still a big question. It's also in the realm of possibility that Congress could take up the issue. And then there's the potential financial effects.
"I think the most immediate impact might be on the investment world that's still dabbling, and still a little worried about federal law," Lewis said.
The 2018 ballot in San Diego is taking shape.
Along with the list of confirmed and potential local ballot measures, a handful of seats are up for grabs. We'll do our best to interview many of the regional candidates in the Voice of San Diego Podcast this year.
Up first is Jordan Beane. The 33-year-old is running for the City Council, trying to unseat Councilwoman Lorie Zapf and represent District 2, which includes Ocean Beach, Bay Ho, Pacific Beach and other coastal communities.
Beane spent nearly five years working for the Chargers when the team split. His pivot to politics was something that had been in the back of his mind for awhile.
Beane said one of his key areas of focus is the housing crisis, and what a sitting Council member can do to help solve it. He said allowing faster and easier permitting to increase the housing supply and incentivizing housing diversity is an important step. And in District 2, a coastal region known for its hardcore NIMBYism and dislike of density, he said "gentle density," or building infill development on empty lots or possibly building two townhouses where there used to be one single-family home, could make increasing density more digestible.
And in terms of the city's homelessness issue, Beane said he'd want to change the city's strategy of ticketing people who are homeless and using police force to keep them from congregating on downtown streets and sidewalks.
"You are not going to solve this issue with sort of leaf-blower lower justice by moving these folks around to different areas of the city and hoping that the problem goes away," he said. "We just need the will to do it – to build permanent housing."
This week's hero is Martin S. Lindsey, an illustrator and designer who's working to document San Diego and Tijuana's most interesting culinary history.
Councilman Scott Sherman gets the goat. Sherman didn't like losing his chairmanship of the City Council’s land use committee. It was a political decision made by City Council President Myrtle Cole, and it's fine to be upset about that. But Sherman's proposal this week to start talks about changing the City Council president selection process to an annual rotating leadership selection process based on seniority is clearly motivated by his anger, not by what process is actually best.