In the war over legal weed in Pasadena, opposing sides are surprisingly advocating for the same thing.
It is illegal to operate a marijuana dispensary in Pasadena, although 13 currently are open for business, according to the online directory WeedMaps. Passage of Proposition 64 in 2016, however, has reopened the debate.
On one side is the City Council, which is advocating for a more restrictive approach that would allow six dispensaries in the city while simultaneously banning collectives and dispensaries that have been operating without a license. Officials have taken this tact as a preemptive strike against a possible ballot initiative with what they fear would be far more liberal policies.
On the other side is a citizens group known as Pasadena Patients for Safe Neighborhoods, which has thrown its support behind the businesses to which they’ve already grown loyal.
But Shaun Szameit, president of the Golden State Collective — one of the already-operating businesses at the center of the tussle — said on Friday that voters should approve the measure that City Council placed on the June ballot, even though his collective is one that would be banned.
That’s not to say the city’s measure is ideal, he said. “Unfortunately, there are some inconsistencies with it, and some things that need to be amended,” Szameit said. “However, to vote no on cannabis would be basically proving the city correct that it’s not wanted in the city, so therefore we must push it to pass and request amendments.”
Szameit spoke alongside Mayor Terry Tornek in a panel discussion on the issue held in the crowded back room at Du-par’s Restaurant and Bakery on Friday morning.
As local attorney Dale Gronemeier, who moderated the discussion, put it: People who want to see fewer restrictions on marijuana “should hold your nose and vote yes” on the city’s