Poll: Should Sonoma’s dispensary initiative have gone to vote?

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Along with Proposition 64’s legalization of recreational cannabis use, comes the question of commercial sales – do communities want storefront dispensaries and all the benefits and/or drawbacks that walk-in shops may carry with them? Like many towns, Sonoma is facing that very dilemma. Earlier this summer a signature drive to place an initiative that would have allowed a dispensary in Sonoma qualified for the Nov. 6 ballot, but the Sonoma City Council voted 3-2 to call for further study and postpone the initiative to the 2020 ballot. Our most recent online poll asked readers if they agreed with that decision, or whether the council should have allowed the voters to decide this November.

Like many issues surrounding cannabis these days, the outcome was closely divided. Forty-nine percent of respondents felt the initiative had a right to go to a vote Nov. 6, while 41 percent agreed with further study and waiting to 2020. About 10 percent, meanwhile, thought the council should have gone with the third option it had in its arsenal: to simply enact the initiative into law and bypass a vote altogether.

Wherever one stands on the topic, one thing’s for sure – the dispensary debate will be with us for another couple of years at least. Smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em, Sonoma.

Jason Walsh

Here are a few of the more passionate responses:

So once they get voted in, they have the right to decide on what we are allowed to vote on? The cheapest study they can do is visit dispensaries in other cities. Maybe then they’ll realize the broad ages of responsible adults who use these services. Time to vote them out. Try to stop that.

There are already too many drunk drivers here. It doesn’t make sense to add another intoxicant to the options.

Voters are adults and can figure this out since council will not.

A LOT more further study!

We voted to legalize cannabis in CA. Done! I am certain the same concerns were voiced about liquor stores. Let qualified dispensaries in and let me grow it if I want to.

We are entering a new era of crazy where City Council members are threatened for their vote - read the detail of the petition. We would become the Haight of Sonoma County.

Sonoma is just pissing money away. All these cannabis-related items are just a 20 minute drive out of this town and all money goes to those cities. Congrats Sonoma for being so far behind in the times. Now let’s get drunk and take some pills and drive around town because that’s A OK around here!

In support of diversity and equal rights for all, we need pot shops in Sonoma so that the local dilettantes/derelicts can have equal stoned standing.

The study plainly pointed out what was wrong with this initiative. What is wrong is lack of local control, but the City Council blew it by not passing their own ordinance in a timely manner. By letting personal views or fears get in the way, they got themselves into this situation.

Nowhere in the city should a cannabis shop be set up. It brings with it too many issues drugs, crime, homelessness, pandering, robbery. But, the City will allow it because they’re idiots. The cannabis shops should be required to have a full-time law-enforcement officer at the business at all time paid for by the cannabis shop.

While I believe that Sonoma should/could have a dispensary, this one seemed flawed and rushed.

Actually this should have been done a year ago. Those that are against never even prepared for what was going to happen when it became legal.

It’s called “dope” for a reason. Save our young minds, they are the future of our country.

The City Council should not be impeding state laws about cannabis. Instead they should be reducing the ridiculous number of wine-tasting rooms around the Plaza. And, oh, BTW they could set and reap higher tax rates on cannabis, and actually create income that could be used to better our city/local residents. Our City Council is way too passive and obstructive.

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