How often have you seen this kind of talk in a newspaper?
But if federal laws were changed, Ammiano’s proposal would present intriguing and banal policy questions:
— Would it be regulated by a state agency, such as the state Alcoholic Beverage Control department, or would local jurisdictions have that power?
— What zoning issues would a cannabis license be subject to?
— Could local jurisdictions ban the licenses outright – resulting in “dry” areas?
— Where marijuana could be sold, whether in specialty stores or everywhere alcohol and tobacco are sold, would also create intense debate. Would the speciality stores be run by the state, like liquor stores in Idaho and Oregon, or by private citizens?
Richard Lee, president of Oaksterdam University in Oakland, a marijuana dispensary and education group, said he prefers allowing pot sales only in cafes, as is done in Amsterdam.
“I like the coffee-shop model,” Lee said. “I think it goes well together, like a restaurant that serves alcohol that goes well with a meal.”
If we can get to this point on a regular basis, where people are haggling over the details of legalization, we’ve essentially won.