Article by Ramona Giwargis, The Mercury News
With little discussion Tuesday, San Jose leaders approved a temporary ban on recreational marijuana sales — just one week before voters decide whether to legalize the drug.
The Bay Area’s largest city joined a growing list of cities that have banned or adopted regulations on growing, processing and selling nonmedical pot ahead of Proposition 64, a state initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot that legalizes pot use for adults.
San Jose leaders said the ban will help stop illegal pot shops from opening — if Prop. 64 passes, as polls suggest — and allows time for City Hall to come up with a regulatory scheme to oversee the new industry. San Jose was among the first cities two years ago to adopt rules for its medical marijuana collectives, whittling hundreds of scofflaw medical pot dispensaries to 16 sanctioned shops today.
With the temporary ban, city leaders are hoping to gain control over the recreational pot industry before it leads to a proliferation of shops. Other Bay Area cities including Palo Alto, Campbell, Foster City, Hayward, Davis and Martinez have all taken similar steps.
The San Jose ban is effective immediately and while there is no sunset date, city officials indicated it would remain in effect at least until 2018, when the state would begin licensing recreational marijuana stores if Prop. 64 passes. The city hopes to have its own regulations in place by then.