Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
There seems to be a very good chance that California voters will legalize recreational marijuana use in the upcoming election. I don’t know whether that will turn out to be a good or bad decision, but it will lead to the state collecting a bundle of tax income from those sales which should in turn trickle down to California cities. And it occurred to me that there might be another way that the passage of Prop. 64 might benefit the city of Manteca.
For decades now, our police have discovered Manteca McMansions that are housing huge pot growing operations, the street value of the crops sometimes estimated to be in the many hundreds of thousands of dollars, and occasionally over a million dollars. Up until now, the plants have been burned or otherwise destroyed. California apparently has a law on the books which allows local police departments to seize vehicles and other property taken in drug busts, which is often then used by local government departments or auctioned off to the public.
I’m wondering if instead of burning pot seized in future busts, that it might be possible for the city to auction it off to state licensed pot dealers. The city has had a difficult time funding any major infrastructure jobs since the state grabbed all of the redevelopment agency money, so It would be nice if the next big pot bust could pay for having all of the bulb-outs on Main Street removed, or paving the downtown alleys.
I realize that this sounds on the surface like kind of a goofy idea, but it might be worth the time of the mayor and city council, the police department, and the city attorneys to look into it if Prop 64 does pass.