Marijuana advocates say they are on the verge of winning the first repeal of an ordinance in the county in 13 years, and could have pot voted on in the next election.
Spurred by the county supervisors’ ordinance banning commercial marijuana cultivation, an organization called Responsible Cultivation Santa Cruz has collected 11,210 signatures on a petition asking for a repeal of the law. The county clerk has 30 days to validate the signatures and prove the signers are county residents. They need only 7,248 signers to put the issue to voters.
The ban was supposed to go into effect May 15, but it’s on hold for now. It would have allowed only 10 foot by 10 foot pot gardens on the property of those needing medical care, and would have only allowed one collective selling weed in the county.
Supervisors Zach Friend, Greg Caput and Bruce McPherson voted for the ban; John Leopold and Ryan Coonerty voted against it.
After 30 days, they could either dump the ordinance or call for an election. The next election cycles are in November this year or June 2016, according to County Clerk Gail Pellerin. The November one is small, she says, and might not be economical. The pro-side held a dinner that raised $30,000 in an hour to launch this campaign, according to Robert Singleton of the polling group Civinomics.
Jokes Pellerin: “Pot is motivating.”
Retreat Up and Running
Under its new owners, Essene and Christie Wolf, Kiva Retreat is starting family Saturdays in June. To make it more kid-friendly, the clothing-optional retreat on Water Street will become swimsuit-mandatory on Saturdays during the day only. The business owners are cleaning the place up and restoring its once-lush gardens and hot tubs and plan to bring in art shows, Pilates and yoga.