Total marijuana ban gets Upland commission approval

UPLAND >> A pathway for a total ban of marijuana-related activities in the city has been set and could be rubber stamped by the council as soon as next month.

Upland’s Planning Commission voted 6-1 Wednesday night in favor of the total ban. Commissioner Shelly Verrinder was the lone dissenting vote.

With the commission signing off on the ordinance the total ban is now set to be review by the City Council, which doesn’t meet again until Sept. 12. The ban would become effective 30 days after it is approved.

City leaders have stated their desire to have this ordinance in place before the November election — when voters across the state may approve the use of recreational marijuana – and to close any loopholes in its existing ban.

If it does, it will join a host of neighboring cities, as well as San Bernardino County, that have taken similar action.

Commissioner Sid Robinson noted a lot of cities in the state rushed to enact a total ban ordinance because there was a previous deadline of March 1. Ultimately that deadline was delayed indefinitely, he said.

“What that has allowed Upland to do is to go to school on what other cities have done and to see where those loopholes might be,” Robinson said. “I think we have probably one of the tightest ordinances around.”

The city’s municipal code currently bans medical marijuana dispensaries and mobile dispensaries. Before the commission will be a proposal to explicitly ban cultivating, dispensing, transporting, distributing, processing, labeling and testing.

The proposed ordinance would help the city regulate marijuana if the state measure passes. Permanent regulations by the state aren’t expected to be enacted until 2018.

Although the commission was only expected to take up zoning and land issues related to the ordinance, the discussion from commissioners varied and delved into the impacts of a total ban.

Planning Commissioner Bill Velto said he favored the ban, but was concern it will create a strain on the police department to enforce the total ban.

Velto called out city leaders who recently voted down a half-cent sales tax, and urged those in support of the ban to take action to address the police department’s staffing need.

“There’s those on the city council that do not want to see a half-cent sales tax to help safety in this city. You can’t have it both ways,” he said. “You can’t have something that you want the city to enforce and then not give them the resources.”

Verrinder said she doesn’t want to make a decision on behalf of citizens.

“I think it is about time this issue is brought to all the citizens of Upland and let’s see what they say,” she said. “Let’s see what the citizens vote.”

The issue of marijuana has been a hot topic in Upland for years, but Wednesday’s meeting brought out about 30 residents, all who spoke in favor of the ban.


George Boyadjian

Founder of 420 College.

Comments are closed.
All Articles by Month