The county Board of Supervisors — which recently stopped a medical marijuana clinic from opening in Nipomo — will discuss Tuesday whether it wants to take a position on a November ballot measure to legalize the plant in California.
Supervisor Bruce Gibson has asked his colleagues to evaluate Proposition 19 and four other measures, all of which he feels have an impact locally.
At a minimum, he says, the discussion would inform supervisors and county residents. If the board advocates for or against an initiative, that will be considered by the California State Association of Counties when that group makes its recommendations Thursday.
Proposition 19 would legalize personal cultivation, consumption and sale of cannabis, and allow adults 21 and older to possess up to 1 ounce.
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Proposition 21 would add an $18 tax to annual auto registrations. The money would go solely to state parks and wildlife conservation, and give drivers free day-use admission to state parks.
Proposition 22 would forbid the state from taking or borrowing tax dollars from local governments.
Proposition 23 would suspend a 2006 measure approved by voters, Proposition 32. Proposition 32, known as the Global Warming Solutions Act, called for California to reduce its “greenhouse gas” emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
Proposition 26 would make it harder for government to raise taxes.
In his note to colleagues, Gibson includes lengthy analyses of all five by the state Legislative Analyst’s office and the association of counties.
He also takes a swipe at the continuing corruption of the initiative process.
Gibson calls the process a “valued feature of the state Constitution, which gives voters a direct hand in state government.”
However, he adds, the state in recent years has turned increasingly to “government by initiative.”
“Many are worried that some initiative measures are poorly drafted, leading to unintended consequences, or perhaps a deliberate effort to deceive voters.”
In addition, the cost of putting initiatives on the ballot has grown increasingly prohibitive, taking it out of the hands of ordinary citizens, and “toward well-financed special interests,” he wrote in a report for the board.