Most OC Supervisors Taking a Hard Line on Pot Businesses

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Thanks to the passage of Proposition 64, Californians aged 21 and older are now free to recreationally smoke weed in the privacy of their own homes. And next year, adults will be able to walk into a pot shop and buy all manner of marijuana products.

But where and when the pot shops and commercial growing operations will be allowed to operate, and how much in local fees they’ll pay, will be up to city and county governments. And based on a discussion Tuesday, it doesn’t seem like the Orange County Board of Supervisors will be laying out the welcome mat for marijuana entrepreneurs.

The supervisors regulate land use in the county’s unincorporated areas, which are home to about 130,000 people in places like North Tustin, Midway City, Rossmoor, Ladera Ranch, Silverado, and Trabuco Canyon.

If it were entirely up to Supervisor Todd Spitzer — known as a law-and-order conservative who wants to run for district attorney in 2018 — the businesses would be banned in all areas under the county’s jurisdiction.

“My personal feeling is ban everything, outright,” Spitzer said at Tuesday’s supervisors meeting. But he also supported having a “working group” of county law enforcement and department leaders study the issue and report back to supervisors with recommendations.

Supervisor Michelle Steel echoed that sentiment, saying she wants “nothing to do with” allowing marijuana operations, while also supporting a study of the issue by the working group, which has met just once so far.

Steel, who was appointed chairwoman of the board later on Tuesday, is widely believed to want to eventually replace Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), who happens to be one of the most pro-marijuana members of Congress.

Supervisor Andrew Do seemed reluctant to allow marijuana businesses, emphasizing that marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Creating regulations would be an “implicit” defiance of federal law, he said.

But Supervisor Shawn Nelson, who tends to have a libertarian view of social policy, supported allowing marijuana businesses, saying their product is far less dangerous than the alcohol that’s readily available at grocery stores.

“We need to commit to being involved in some reasonable policy to tax it,” said Nelson, who has been planning to seek a judgeship when his term is up in 2018. “I worry a lot more about what’s going on at commercial pharmacies, as far as danger.”

He noted that one marijuana business the county can’t restrict is mobile delivery services, which will allow residents of the county’s unincorporated areas to access marijuana regardless of how stringent the supervisors’ regulations turn out to be.

Aware of this reality, Spitzer suggested he’d be open to allow some marijuana businesses to operate, in order to raise funds to pay for enforcement efforts against illegal activity.

“I am concerned that the cost for enforcement on the commercial side [will] overwhelm our agencies, and we’re not helping them come up with some regulatory mechanism to fund that,” he said.

A lobbyist for the county told supervisors they can create “reasonable regulations” of commercial marijuana businesses, which has been interpreted to mean permits, fees, and controls on water and lighting for grow operations.

The county’s working group is now slated to explore the issue and report back to supervisors with recommendations at an unknown date.

Spitzer called for two supervisors to be added to the group. But County Counsel Leon Page informed them that doing so would likely trigger a state law requirement that those meetings be open to the public under state law, and the board decided not to do so.

They did briefly talk about holding a public forum to get community input, but didn’t take any steps to start the planning process for it.

Nick Gerda covers county government and Santa Ana for Voice of OC. You can contact him at ngerda@voiceofoc.org.

  • Ed Romero

    Spitzer, where were you when those Drug Dealing, Marijuana Smoking, Cocaine Snorting Racist GOP Lesbians were running the Probation Department? That Asst. Chief Probation Officer that use to Smoke so much Marijuana that all 5 floors of the Probation Department were full of Marijuana fumes, including the Cafeteria full of Local Law Enforcement Officers. I remember out Deputy Sheriff/Security Guard that use to say “SOMEONE IS SMOKING MARIJUANA ON THE 5TH FLOOR AND I DON’T KNOW WHA TO DO”, apparently his Boss that former O C Sheriff didn’t know what to do also. There so much Marijuana and Cocaine use at our Los Pinos Detention Center that my co-workers gave it the AKA/The Lesbian Drug Den.
    That Asst. Chief Probation Officer who had her very own Gang of Drug Dealers making Drug Deliveries right into her Office while on duty in Brown Paper Lunch Bags, one of the Deputy Probation Officers was arrested 5 times for Marijuana for Sale, another one was the Wife of a former O C Sheriff, another on was arrested 5 times for Drunk Driving and all they had to do was make a Drug Delivery to Asst. Chief Probation Officer Marijuana Nancy and all was forgiven.

