Bishop City Council votes no on cannabis operations

By Deb Murphy

No surprise. Bishop’s City Council voted 3-2 to ban commercial cannabis operations within its city limits.

Councilmembers Joe Pecsi, Laura Smith and Pat Gardner have been steady in their opposition having heard from their constituents that cannabis is not consistent with their view of Bishop.

Karen Schwartz and Jim Ellis both voted to approve an alternative ordinance, recommended by a 5-0 vote by the city’s Planning Commission, to allow up to three dispensaries and allow for testing facilities in industrial zoning. Ellis was comfortable that the oversight and regulations in the ordinance would protect the city and the community. Schwartz has been supportive of regulated dispensaries since the beginning of the debate.

During the public comment period prior to the vote, six Bishop residents spoke in favor of the alternative ordinance arguing that under-age use of marijuana had fallen in Colorado once the state legalized recreational use, the city had the opportunity to fill empty store fronts and take advantage of the growing adventure-tourist market. Northern Inyo Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Flanigan stepped up at the end of the public comment period reminding the Council that pot “had a profound impact on developing brains.”

Smith questioned the Planning Commission’s reliance on a majority “yes” vote to Measure H, the County’s advisory measure on the November ballot. The only voting precinct in Bishop against the measure was West Bishop. The measure referred to the unincorporated parts of the County, basically where the County had jurisdiction. Smith, Gardner and Pecsi’s constituents assumed that excluded Bishop. All three interpreted the vote as “not in Bishop.”

Smith compared cannabis dispensaries with liquor stores and porn shops. “The majority of people want a different feel,” she said.

Pecsi noted “the happiest place in the world,” Anaheim, banned dispensaries.

Gardner cited a League of Cities’ analysis indicating a city the size of Bishop could only justify a fourth of a dispensary. Schwartz agreed but reminded the Council of the numbers of people driving to or through Bishop each year.



13 Responses to Bishop City Council votes no on cannabis operations

  1. Get in touch! July 12, 2017 at 5:47 am #

    I continue to be very disappointed with a few of our elected officials. I am glad that Karen and Jim have a more grounded opinion of this issue. I am a neighbor of Laura Smith and I think she would be very surprised if she knew the number of people in the neighborhood using medical cannabis. I know Joe Pecsi and have a lot of respect and admiration for him but, Joe, Pat, and Laura are out of touch with reality. Why are our elected officials not listening to the community? Joe should move to Orange County if he thinks that is “the happiest place in the world”. Has the city counsel had a tour of the dispensaries in Mammoth, or any other city? They do not look like liquor stores or porn shops. They are very discrete, and are run very professionally. I feel that having a new smoke shop on main street has much more negative influence on the younger people than a dispensary. The front door is open and all you see are walls lined with bongs and hookahs. I think that Pat, Joe, and Laura still have images from Refer Madness on their mind.

  2. BobM July 12, 2017 at 6:05 am #

    Think I’ll walk down to the liquor store and by a pack of cigarettes because there so good for me.

  3. p ite July 12, 2017 at 6:13 am #

    neanderthals, wow, can you say recall

  4. Trouble July 12, 2017 at 6:34 am #

    Maybe Bishop should vote these these guys out and find someone willing to do what the voters here approved of last year.

  5. Kyle Crowle July 12, 2017 at 7:03 am #

    Good, now I can keep my prices High wen slinging this fine herb in Bishop to keep my clientele satisfied, God Bless America

  6. KAR July 12, 2017 at 11:45 am #

    I guess they want us to buy it from them. They are writing the law. What they don’t write they interpret to suit them. Anyone know or hear of any experiences in our local courthouse? Share your love and God bless you.

  7. FlyinEye July 12, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    We need to remember the ones who went against what the public voted for. No room for officials who go against the people who voted for them. They ignored what we want. Let’s vote them out and try again!

  8. BobM July 14, 2017 at 4:00 am #

    So pot goes from illegal to over regulated. There’s nothing to gain here. It should be completely decriminalized without any regulations.

  9. No Bad Days July 14, 2017 at 11:14 am #

    Sooner or Later it WILL happen.
    Wake up Bishop City Council.
    None of them will be re-elected or do they even care ??

  10. Tex July 16, 2017 at 6:59 am #

    Bishop City Council are Traitors to thr public trust and the Will of the People!

  11. Everett Holland July 17, 2017 at 6:25 am #

    The city Council in Bishop are only for closing business. The majority of these so called leaders of our community are socialist commies. They don’t even decorate main Street for Independence day!!!! They shut streets and puplic land Down instead. What a shame Bishop city council!!!

  12. INYOFACE July 17, 2017 at 7:32 am #

    AWW , Poor Poor Wittle pot heads fall down go boom .
    Medicated Liberals forcing their lifestyles on the Majority .
    Nope , Not Anymore .
    There is a New Sheriff in town , And his name is Donald J Trump.
    45th President of the United States.

  13. Trouble July 17, 2017 at 2:43 pm #

    Great hero you got there Inyo face. I’m sure three of our council members voted for him.


Leave a Reply

KSRW · 1280 N. Main St. Suite J · Bishop, CA 93514 · 760-873-5329
Positive Projections Web Design