December 2021

Home rule

Home Rule Blues: Residents of Large Swathes of California Lack of Access to Legal Recreational Weed | East Bay Express

Last month the Sacramento Bee released a list of the 10 largest California cities that still ban cannabis dispensaries, although weed has been legal in the state since 2017. Pot advocates have cited the list as further evidence that cities shouldn’t be allowed to ban pot shops locally. level.

The only Bay Area city on the list is Fremont, coming in at No. 5. With approximately 235,000 residents, Fremont is the fourth largest city in the Bay Area, nearly twice the size of Berkeley, and the 16th in California. It not only bans any type of cannabis business from setting up, but also tightly regulates home cultivation – which is state-permitted and cannot be banned outright at the city level – and requires anyone growing pot to register with the cops. .

Other cities of Beethe list includes Fresno at No. 1; with around 525,000 residents, amidst much controversy, Fresno looks set to license now. Anaheim ranks # 4; in 2019, voters refused to allow pottery shops there. Santa Clarita ranks # 6; City council passed an “emergency ordinance” banning cannabis stores shortly after Californian voters approved cannabis for adult use in 2016.

Critics of the bans point out – with precision – that city autonomy powers are stifling the legal weed trade statewide and leaving many consumers without access to the legal pot. This has allowed the illicit market to flourish, and illegal weeds sell overwhelmingly more than the legal pot, accounting for up to three-quarters of the market at the state level. Some observers believe this to be an even bigger problem than the high taxes levied on the legal pot trade, which make the pot much more expensive than what we can buy on the street or from our dorm buddy. .

This can be seen as the original sin of legalization in California: proponents of Proposition 64 used home rule, a feature of the measure, as a selling point to get the proposition passed. Now that tactic is coming back to bite them. Residents of large swathes of California do not have access to legal recreational weed – medicinal pot is governed by a separate set of laws, and there are medical dispensaries in many cities that prohibit adult cannabis use. . Delivery is now legal statewide, but that doesn’t help much: many areas are too remote for delivery services, and retail cannabis relies heavily on walk-in activities.

Of 482 California municipalities, only 174 allow cannabis businesses, and some of them nonetheless ban cannabis retail stores, licensing only manufacturers and / or distributors. The state has issued 839 retail licenses, according to the Bureau of Cannabis Control. Per capita, Oregon has more than 15 times more adult-only dispensaries than California.

But what is the real effect of a given city banning the commercial activity of cannabis? It depends on the city. the BeeThe list shows that the largest municipalities that ban the sale of weeds are located in the Central Valley and suburban areas of Southern California. Bakersfield, as well as Kern County, ban sales to adults. Residents of Bakersfield who wish to purchase weed should drive about an hour before visiting an adult cannabis dispensary, according to data from Weedmaps.

But while Fremont could make a big mistake with his prohibitionist attitudes, it doesn’t affect consumers that much. They live a few miles from clinics in Union City, Hayward, San Jose, and Oakland. At least as important as direct bans, cities and counties limit the number of licenses they issue and concentrate dispensaries through zoning laws.

“Sonoma County only allows nine dispensaries in the unincorporated zone,” said Lauren Mendelsohn, a lawyer and cannabis activist, and a member of the Sonoma County Growers Alliance advisory board. While consumers who live in Santa Rosa have easy access to dispensaries in their town, there are “absolutely no cannabis dispensaries along the fairly large Sonoma Coast, or the Marin coast towards south from here, ”she noted.

“This patchwork approach has a negative impact on patients, tourists and local economies,” Mendelsohn said. This makes it more difficult for consumers, and it “adds more vehicles on the road and emissions to the atmosphere on long journeys”.

She added, “This is all counterproductive and contrary to the progressive philosophy of Northern California. “

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Home rule

Murphy-backed needle exchange bill faces resistance to home rule

New Jersey State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) has questions about a needle exchange bill backed by Gov. Phil Murphy. | PA

TRENTON — As one of New Jersey’s last dual-termers, State Sen. Paul Sarlo enjoys the domestic diet. It could be an obstacle to one of Governor Phil Murphy’s major public health bills.

Sarlo (D-Bergen), chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, said in an interview that he “tended not to publish” a hearing on a bill expanding needle exchange programs, which provide clean needles to drug addicts and offer services to reduce drug use.

The legislation, NJ S3009(20R), would give the Department of Health exclusive authority to authorize and terminate trading, a power that municipalities currently have. As mayor of Wood-Ridge, Sarlo said the elimination of municipal authority was problematic.

“Needle exchanges are necessary. They work,” he said. “But there needs to be an agreement between local officials, social service groups and the Department of Health and Human Services. There has to be a consortium of people who agree that this is the right facility, the right location for it.

Simply put, if Sarlo doesn’t post the measure for a hearing during the lame duck, the bill — which includes a $5 million appropriation to support programs and $10 million for disorder treatment programs related to substance use – should probably wait until at least the next session, which starts next month.