    • Jacki Livingston

      Just like with the coke dealing, nookie in the parking lot messes he ignored at SSA. He’s busy going wahoo wimpy on anything resembling doing his job.

  • Jacki Livingston

    Oh, and BTW, Todd? No one gives a rat’s tiny behind about your personal feelings. You aren’t being overpaid for your personal feelings. You are paid to implement the needs and right of the citizens you were elected to represent. It’s not about you. Grow up.

  • David Zenger

    It’s always fun to watch “conservatives” turn their back on the idea of States’ rights.

    • verifiedsane

      These are not “conservatives”, they consider themselves the ruling oligarchs. Conservatism is based upon sound principles, these clowns have none…

  • Chris Lacy

    Why hate it. Im sure it pays the bills

  • LFOldTimer

    “My personal feeling is ban everything, outright,” Spitzer said at Tuesday’s supervisors meeting.”

    So Spitzer shows complete disregard and disdain for the will of the California voter – who approved the use of marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

    But from the other side of his mouth he protects county employees who are reported to have lied under sworn oath and submitted false evidence to the OC Superior Court regarding SSA social workers and the wrongful separation of 2 children from their mother for about 5 years. The mother sued the county and won $9.6 million dollars. Now one daughter is suing the county for the same case. A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled that the daughter’s case can proceed and that the county may be on the hook for another big payout.

    One of the SSA social workers who was alleged to have committed perjury and submitted false evidence to the courts kept her job, was promoted to supervisor and made over $132,000 in 2015. No punishment whatsoever after the $9.6 million dollar lawsuit award. On the contrary, she got a promo by county government! ha.

    One of the appellate court justices opined in the ruling “Perjury is a crime under both federal and California state law, as is the knowing submission of false evidence to a court. … Because they
    are supported by the record as a whole, we construe the facts Preslie offers in support of her allegations in the light most favorable to her.”

    Spitizer was quoted to say in the article “Social workers have an immense responsibility to protect children, and I’d much rather have a social worker err on the side of taking a child from the home than leave a kid where there might be suspected child abuse,” Spitzer said. “It’s a delicate balance, and social workers needs to know that if they do that the county will back them up.”

    So Spitzer will back up county employees who were reported to have committed perjury and submitted false evidence to the OC Superior Courts, allegations that were supported by a US appellate court justice – and from the other side of his mouth shows disdain for the California voters who voted the use of medical and recreational marijuana into state law.

    And Spitzer aspires to be our next District Attorney? God forbid. If he’s acting this way today imagine his behavior as our DA.

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/county-740635-hardwick-court.html

    • RyanCantor

      What a disgrace.

      Without any regard to how people in his jurisdiction voted, Spitzer wants a complete ban.

      Government of the people and by the people– unless King Todd says no.

      Ridiculous. Do what your told, Supervisor. Not the other way around.

      • Jacki Livingston

        Todd-let Spritzer thinks the sun doesn’t rise in the OC till he’s had his taxpayer paid for Starbucks. What a tool.

