When it comes to the business of medical marijuana in the East Bay, it always comes down to the follow the leader with the Pied Piper being Oakland.
Just as talk of large-scale growing centers climb the list of hot topics in San Leandro, led primarily by Councilman Jim Prola, the inherent uneasiness of city attorneys and law enforcement received a pick-me-up when the San Francisco Chronicle's reporting duo of Phil Matier and Andrew Ross wrote this weekend of federal intervention of the proposed handful of grow facilities in Oakland, if approved by the city council. Each permit will cost $211,000.
City attorneys, whether they be San Leandro, Hayward or Oakland are notoriously skittish of the federal ban on medical marijuana as it abuts California's state law derived from Proposition 215 nearly 15 years ago.
The San Leandro City Council recently approved a 10-month moratorium on the grow facilities within city limits, but the tenor of the talk behind the issues this month showed possibilities the council may be in favor of the potential, often discounted, windfall in tax revenues to be made from the business of pot.
The turning point for many, including Prola, came when San Leandro Det. Dan Fernandez's riveting testimony highlighted by his admission small-time pot growers were highly prevalent in the city. Prola grasped the reasoning that if its existent was so pervasive, why not regulate it? The argument appeared to sway other members making the issue a likely flashpoint late in 2011.
But, will constant uneasiness from Oakland buttress the ambivalence of members such as Joyce Starosciak, Diana Souza and Mayor-elect Stephen Cassidy?