Government

The Lowdown: Berkeley Council on medical marijuana, drugstores, policing, Telegraph Avenue

Cannabis being inspected at Berkeley Patients Group. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

Cannabis being inspected at Berkeley Patients Group. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

On June 17, the Berkeley City Council will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. to finish up discussion, and possibly take action, on four items that were continued from June 3.

The first two items on the agenda relate to medical cannabis, and how the city will select who gets to open the city’s fourth medical cannabis dispensary. There are two reports posted, one from the city’s Medical Cannabis Commission and one from the city managerRead more of the background on Berkeleyside

Next up, the city is looking at new rules that would define what a drugstore is, and set out a minimum distance between drugstore locations. The issue has been a concern for many North Berkeley residents, many of whom oppose plans for a new Walgreens on Solano Avenue. The staff report is online.

Council is set to consider a new policy related to Fair and Impartial Policing, which sets out particular standards and training designed to help avoid racial profiling, and collect data to analyze a variety of police stops to better understand the status quo.

Councilman Kriss Worthington would like the city’s Planning Commission to consider zoning changes on Telegraph Avenue that relate to entertainment, arcades, theaters and alcohol. Read the staff report.

Meeting details

Follow live tweets of the Berkeley Council meeting by clicking the image above. Join in by tagging your tweets #berkmtg.

Follow live tweets of the Berkeley Council meeting by clicking the image above. Join in by tagging your tweets #berkmtg.

The Berkeley City Council meets Tuesday nights at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Special sessions generally take place at 5:30 p.m. and regular meetings begin at 7 p.m. Council agendas are available online here. Watch the meetings online here.

Berkeleyside often covers council meetings live on Twitter. Others sometimes do the same and the discussion can get spirited. Follow council coverage on Twitter via hashtag #berkmtg. Follow along in real-time here, and tag your tweets with #berkmtg to join in. You do not need a Twitter account to follow along. Just click here.

Council-related Twitter handles:
@MayorTomBates
@LindaMaio (District 1)
Darryl Moore @BerkCouncil (District 2)
@JesseArreguin (District 4)
Laurie Capitelli @berkcap (District 5)
Kriss Worthington @k__worthington (District 7)
Gordon Wozniak @Gordon_Wozniak (District 8)

Learn more about the Berkeley City Council and how to connect with local representatives via the city website.

Has something else on the agenda caught your interest? Let us know in the comments.

Related:
Berkeley council on Telegraph Avenue, minimum wage, budget, elections (06.10.14)
Berkeley council on cannabis, drugstore limits, elections, climate hurdles, more (06.03.14)
Berkeley council on budget, elections, minimum wage, new emergency response boat (05.20.14)
Berkeley council on minimum wage, Tasers, ballot measures, budget, pedestrian safety (05.06.14)
Berkeley council on redistricting, drones, affordable housing, mini-dorms, more (04.29.14)
Berkeley council on minimum wage increase, mini-dorms, ballot measures, more (04.01.14)

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  • guest

    The first two items on the agenda relate to medical cannabis, and how the city will select who gets to open the city’s fourth medical cannabis dispensary.

    Wait, what? The last i heard they were still trying to decide if they should allow a 4th dispensary but this makes it sound like opening a 4th is a foregone conclusion.

    We already have multiple illegally operating dispensaries in Berkeley. Why does the council think we need more?

    Perhaps it’s time to enact a pot club ordinance because these things are becoming as common as drugstores.

    https://weedmaps.com/dispensaries/in/california/berkeley

  • John Freeman

    “Four medical cannabis dispensaries shall be allowed within the limits
    of the City of Berkeley, in locations and subject to the requirements
    specified in Title 23.” — B.M.C. 12.26.130

    It used to say “No more than three ….” but voters improved it in 2010 to say that “Four … shall….”.

    Council can’t drag this out much longer. They are obligated.

  • guest

    …voters improved it in 2010…

    My, that’s quite a subjective statement. Improved according to who, exactly? The 20-something potheads who are the majority of the patrons of our local weed establishments?

    It’s also quite a bit different than the actual ballot language in some very subtle ways. Keep in mind that allowing something is not the same as requiring it.

    http://ballotpedia.org/Berkeley_Medical_Marijuana_Ordinance_Amendments,_Measure_T_%28November_2010%29

  • John Freeman

    The ballot language and the text of the ordinance are in agreement. Each says that the city shall allow four.

    “Shall the BMC allow four?” asks the ballot question.

    “Four shall be allowed” asserts the resulting ordinance.

    At the moment, the city is not allowing a fourth dispensary and thus they are now very, very slow in implementing the direction of the voters.

    So:

    It’s also quite a bit different than the actual ballot language in some very subtle ways.

    Not at all.

  • guest

    Good job ignoring the majority of the comment you’re replying to, thank you for revealing your biases on this issue so plainly.

    Since you seem to be such a fan of dispensaries, perhaps you should ask Chris Smith & his illegal pot club to move into your part of town.

  • Biker 94703

    The measure says “allow a fourth dispensary”. Ergo, there can be, up to, but no more than, four. Not sure why you’re so combative about this rather old news.

    Nothing says the City must offer the position to the first applicant, but perhaps a donation to the police retirement fund *nudge nudge* might get some results.

  • Tony Walnuts

    Or they could all move to…Walnut Creek!

  • John Freeman

    Good job

    Thanks.

  • Chris J

    People smoke marijuana and it seems that the pot clubs are obviously meeting the minimal need that actual users with medical need require. We all know that most of these clubs members have extremely dubious legitimate need for mqrijuana, but who cares? They’re within the letter of the law.

    In another generation it’s entirely possible that weed will be available at Andronico’s–if they are still in business.