      • Roderick Powell

        It don’t work that way. We vote them in and then trust them. We don’t own them like we own a car. If we feel we should no longer trust them we can get a petition going to remove them from office. The mafia puts someone in power, as does happen, they can tell their boy what to do. I admit I believe Spitzer’s judgment is spot on here. I too admit that I am perhaps the minority who feels that way. Not by as much as you imply. It’s not far from a coin flip. One thing is for certain. If you have pot shops, you will have people die, including innocents. Just pretend one of the innocents was someone you are (were) close too. Perhaps your views would change. After all a small % of people actually use pot. Ask me, life is too short to waste precious time getting artificially “high”. Trust me , no artificial high can beat a natural high. If so, everyone would be getting artificially high..and most are not.

        • RyanCantor

          No, that’s exactly how it works. California enjoys features of a direct democracy. Votes of the people matter. When we vote, politicians do what they’re told. If they don’t, they’re properly labeled tyrants.

          While that may sound extreme, Mr. Spitzer took an oath. His statements openly conflict with that oath.

          Concerning the rest of your comment, it’s not really relevant. Take it up with the voters.

          • LFOldTimer

            You’re absolutely correct.

            When the people vote a new state law into existence it is incumbent upon our elected representatives to accept that law as the will of the people and to do everything within their power to ensure that such a law is is not sabotaged or hindered.

            When elected officials enact new laws they certainly expect us to honor and obey them.

            Proposition 64 (MJ legalization) was approved by a margin of 62% to 38% in California and 52% to 48% in OC. A clear and decisive victory.

            I don’t grow pot nor have I smoked it. And I certainly don’t encourage anyone else to do the same.

            However, I do expect our elected officials to stand by their sworn oaths and honor the vote of the people. And if they fail to do that they are unfit for office.

    • please do misread or misinterpret what I said. I never said in my wildest imagination that misconduct or perjury by social workers would be condoned or protected in fact if true those employees should be immediately terminated. I was speaking generically that it is very important for social workers to protect children and to make decisions to protect children and sometimes by doing that they will make mistakes but in no way should they ever lie or commit perjury.

      I was not on the Board of Supervisors when this case originally occurred. I know that our Counsel will be agendizing it for discussion by the board very soon.

      • verifiedsane

        Where is the oversight so that these countless tragedies don’t happen in the first place Mr. Spitzer? Like the OIR, oversight in your little power ruling class club doesn’t really exist, correct? It’s just PR window dressing, which equates to mere lipstick being applied to the same old corrupt and failing pig.

        These crimes continue unabated still today against our most vulnerable citizens (children, elderly, and the disabled) by an unaccountable and dysfunctional government body. It would be refreshing if you didn’t give the public your standard political speak answers and actually did something.

        But of course that will never happen in the ruling class self serving OC leadership: just more of the same old political speak deflection. Why would anyone consider voting you in your coming run against Rackauckas for DA. Is your campaign slogan going to read “I’m trying to appear less corrupt and inept than my opponent”.

        When SSA social workers make “MISTAKES” as you like to categorize these ongoing crimes and cover-ups; real Citizens lives are destroyed. Of course Mr Spitzer, those must seem easy words to use coming from someone who is immune from having these tragedies happen to them.

      • LFOldTimer

        Come on, Todd. I didn’t misread anything. I read your quote word for word in the Register article on the SSA social workers who hold positions of public trust and reportedly lied and submitted false evidence to the OC Superior Court that caused egregious harm to a mother and her 2 young children costing the county taxpayers $9.6 million. Now we have a sequel to that case that will likely cost us millions more. And you failed to even refer to the bad behavior.

        You didn’t offer a single negative word about SSA or the social workers for putting the county taxpayers (or the mother and her children) into this predicament. On the contrary, you were quoted to say that you would back them even if they “err”. Just because it didn’t happen on your watch what prevents you from looking at the situation retrospectively and publicly condemning past behavior so it’s not repeated?

        You shower the county workers with praise and awards at your meetings. But you never publicly hold them accountable when they screw up and cost us dearly.

