We are proud that Santa Ana is leading the state in the recreational marijuana movement, being the first and only city in Orange County with permits to sell recreational marijuana legally.
However, Orange County is home to 33 other cities, all of which have all failed to prepare for Proposition 64’s passage and continue to ignore the plant’s economic potential.
With California permitting recreational pot businesses, cultivation and consumption, cities are missing out on millions of tax revenue and a stronger grip on an illegal black market.
Orange County must follow Santa Ana’s progressive spirit by seeking safe and fair drug safety protocols, encouraging more cannabis businesses in all income-level neighborhoods and forgiving non-violent marijuana-related offenses.
To our O.C. leaders and representatives, 52 percent of your conservative voter base voted in favor of Prop. 64, according to the California Secretary of State. If your city council members wish to represent your constituents, follow Santa Ana’s example. Challenge the taboos associated with pot by providing legal and taxable access to marijuana products.
Cities should encourage independent businesses to pursue the industry, developing our neighborhoods and helping our state earn more money each year.
Rather than settling behind a veil of smoke, our city officials worked around the clock to process the flood of applications, and our city’s cannabis business owners met regulations on time, checking every rule, law and regulation. If the rest of O.C. can model Santa Ana’s efforts, they have the potential to benefit from the increased revenue and business brought by this vibrant, healthy subculture.