Once again, Tuesday night the issue of a marijuana ordinance came before the Tracy City Council. In this iteration, however, the city had allowed its previous ban on all commercial cannabis-related activities to sunset at the end of 2018, leaving the city vulnerable and in a state of no local regulation. The council enacted an urgency ordinance to immediately ban all related activity. This topic has been discussed countless times in workshops and meetings by the planning commission and City Council, yet the city finds itself preparing to perhaps “start from scratch,” in the words of the city manager.
Regardless of what side of the debate residents find themselves on in this issue, they should be increasingly frustrated with the time that it has taken the council to come to this point. Last year when Measure D was placed on the ballot to tax cannabis-related businesses, the council was poised to allow two medical delivery-only facilities but only if the measure passed. Measure D failed to get the required two-thirds vote from the electorate to go into effect. Now, from the discussion at this week’s council meeting, there seems to be a renewed effort to revisit the direction of the ordinance which will undoubtedly be dragged out throughout the better part of 2019.
Residents need to be engaged in this process and make sure that their opinions are heard by the council. With a newly elected councilmember, Dan Arriola, there is a chance for a fresh discussion with a different perspective if he is versed and vocal enough on the issue. Residents should not continue to accept procrastination by the council on this issue and others, such as the concerns at the animal shelter. Unless pressure is placed on the council, they will continue to kick the can down the road and leave residents without answers on issues that deserve definitive action.
Jacy Krogh, Tracy