“At this point, I’m leaning not to post it,” Sarlo said. “I just don’t like the idea of ​​taking away local control. This is very problematic for me.

The bill’s main sponsor, Sen. Joe Vitale (D-Middlesex) – who said he was still pushing for the bill to pass as a lame duck – said he spoke to Sarlo about his concerns and sought to amend the bill to allow municipalities more say in the location of exchanges.

“I can’t predict what [Sarlo] will ultimately decide to do it, but he was always reasonable when presented with the facts,” Vitale said in an interview Friday, adding that the votes were in to pass the measure in the full Senate.

Vitale said he hasn’t spoken to leaders about it, though he did note that the bill passed his respective health committees in both houses.

“If legislation isn’t supported by leaders, especially legislation seen as controversial, they’re usually not…heard,” he said. “These bills went through hearings and they passed. [health] committees. “

Murphy took the unusual step of publicly supporting the legislation. The administration made the announcement after Atlantic City voted to shut down its only needle exchange, despite a judge allowing it to remain open amid ongoing litigation.

Murphy’s office doubled down on its support for the bill.

“Governor Murphy believes the expansion of Harm Reduction Centers will increase access to the essential, compassionate services needed to help people with substance use disorders stay healthy, stay alive and to thrive,” Alexandra Altman, the governor’s spokeswoman, said Friday. “Governor Murphy fully supports S3009 and urges the Legislative Assembly to send him to his office.”

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people using needle exchanges are five times more likely to start drug treatment and three times more likely to quit drug use, compared to people who do not use the program.

New Jersey has only seven needle exchanges, a small number compared to other states. Proponents of the bill say the municipal requirement hampers the creation of new centers, which can get bogged down in local politics.

“This [bill] take politics away from public health,” said Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), sponsor of the bill in the lower house. “That is why the Ministry of Health should be responsible for the implementation of these programs. This is a public health issue, not a political issue.

Huttle said she will continue to advocate for passage of the bill and hopes to see it posted to the Assembly Appropriations Committee before the end of the session, although its fate in the lower house remains uncertain.

Senate President Steve Sweeney did not take a position on the bill.

“It’s something we need to talk about with the caucus, we haven’t done that yet,” he told reporters at the Statehouse on Thursday when asked about his support for the measure.

His office declined to comment further on Friday.

Republicans, some of whom support needle exchanges, have also expressed concern over the repeal of the domestic rule on the issue.

“Even though I have long been a supporter of needle exchange programs — it’s well documented — I will [vote] no, because cities can’t say no and you take that rule away from cities,” said Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-Union), a registered nurse, while voting against the bill during a a recent committee hearing.

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Self government

Dispute between agriculture and local self-government services over LIFE The mission continues – KERALA – GENERAL

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The dispute between agriculture and local self-government departments over verifying new applications for LIFE Mission, the government’s free housing program, continues to escalate. While the local self-government department has claimed that agriculture department employees will come forward for verification of new claims, the agriculture department has maintained that it will not provide farm assistants for the process. of verification.

Previously, the local self-government department issued an order deploying agricultural assistants to verify applications. However, the crisis started when the Agriculture Ministry issued an order stating that it would not provide farm assistants for non-farm purposes. With this, the draft list could not be released on December 1. Following this, the chief secretary called a meeting of senior officials and staff representatives of the two departments to resolve the issue. However, the meeting, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday, was postponed until the last minute. Meanwhile, on the same day, at a meeting held at the CM office without the knowledge of the officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, it was decided to carry out the verification with the help of agricultural assistants. The local self-government department hopes that a decree will be issued soon in this regard. This will invalidate the order issued earlier by the director of agriculture and force agricultural assistants to go for verification. In this case, officials of the Department of Agriculture can call a strike.

The Agriculture Department alleges that panchayat employees were excluded from the duty of verification in about 80 percent of panchayats. Employees informed the minister that if agricultural assistants are deployed for verification, activities such as crop damage assessment, crop insurance and the distribution of one crore of fruit plants will stop.


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Home rule

HB 218 Targets Employers, May Violate Ohio Constitution, House Rule

There was a time when Statehouse Republicans readily and often called employers in Ohio “job creators.” But HB 218, as it is now written, barely stops seeing employers as agents of the Deep State.

Certainly Ohioans, many of them, are fed up with COVID-19 and its delta and omicron variants and everything that comes next. But, also true, vaccination is the most effective procedure to combat COVID-19. And opposing vaccination is not very consistent with a legislature that proclaims itself pro-life.

The truly remarkable thing about the bill is what the misguided nonpartisan Legislative Services Commission, the ever-underrated bill research and drafting arm of the General Assembly, has to say about the version of HB 218 currently pending in the Senate.

