Silicon Valley Fights and Wins Against Pot Industry

Citizens Fight Back Marijuana Industry

by Frank Lee

We had a stupendous victory in blocking the drug gangs in Milpitas in Silicon Valley.  Originally Milpitas city council members already approved in October to open up ten marijuana businesses.  We managed to convince them to reverse course — they just approved a complete permanent ban on commercialization of marijuana in the city on November 20th.

We appreciate the cooperation and help of allies, churches, local citizens, and media friends.  It manifests that we should not be giving up regardless, and that hard work and unity are vital.  Citizens should stay alert of the development of lawmaking and public policy formulation.

The key was that we managed to pressure council member Anthony Phan to recuse himself from discussing and voting on this issue since we had found that he is the principal of Pinnacle Strategy which is a major marijuana consulting firm aiming to promote marijuana businesses and ordinances in Silicon Valley.  It was back-and-forth political maneuvering between him and us resulting in his recusation which rendered their efforts to legalize pot futile (3:2 became 2:2).

The city must pass a resolution since the temporary ban on pot will expire in early 2019.  With the overwhelming opposition and Phan’s recusation, the remaining four council members voted unanimously to approve the permanent ban on commercialization of marijuana instead.  Our efficient mobilization of supporters and allies was another key to success.  Our online petition against the original proposed ordinance to open up ten pot businesses resulted in over 4,000 signatures in eight days while over 400 people showed up in city hall unprecedentedly on November 20th to protest against such proposal.

In addition, we managed to block two pro-marijuana legislators in Mountain View where Google headquartered from being re-elected while helping a candidate of our side to become a new legislator. Thus, we now may have the vote to stop more aggressive moves of the pot gangs in Mountain View. To start with, we are hopeful that we can push through a local ordinance requiring the city to notify residents and merchants in the vicinity of a proposed marijuana outlet at least 30 days before the first public hearing of such application.

Fight Back Marijuana Industry

Recently, while we managed to help residents to block the opening of three marijuana outlets in Mountain View, two others were approved.  With the new legislature, we may eventually be able to reverse the situation.  This good result reflects that working on the election of local legislators is momentous in our fight against the drug gangs.

Many of the cities in Silicon Valley, including some very liberal ones, ban the commercialization of marijuana, including but not limited to Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Cupertino, Los Gatos Hills, Milpitas, Fremont, Millbrae, San Ramon, etc. Our efforts are not in vain.  With the absence of a California law specifying what constitutes DUI-Marijuana, legalizing recreational marijuana is very dangerous and pernicious!  We must push for such a new law.

Thank you very much for your support and encouragement.  Please keep working with us.

Frank Lee is the President of the Organization for Justice and Equality.