BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK) —
If you thought the medical marijuana issue was settled here in Bakersfield, guess again.
A new ballot initiative means voters will decide the issue in November.
This initiative was forced onto the ballot by the voters. More than 10% of registered voters in bakersfield signed a petition saying they think this is a situation where every voter deserves a voice.
“It’s commonly know as the Jarvis-Epps initiative,” said Ginny Gennaro, the Bakersfield
Jeff Jarvis and Heather Epps are the two original signatures on the ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana in Bakersfield.
When voters step into the booth this Novemeber they’ll have the option to overturn the city council’s decision.
“If that passes in Novemebr of 2018 it will repeal the cities prohibition of medical marijuana,” Gennaro said.
This would leave the city with state minimum regulations and requirements for medicial marijuana dispensaries, which do no limit the number of storefronts citywide.
So is the city council getting in front of this and making their own regulations?
The answer is no, not right now.
“It wouldn’t really matter what the council did between now and 2018 if that passes everything that council may have done would be repealled,” Gennaro said.
Which means in their relentless battle against marijuana, the city no longer holds the power.
Now if the city does pass new regulations on medical marijuana, they would need Jarvis and Epps to withdrawn their ballot initiative for those laws to remain in place.