Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Last fall, during the election cycle, you wrote concerning the county supervisor race, that one of the candidates for the 3rd district, Tom Patti, appeared to have all the right stuff it takes to make good choices regarding county matters and you believed him to be the best candidate. It seems many of your readers agreed and Tom Patti did indeed win the race. Of course we all know actions speak louder than words.
Tuesday afternoon I attended the supervisors’ hearing regarding lifting of the ban on cannabis activity in the unincorporated areas of the county. As we all know, in the election of last fall, the California majority voted to lift the ban on cannabis. But many of us did not know that the law allowed each jurisdiction to decide whether to lift, or not lift the ban on this activity. So the elected leaders of each city in the county will decide if this activity will be allowed in their respective cities. And the folks like myself, who live in the unincorporated areas of the county will live with the decision of the board of supervisors regarding this activity in our areas of the county.
After much discussion by county staff regarding the “what and how” this now new legal activity might work if the ban were lifted, the meeting was opened to the public to weigh in on their thoughts regarding this matter. There were the usual folks who spoke of how medical cannabis worked well for their medical needs, as well as those who believed this to be a good enterprise opportunity for them and for the county economy. We also heard from many well-meaning speakers who saw a large opportunity for the county government to share new revenue funds from the taxation and fees generated by this new economic activity. Their ideas were to address drug addiction, mental health and drug related school learning challenges with this new funding source. Add more of the problem, but tax it — to solve the problem.) We even heard the county district attorney declare that we have already lost the war on cannabis in San Joaquin County and the path to solve this war is to legalize cannabis, but regulate and tax it — thereby creating a path to solve this problem? (One speaker retorted that maybe we should also legalize prostitution and bank robbery — but tax same to solve that problem as well,)
Well, by now you can guess my and my family’s choice on this subject. We believe lifting the ban on cannabis will lead to much additional crime in our already overburdened and crime challenging area. And I and many others spoke their minds with the same thought— to just say NO!! And the representatives of the County Farm Bureau came up with the same opinion.
At the conclusion of the public hearing, a motion to not lift the ban on cannabis activity in the county failed. Supervisors Winn, and Elliot were in favor of continuing the ban, and supervisors Villapudua and Miller (who represent and live in Stockton) were in favor of lifting the ban. To my great surprise, and possibility the editor of the Manteca Bulletin, supervisor Tom Patti was the swing vote on this decision. It appears he is in favor of some type of cannabis activity in the unincorporated area of the county.
My challenge to your readers, (who live in the unincorporated area —not city dwellers) is to let supervisor Patti know of you concerns and ideas, both pro or con of allowing cannabis activity where you live, work and play. Allow him to know your values and beliefs regarding this idea. And then we can learn of supervisor Patti’s values and how they match up with his constituents.