        The OCSD informant scandal has tarnished the reputation of the county worldwide. Yet when’s the last time you publicly criticized the Sheriff who has refused to take responsibility for her terrible management or even admit that it’s a scandal? Vicious violent convicted criminals are getting released from jail via sweet plea bargains, or new trials have been granted because sworn officers refuse to perform basic duties like testify in their criminal cases. And those sworn officers keep their jobs.

        Strange that you were so outspoken against Judge M. Marc Kelly and wanted him removed from the bench but refuse to call out those who fall under your authority. Part of your job is protecting the county’s reputation, which includes holding county employees accountable for their actions. Your silence is deafening.

        Stop playing politics. It’s time to clean house. Start acting like a leader.

        • verifiedsane

          Well stated and great comments LFOldTimer! Let’s now see if Todd tucks his tail between his legs and runs away into hiding, or will he comes back here for further this important open public discussion.

          Does anyone wish to place bets on which path Supervisor Spitzer will take?

          • LFOldTimer

            I used up my first and only allotted 3 minutes in my other comment, verified. I have to wear a muzzle for the remainder of the discussion.

          • verifiedsane

            LMAO

          • Jacki Livingston

            I have twenty bucks that says Todd-ler Spritzer will run to hide behind someone’s skirt. That is his MO.

          • verifiedsane

            Let the balloons fall and the band play!! You have won…..please collect your prize at the next OC supervisors meeting…

      • LFOldTimer

        Oh, btw, Todd.

        The Register reported that the OCFA Buena Park Fire Station burned to the ground along with 4 fire vehicles destroys to include a 100 Foot Aerial Fire Truck.

        What’s the cost for that? Millions and millions and millions no doubt. Are you going to take it out of the firefighter’s budget? Oh wait, I forgot. Public safety budgets are sacrosanct. They never have to eat their own costs. In fact, you’ll probably give them a pay raise. Only the innocent taxpayers get hosed.

        I guess this is another scenario similar the OCSD informant scandal. The firefighters just need more training to preclude their own fire station from burning down. ha.

        Make sure you don’t criticize OCFA at the next supe meeting for letting their own station burn down along with 4 county vehicles. Heroes are above criticism and accountability.

      • Jacki Livingston

        You sir, are a liar and a coward. As an SSA worker, I reported to you that patients in nursing homes were being robbed, raped and killed. I provided you with evidence. I showed you that CalVin was being rigged by unscrupulous managers so that these homes could double and triple Bill taxpayers. I showed you proof of misconduct, and that I was being retaliated against, my career destroyed, for telling the truth. I BEGGED you to just look at the files. You ignored it. You took campaign money from those companies. I spent SIX YEARS begging you for help. Then, when forced out, I called you as a witness for my EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLAR Workers Comp case, and you made sure your wife assigned my case to your personal law client, Loose Armstrong, so you wouldn’t have to testify under oath. Then, after I was humiliated, lost my career and my health destroyed, you not only had me blackballed, against state law and the terms of the settlement, but you sent off duty sheriffs to my home, to threaten me into silence. Now you want to be DA? No, Todd. The only benefit to my being unable to get hired, and you blocking my disability retirement, is I have lots of time to speak to every senior center in OC about what a “law and order” guy you really are. People need to know. I really did think you would help those patients. Now mob connected criminals are running these taxpayer funded cash cows. How much do they pay you?

      • Jacki Livingston

        And, as usual, you do not respond. Multiple employees, past and present, have tried to tell you of this misconduct and crimes. You don’t just ignore them, you retaliate. You send sheriffs to threaten, you try to block people on social media. The question is, if you are not involved in these crimes, why are you so touchy about them being brought to light? If you think you will win DA like this, you are nuts. I want to know how you sleep at night? Those patients are being abused, violated, neglected, assaulted…they have no voice. Do you think voters won’t hear of this?

