MALIBU—The Malibu City Council voted on Wednesday, December 20 to ban recreational marijuana sales, but kept the option to legalize sales in the future open.
City council met on December 20 at a special meeting to address the coming changes to recreational marijuana laws in California. Members debated over a proposed ordinance that would have multiple impacts on laws as they currently stand. The proposal would not allow the two medicinal marijuana shops currently open in Malibu to begin selling recreational marijuana. The proposal stipulated that any Malibu resident over the age of 21 can only grow up to six cannabis plants total. Specific rules for how and where the plants could be grown were included as well. The ordinance set very specific rules for transporting medical marijuana.
In a 3 to 2 vote, the council passed the ordinance. As a result, the two medicinal shops cannot sell recreational marijuana, and growing up to six cannabis plants is no longer a misdemeanor by local law. It is still considered a misdemeanor under federal law.
The Malibu City Council has been debating the use of recreational marijuana for years. Councilmember Lou LaMonte has consistently voted against sales. City Council member Laura Rosenthal, indicated that times are changing and that the city must adjust.
“I was reminded of Reefer Madness, which was a propaganda film: ‘Oh my God you know the whole world is stoned all the time, it’s going to be this terrible terrible thing!” Rosenthal said in an interview with the Malibu Times. “And I think that that’s not what they found in other states.”
LaMonte spoke about this week’s special meeting as well, saying “the only two things that we have to decide by January first is recreational marijuana… whether we are going to ban it or not… and to deal with the six plants that people are allowed to have by state law.”
In previous statements, Mayor Skylar Peak said that he will vote to legalize recreational marijuana sales as soon as the city comes up with a working plan to do so. The state of California will officially legalize recreational marijuana sales beginning January 1, 2018.