S.F. Passes Marijuana Tolerance Law
Nov. 14 - KGO (KGO) -- San Francisco's Board of Supervisors passed a law that essentially says when it comes to marijuana, the city doesn't much care.
The proposal passed overwhelmingly today and it gets a second reading same time next week, but that's mostly a formality. So for all intents and purposes, the city has a new pot policy.
Veronica Gaynor, Fair Oaks Community Coalition: "The police will have to arrest for barking dogs or spitting on the sidewalk before they get to this marijuana."
Members of a mission neighborhood group oppose the new measure which makes marijuana violations by adults on private property the lowest priority for San Francisco police.
The mayor says it simply formalizes what is already city policy.
Gavin Newsom, San Francisco: "I don't see it changing anything what so ever - frankly I think it's just symbolic."
The measure provides some exceptions: allowing crackdowns on those caught driving under the influence, selling pot on public property, if it poses a threat to public safety, and the use and sale involving minors.
Most other marijuana offenses will be a low priority but Police Chief Heather Fong says that doesn't mean her officers will turn a blind eye.
Chief Heather Fong, SFPD: "When there are legitimate criminal behaviors, criminal acts that occur, officers are permitted to enforce the law as they have been."
A public hearing was held yesterday. Some critics believe the measure will undermine San Francisco's medical marijuana clubs.
Kim Stryker, Fair Oaks Community Coalition: "There's no reason to get a permit for a medical facility, there's no reason to get a medical card - you just go to your neighbor and buy what you want in unlimited amounts according to this legislation."
Supervisor Tom Ammiano calls that an over-reaction. He is the sponsor of the legislation.
Tom Ammiano: "I don't know why the in quotes neighbors, because they aren't my neighbors, keep saying that after we point out that it's not true. Whatever the police are doing now they will continue to do, it's up to them."
San Francisco's new law includes a committee to monitor the implementation. This law is similar to an ordinance passed by Santa Cruz voters last week.
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