There’s a commission for almost everything here in San Francisco, and the committee watch-dogging cops cracking down on cannabis-connected crimes – the Community Oversight Committee Regarding Enforcement of Marijuana Offenses, or “lowest priority commission,” as one applicant for a seat called it – is an example of just that “everything.”
Those readers who would assume confirmation hearings for such a commission might be relatively stress-free and easy-handed (note we refrained from using bullshit like “mellow” just then) would be mistaken.
One applicant didn’t show up (since we are sensitive and friendly to the green medicine ourselves and are not at all punctual we will again refrain from making a fish-in-the-barrel stoner joke). Some of the other five were compared to Jim Jones by a public commenter, who also said that medicinal pot focus group Axis of Love are “thugs” who resort to muscling-out tactics. “We don’t need another Jim Jones,” he said. “We don’t need another Jonestown.” Uh, agreed. So no Kool-Aid at meetings, hear?
Another commenter, who described himself as a “psychic” and “animal-lover” (“I married a parrot 15 years ago,” he said) decried the “mean-spiritedness” in the hearing before telling the chamber, “God bless you all — go to hell!”
One thing we noticed – everyone seemed to be over 45 (which is fine with us, many people we know and love, like our parents and Tom Ammiano, are over 45), most folks had ponytails, and nearly everyone was passionate in their testimony.
The three names forward to the full Board for future confirmation were: Gregory Ledbetter of Axis of Love, who received a hearty round of applause before and after he addressed the Board committee and who will vie for the patient seat; Catherine Smith, owner of SoMa-based HopeNetSF seems headed towards reconfirmation to the dispensary seat; Michael Barbitta, manager of the dispensary at 194 Church Street and a qualified harm reducer, will in all likelihood sit on the harm reduction seat.
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