The Fresno City Council on Thursday banned marijuana dispensaries on a 4-3 vote.
Council Members Garry Bredefeld, Steve Brandau, Luis Chavez and Paul Caprioglio were on the winning side.
Full disclosure: I got this information from Bredefeld in a phone conversation on Thursday night. Thank you, Garry.
“I’m very pleased about it,” Bredefeld told me, referring to the council majority’s decision. “That was absolutely the right decision to make. I’m very concerned about the message that Proposition 64 sends to our young people. It’s a terrible message.”
California voters passed Proposition 64 last November. The proposition legalizes the recreational use of marijuana for people at least 21 years of age. Local governments have the authority to ban marijuana dispensaries from their jurisdictions.
Bredefeld thinks there’s no upside to recreational marijuana. I think he’s right. (The issue here isn’t medical marijuana.)
Thursday’s hearing on the fate of recreational marijuana dispensaries was scheduled for 4 p.m. I got to City Hall at about 4:20. People in the audience were already trooping to the public microphone to give their side of the argument for a maximum of two minutes.
I sat on a bench outside the Council Chamber. I could hear the comments through City Hall’s PA system.
I gave up the ghost shortly before 6 p.m. People were still speaking. I decided I’d rather walk the nearly seven miles to my home in the scorching early evening heat than continue listening to the pro-recreational marijuana arguments.
City Hall was full of camera crews. Reporters did plenty of interviews with marijuana advocates near my bench.
One of the advocates was a woman who told the reporter/camera operator that she helped run a marijuana mail-order business. She said Fresno would be foolish to ban recreational marijuana dispensaries.
She had many reasons for this judgment. For example, she said, the use of recreational marijuana helps young people deal with the stress of tuition insecurity.
I suffered from tuition insecurity as a young man. My solution: A couple of years in the Army and the G.I. Bill.
Sun stroke was a better option than sticking around that woman.