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Chico Politicians Talk Marijuana Policy

A Chico city council candidate is looking to make a change with Chico's current stance on marijuana. Currently, people cannot buy or sell cannabis within city limits.

Posted: Aug 6, 2018 6:37 PM

CHICO, Calif. -- A Chico city council candidate is looking to make a change with Chico's current stance on marijuana. Currently, people cannot buy or sell cannabis within city limits.

Candidate Scott Huber felt so strongly about the issue, he traveled to Boulder, Colorado last week to better educate himself. But pretty soon, he's going to find he will run into a brick wall at the Chico City Hall.

"My goal was to get a better understanding of what the obstacles were to going pro-legalization in the community," said Scott Huber, candidate for Chico City Council.

One obstacle Huber will find right here at home is the mayor.

"How will I work with Scott on different marijuana legalization or initiatives in the City of Chico? I will sit there and I will show him this report and I will go no, no, no, no every time. But I'll listen with an open mind because that's what we do, but the answer is not only no, but it's hell no," said Sean Morgan, Mayor of Chico.

Huber himself was against cannabis legalization until 2016.

"I spoke to a number of people whose opinions I respect who pointed out to me the reasons that legalizing cannabis was actually better for us than forbidding it," said Huber.

Colorado legalized cannabis in 2014. The city has adopted cannabis regulations, but not without its challenges.

"I think the biggest challenge is coming up with the rules so thinking in advance of what the problems are going to be before you allow people to start applying for dispensaries or grow operations," said Huber.

"But I know what the people at Harvard and John Hopkins and Boston Children's Hospital say - they say when you legalize marijuana, use goes up by the public both legal and illegal use," said Morgan. 

Before taking this trip, Huber said he believed legalizing cannabis would eliminate certain problems the north state faces - cartel violence, illegal grows in the foothills and illegal sales without tax revenue.

"Boulder has something called a marijuana advisory plan. It's made up of citizens, representatives of the police department enforcement, the city, the chamber, various other groups in the community and growers and dispensary owners," said Huber.

"It's not working in Colorado, it's not working in Washington, they're not better communities as a result of it. If it starts to work somewhere in California, then I'll consider it, but right now? No," said Morgan.

Marijuana is legal in California, but Chico laws do not allow buying or selling within city limits.

"The majority of Chicoans, the vast majority of the citizenry, they don't want it, they know it's bad," said Morgan. 

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