    • Roderick Powell

      I just read your first two paragraphs. No point reading the rest! The California voter that votes for recreational pot is too doped up to make an intelligent decision. The entire voting structure is flawed, thus Trump wins. We have Russian manipulation to the nth degree. We have an FBI man doing the unthinkable. He should be sent to the brig for about 30 years. (or life without) We have flagrant voter suppression though out the country. Trump and Putin bromance. Come on GOP..Trump has declared war against us all. Go much further and your 15 minutes of childish pathetic arrogance will pass and you’re party will cease to exist, perhaps forever.

      • LFOldTimer

        The dems scolded Trump when he claimed the electoral system was rigged and practically accused him of treason for doing so. Then after Hillary lost the whiners demanded a recount. When that didn’t work the whiners tried to extort the GOP electoral voters to vote against Trump, which failed miserably. Then they tried to blame Russia for Hillary’s loss! ha.

        Hillary lost because she was a terrible candidate who lost the trust of the voters. She helped rig the Dem primary against Bernie Sanders. She colluded with the media to obtain questions for the Presidential debate in advance of the debate, placing Trump at a huge disadvantage. Her campaign implemented a failed strategy by campaigning hard in states like California and New York that she already had in the bag and ignored the swing states that Trump ended up winning. Really stupid. It would be scary having someone that stupid running the nation.

        Trump spent all his time in the swing states and won 30 states to Hillary’s 20 – thereby winning the election. duh? He had the brains to realize that the popular vote was irrelevant.

        Outcome: Trump will get sworn into office on Jan 20 and he will be your new President for at least 4 years, like it or lump it.

        Hail Wikileaks for exposing the truth about Hillary!!!

        The liberals loved Wikileaks when it exposed the truth about Bush and the Iraq invasion. Julian Assange was a hero back then. But now they hate Wikileaks for exposing the truth about Hillary and Julian is evil. ha.

        Funny how that works! 🙂

        Pick a side and stick with it.

        • Roderick Powell

          The democrats learned lessons, yes. However, remember this. Donald Trump has no respect for his fellow republicans. The feeling is mutual. Both Donald Trump and the republicans in elected office could care less about the voters. Watch how this plays out. Trust me God is not on the side of liars, cheaters and thieves. The republicans have some very hard lessons coming. Comey will be their scapegoat. Do you really think what Trump and Putin did TOGETHER is ok? I got news for you. The plot will thicken. The republicans have put us in bed with a dictator. A dictator who only wishes to take us for all we are worth. Trumps personal agenda is racial in nature. The republicans have sold their souls. I only pity the few republican voters that voted because they mistakenly bnought into Trumps lies about turning this country around and providing “Trumpcare”. I, and most democrats sleep well at night. The republicans, as it is with most haters, do not, I am sure. They live with paranoia. We democrats will fight on to save this country from the flagrant (and as yet to be determined just how much) takeover that is occurring. The republicans have burned friendships forever. What exactly do you do, dance around the house because you went through so much effort to be able to tell women they can’t get an abortion, if they choose. If, as will likely happen, you arrogant, ignorant and mean-spirited republicans ruin this country for the duration of my life, their will be a price to pay. I will be a part of the effort to assure that. Funny thing, all the rude comments and rubbing it in by the republican faithful is not done face to face. So I should add the word coward to your description, for the majority of republicans. Heaven help us if Trump sends us to war, and we have to fight along side and trust that you all won’t take advantage of the situation and shoot us in the back.

          • verifiedsane

            Were you actually writing about Jerry Brown correct? Because Trump has not even taken office. In your lobotomized world of partisanship…Trump is already a dangerous failure..of course with Obama, Hillary, and the rest of their Intrusive Big Government Socialist/Globalist agenda puppets; we actually have an eight year record and conclusive evidence of their corruption and failure. Both mainstream parties have shown little differentiation for the past couple of decades when it comes to being corrupt & self serving. I’m more than willing to give an outsider a chance. Just maybe you should hold back and save some of your criticism for four years from now.

          • Roderick Powell

            Trump won’t last four years.

