|To view last night's City Council meeting click here.|
The final decision on Ordinance 1388 (Municipal Code Text Amendment 17-03, amending Chapter 17.10 of the Sierra Madre Municipal Code, regulating personal marijuana uses and prohibiting commercial marijuana uses, whether for medical or non- medical), was pushed off to the next City Council meeting. There was some confusion about whether or not to allow marijuana devotees to grow their six legally allotted plants in their backyards, or restrict such agricultural efforts to the great indoors alone.
Under California's new pot laws, as voted upon by the good citizens of the Golden State, anyone who wishes can grow up to six marijuana plants in their home. There is nothing much that any city can do about it, either. However, the law is silent on outdoor growing, and some of those concerned about fire dangers are convinced that permitting people to grow their grass outdoors is the far safer - and therefore wiser - thing to do. Grow lights really can heat up a house.
However, Councilman John Capoccia, who doesn't have a Libertarian bone anywhere in his body, thought that allowing outside marijuana farming, six plants and all, would promote illicit sales, lifestyle mistakes, and uncontrolled mayhem in general. City Manager Gabriel Engeland, a man who thoroughly understands marijuana issues, then jumped in and proposed that any further deliberations on Ordinance 1388 be delayed for two weeks.
Engeland confessed that perhaps the outside grow concept, which was originally passed by the Planning Commission as a land use consideration, might need a little further thinking through. The City Council bit, and the issue has now been bumped to July.
A gentleman named Stephen McCamman spoke during public comment on this topic. While he claimed to be a political science professor, Linked In describes him this way: "Professor of Political Science Cuyamaca College September 2005 – May 2015 - now retired." Steve didn't mention the retired part last night. Or that he has since moved on to something completely different. At least not at first.
Professor McCamman did seem humble and low key enough. He claimed to have grown up in Sierra Madre, and had just now returned here to bury his mother. She was a woman who had lived in the Foothill Village for over 40 years, and during the last decade of her life suffered the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. And one thing that did help her with the associated pain and suffering was Medical Marijuana. This all seemed deeply personal for Stephen.
It was an interesting and touching story, told quite well. Mayor Arizmendi actually allowed him to speak from the podium twice, which doesn't happen here very often. Based on his mother's experiences, McCamman discussed the importance of allowing one specially designated medical marijuana delivery service to function in town as a way of getting cannabis to those needing it to help alleviate their suffering.
Oh, and he also mentioned the revenue City Hall could obtain through this one sole source for Medical Marijuana in the 'Dre. He claimed it could be six figures. That must be noted as well. He understands the financial pressures facing small cities like Sierra Madre, and used it to good effect.
McCamman did get some positive vibes from the City Council, especially from Professor Gene Goss. As the father of a teenage boy, Gene spoke of his antipathy to marijuana in general. But he also confessed that he found what McCamman had to say compelling. Others murmured their interest as well. Except Denise Delmar, who seemed to withhold judgment.
It does seem that Stephen was able to get his foot in the City Hall door, and further conversations with city officials on medical marijuana in Sierra Madre could soon be in the offing. The professor left his contact info and some glossy materials with the City Clerk, and left.
So who is Stephen McCamman?
A big time medical marijuana entrepreneur out of San Diego and Encinitas, apparently. Here are a few articles I found by doing a quick Google search.
I don't know about you, but my body has never been able to "produce its own marijuana." Which is probably why I am able to get through my busy workdays without screwing things up too badly. ECB deficiency and all.
The Encinitas connection is interesting. That is a city on the verge of legalizing large scale marijuana cultivation within its borders. Among other things. Former Sierra Madre Mayor and now Encinitas Councilmember Joe Mosca is apparently a part of all that rhythm. Link here for an interesting read.
There is an interview with Stephen McCamman on a webpage called Dr. Frank.com. A site where you can find the information you need to obtain a medical marijuana card. No questions asked. What is interesting is that in this interview, which took place on May 21st, or about 5 weeks ago, there is no mention of that mother in Sierra Madre. This time the sufferer is his wife.
Stephen McCamman on Elevate the Conversation (DrFrank.com link)
The rest of the interview is available at the link above.
Don't get me wrong, this McCamman guy could be on the level. I don't mean to harsh on the dude's mellow too hard. But I also have to confess some gut level doubts about some of the claims he made last night. It could just be about the money. It almost always is. And couldn't this be a way the marijuana industry finesses its merry self into town?
That said, you just never know who or what is going to show up at a City Council meeting.