Santa Barbara Voters To Decide On Pot 'Deprioritization' Ordinance


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Oct 22, 2005
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August 3, 2006 - Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Santa Barbara, CA: Santa Barbara officials this week confirmed that a municipal initiative that seeks to make marijuana law enforcement the city's "lowest priority" has been certified to appear on the November 2006 ballot.

Sponsored by Sensible Santa Barbara, the measure directs municipal police to make activities related to the investigation, citation, and/or arrest of adult cannabis users their lowest priority. It would also appoint a Community Oversight Committee to monitor police activity as it pertains to marijuana law enforcement. Seattle voters passed a similar proposal in 2003, which has led to a 75 percent reduction in citywide marijuana arrests.

According to the results of a November 2005 city poll, nearly 80 percent of Santa Barbara voters oppose incarcerating convicted cannabis offenders, and 67 percent believe that "marijuana users should be treated the same, under the law, as alcohol users."

In June, West Hollywood City Council officials voted in favor of a resolution calling on Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies to not "target adult marijuana users who consume this drug in private and pose no danger to the community." Santa Cruz voters will decide on a similar municipal ballot measure in November.

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