Among other potential problems, the commission’s analysis warns, the bill may violate the Ohio Constitution’s prohibition on retroactive laws; could violate home rule in the town and village – although, for 20 years, a habitual legislative abuse at the Statehouse; and can alter contracts, which would violate both the constitutions of the United States and Ohio.

That is, passing the bill as it stands might as well be full employment law for Ohio lawyers, given the big target, federal and state, which the legislation would paint over itself. (And here you also thought the GOP was the party of tort reform – the crusade to reduce the number of lawsuits filed in Ohio, i.e., injured people in exchange for fair compensation.)

Now the question is who will blink first: the Senate who might water down the version of the bill passed by the House (but maybe not) – or DeWine? The governor, up for re-election next year, probably doesn’t want to tick off far-right activists in Ohio Republicans, who call talk shows, never miss a primary — and have long memories.

MEANWHILE: If nothing else, the gerrymander of the Ohio House and State Senate Districts Redistricting Commission, as well as the gerrymander of the General Assembly of (potential) congressional districts in the Ohio may also increase lawyers’ billable hours. Anti-gerrymandering plaintiffs filed three lawsuits against the new Ohio House and State Senate districts.

The high court has scheduled oral arguments for Wednesday December 8 on the alleged pro-Republican General Assembly gerrymanders. It’s impossible to know whether the Supreme Court’s final decision — four Republicans and three Democrats — will cross or follow party lines. An idealist hopes for a multiparty decision. A realist admits he’s in Ohio.

Thomas Suddes is an adjunct assistant professor at Ohio University. He covered the Statehouse for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer for many years.

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Nihtat Gwich’in Council Joins Gwich’in Tribal Council in Self-Government Negotiations

Two Gwich’in organizations have come together to negotiate with the territorial and federal governments with the goal of establishing community self-government.

Ken Kyikavichik, Grand Chief of the Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC), said the Nihtat Gwich’in Council – which represents members of Inuvik, Northwest Territories – has unanimously agreed to join the JWG in self-government negotiations. This happened at the annual Nihtat Gwich’in council meeting in Inuvik last week.

“We are certainly very happy,” Kyikavichik said of the reunification.

The GTC previously negotiated the self-government of members of the Northwest Territories communities of Aklavik, Tsiigehtchic and Fort McPherson (Tetlit Zheh).

Gwich’in self-government negotiations date back to shortly after 1992, after the settlement of the Gwich’in land claim. The Nihtat Gwich’in Council was part of the Gwich’in Collaborative Government process until 2018.

Since then, the Nihtat Gwich’in Council has negotiated self-government alone with the Federal and Territorial governments, although it still sits on the GTC Board of Directors.

Kyikavichik said it was disappointing that the negotiations were never conducted separately, but he understands why.

“It was an unfortunate departure from the unity our nation has always enjoyed, but there were many reasons for this decision in 2018,” he said. “It’s clear to us that there needs to be clearer and more direct communication about this process and what a Gwich’in government might need as we move forward.

Kristine McLeod, left, the former Deputy Grand Chief of the Gwich’in Tribal Council and her brother Kelly McLeod, right, the Acting Deputy Grand Chief of the Gwich’in Tribal Council and the President of the Nihtat Gwich’in. (Mackenzie Scott / CBC)

Community regional government model

Kyikavichik said the GTC pursues a model of community-based regional government.

This would involve the creation of community governments in each of the four Gwich’in communities, and these representatives would be linked to a regional government, called the Dinjii Zhuh government.

Kyikavichik adds that it would be similar to the model of the Tłı̨chǫ government.

He said it was a milestone for the Gwich’in people and that Kristine McLeod, the former Deputy Grand Chief of the GTC, would have been proud.

“Kristine McLeod was a strong advocate for collaboration. Our communities are one, ”he said.

Kyikavichik will work with Kelly McLeod, Kristine’s brother, who is the Acting Deputy Grand Chief of the GTC and Chairman of the Board Nihtat Gwich’in.

Kyikavichik says a notice will be sent to the territorial and federal governments soon, alerting them to the Gwich’in self-government plans, but he doesn’t know when that will be.

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Application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Turkey

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe makes a monitoring visit to Turkey on 1 December to update its 2019 report on the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in this country.

The delegation led by the co-rapporteurs Vladimir Prebilic (Slovenia, SOC / V / DP) and David Eray (Switzerland, EPP / CCE) will meet with the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Süleyman Soylu, and the mayor of Ankara, Mr. Mansur Yavaş, as well as with the Turkish delegation to the Congress.

The delegation will also meet representatives of Turkish political parties.

The updated report on the application of the Charter will be examined by the Congress at its next session in March 2022.

Turkey ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1992. The countries which have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which constitute the fundamental basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

Photos of the visit

For more information: Monitoring committee

Stéphanie POIREL, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee
+33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84
[email protected]

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