          • LFOldTimer

            Once the people see Trump improving the lives of the American citizens as opposed to war contractors, Wall Street and illegal foreigners (like the democrats have done for 8 years) Trump will stay in the White House for 2 full terms.

          • verifiedsane

            What evidence do you have to make such a uninformed statement…is it because you personally don’t like him do to blind partisanship! Or did you happen to shake a magic eight ball and avoid cracks in the sidewalk for a week? The outlandish hypocrisy and double standards propagated by the Liberal California Left never cease to amaze me…

          • LFOldTimer

            “The democrats learned lessons, yes.”

            No they didn’t. To this day the whiners and sore losers still blame others for Hillary’s loss. Not themselves. The DNC and Hillary’s campaign CHEATED to influence the election. The Democrats are projecting their own malfeasance on the Russians. The emails that WIKILEAKS exposed were all true and authentic. No one disputes that. Not even Hillary or Podesta. The emails exposed the TRUTH to the American voters and that is the reason Hillary lost in addition to her stupid strategy of campaigning in the wrong states.

            “Trump has no respect for his fellow republicans”

            Trump has no respect for the RINOS and the establishment Republicans or for the phony peace-loving Democrats who foment war and bigger profits for Wall Street – and who neglect their own citizens.

            ” Do you really think what Trump and Putin did TOGETHER is ok?”

            You have a wild imagination. Trump and Putin have never even met. The tin-foil black helicopter conspiracy theories of Trump being a Russian agent is about as laughable as it gets. Can’t the Democrats come up with something more rational, sane and believable? Next they’ll tell us that Trump is an ISIS agent. ha.

            “The republicans have put us in bed with a dictator.”

            The dictator is leaving being evicted from the White House in 5 days. Obama’s the one who allowed NSA to spy on our own citizens. He’s the one who authorized dropping over 26,000 bombs on 7 different countries in 2016. He’s the one who authorized the US to illegally invade Syrian airspace and drop bombs. He didn’t have international approval to attack Syria. Do you remember “Fast and Furious” under Obama? He authorized sending thousands of assault rifles into Mexico that the cartels used to murder hundreds of innocent Mexican citizens. A US Border Patrol agent was murdered with one of those weapons. Obama has blood on his hands of it. Obama is the dictator.

            Hillary was the driving force behind the attack on Libya. She’s turned it into a haven for the terrorists. She openly lied about Benghazi. She defended her abusive and misogynist husband who s*xually assaulted several women and got caught in a Lewinski lie.

            “I, and most democrats sleep well at night. ”

            Ha.The democrats are so low they could crawl under a snake and never touchit’s belly. I guess you weren’t paying attention to Obama the warmonger who dropped 26,000 bombs on 7 different nations in 2016 alone! I guess you didn’t pay attention to NSA spying on our citizens. I guess you didn’t pay attention to the FAILED Obamacare. I guess you didn’t pay attention to ISIS capturing a billion dollars of US military equipment. Obama and Hillary created ISIS. I guess you didn’t read the Wikileaks emails that proved the democrats CHEATED during the Democratic primary by s*rewing over Bernie Sanders and during the Presidential election debates by obtaining the debate questions in advance from the media.

            “Heaven help us if Trump sends us to war…”

            ha.Trump actually wants to normalize relations with Russia. Hillary wanted to start a war with Russia that could’ve led to a nuclear holocaust. Hillary was the warmonger – just look at what she did in the Middle East! You’ve got it completely backwards!

            The democrats need to get over their b*tthurt. Trump won the election fair and square. Sore losers!!!!

  • David Zenger

    “My personal feeling is ban everything, outright,” Spitzer said”

    Must be a public safety issue. Speaking of which:

    I’d like to ban County Supervisors from carrying loaded weapons into fish restaurants on Good Fridays and making citizen’s arrests.

    Is there a petition somewhere?

    • Chris Lacy

      Good point