Poway may enact emergency ban on marijuana

Posted at 5:53 PM, Oct 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-26 21:46:38-04

POWAY, Calif. - In less than two weeks, Californians will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, but the city of Poway is about to take an emergency action to drastically limit what Proposition 64 allows.

"We don't need that in Poway," said Mayor Steve Vaus, who will cast a vote next week to put an emergency moratorium on recreational pot businesses in Poway should Prop. 64 pass.

Vaus is not just the city's mayor; he said he's also a concerned father.

"Kids typically start with marijuana, and they elevate to other things," he said.

Poway's emergency ordinance would ban businesses from selling recreational marijuana and would not allow people to grow it outside.

Prop. 64 gives local cities some authority in regulating recreational marijuana sales. The moratorium will require a four-fifths vote and would last 45 days. It can be extended up to two years.

"We need to be prepared in Poway, whatever happens," Vaus said.


Attorney Jessica McElfresh, who is advocating for Prop. 64, said no marijuana-selling businesses will open overnight. She also said when those businesses do open, they'd be checking ID to make sure everyone who buys from them is over the legal age of 21.

"When I talk to high schoolers, what they usually tell me is it's a lot easier to get their hands on illegal drugs, than it is, say alcohol," McElfresh said.

While Vaus won't know for sure until election night, he said he's confident how Poway residents will vote on Prop. 64.

"I bet you dollars to doughnuts the voters in Poway will say a resounding 'no,'" Vaus said.

And so will he, a week early.