Mammoth Town Council rejects medical marijuana moratorium


Mammoth Police Chief Dan Watson said one case that will be heard by the California Supreme Court involves a Long Beach ordinance very similar to Mammoth's which could mean Mammoth's ordinance would be declared unconstitutional, depending on the outcome of that case.

In the face of legal confusion, crackdowns by US attorneys, pending lawsuits and legislation and maybe a ballot measure to legalize pot, the Mammoth Town Council did not approve a medical marijuana dispensary moratorium.

Police Chief Dan Watson presented all of the pending issues circling medical marijuana right now.  He recommended a moratorium on any new dispensaries in Town because of the legal uncertainties.  Two years ago, the voters approved an ordinance to establish two dispensaries in Mammoth.  Last year, one of the two closed.  Since then, Chief Watson said the police department has heard from two parties who want to open a second dispensary, but considering the confusion over medical marijuana he suggested a moratorium until legal definitions clear up.

Clayton Bogen stood up to object to the moratorium.  He raised issues of no competition with just one dispensary.  He revealed that he stood ready to apply for the open dispensary permit.

Councilman John Eastman said he brought the issue forward on the agenda.  He pointed out that Mammoth voters supported an ordinance with two dispensaries.  Eastman said, “It’s not appropriate for the Town staff to go against the voters of Mammoth Lakes.”  Eastman said he thinks it’s appropriate not to have a moratorium and to allow the second dispensary to exist.  He said if individuals or groups want to open a dispensary with the current risks, “then that’s a decision they make,” he said. Eastman said he also supports competition.

Councilman Skip Harvey agreed with Eastman and said he did not think the US attorney would focus on the “little guy in Mammoth.”  Harvey said he also supports a small tax on medical marijuana.

Eastman made a motion to reject the urgency ordinance for a medical marijuana moratorium.  All five supported the motion.  The Council indicated they would look into a fee or tax to pay for costs associated with the Town administration of medical marijuana dispensaries.


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54 Responses to Mammoth Town Council rejects medical marijuana moratorium

  1. cat April 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    I smoke a joint to that!!!

  2. cat April 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    Sorry forgot the ” ‘ll “!

    Must of already smoked one!

  3. Jake April 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    Sorry Chief you need to go after the drugs that kill, Not pot for pain patients. Your stance on this issue makes me sick.

  4. Wayne Deja April 19, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    Chief Dan Watson….Welcome to Mammoth Lakes….where the animals think they run the zoo…and a good reason to why the town is what it is….what is it that “progressive” said on another post….better educated,more rounded and intelligent citizens than they have in north county…next time someone there needs assistance,maybe they should call the pot dealers for help.

    • News of the weird April 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

      Leave it to good ol’ happy Wayne Deja (who sounds like a perfect candidate for medical marijuana – try and chill Wayne. You sound like one of those Tea Party neocons that are ready to spontaneously combust any moment) to brighten up our day.

      • Tourbillon April 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

        I generally agree with the Tea Party (not synonymous with Neocons) and think that apart from medical necessity, only fools smoke marijuana. I also think that government should not regulate and tax every foolish behavior, marijuana use among them. As do, I’d say, do most Tea Partiers.

        Welcome to the fight.

  5. Trouble April 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    Wow, I can’t believe the Town Council had the guts to stand up for the local voters. Maybe Chief Watson might get a clue.

  6. justsayn April 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    After reading this article and the one in the mammoth times, it appears that Chief Watson overstepped his bounds on this one. His job is to enforce the laws, not interject his opinion of them. The facts have not changed, no matter how much he wants to talk about ‘flux’. The law allows these dispenseries and Mammoth voted to allow two in the town. What the federal government may or may not do shouldn’t be a concern of Chief Watson. He is to enforce the current local and state laws. I am surprised that the Board didn’t kowtow to him. I’m impressed that they evaluated the situation on a legal and cerebral level and left the hyperbole to others. Seems to me I’ve heard Watson say how understaffed the MLPD is, perhaps if they concentrate on enforcing the existing laws and not go looking for non-infractions, they’d have enough staff.

    • Big AL April 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

      I think you’re way off base in all your tirade against the chief justsayin .. it appears to me that he is just saying .. before they get into more hot water over this issue, to add to all of the crap they’re dealing with now … stop and put a hold on it and try to sort out the uncertainties involving this issue …
      People just want to get the dispensaries going .. get the pot out there .. and while it is definitely needed for medicinal purposes. While state and local governments are allowing it … it is still against federal law.
      Yeah, the US attorney might not go after the “little guys” … it can happen .. and they might start cracking down on the state and local ordinances.
      But then again .. maybe the feds will legalize it, then everyone ( state and local governments) can levy “small taxes” on it.
      I think you just like to rant and rave about things involving the chief. That’s what I got out of it … lol

      • justsayn April 22, 2012 at 9:37 am #

        Hey Big Al, show me one erroneous statement in my ‘rant’ and I’ll agree with you. I’ve been in the area for 20 years and in general have been very supportive of MLPD…

        • Big AL April 22, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

          justsayn .. the chief does have the right to voice his opinion on these matters, as you say in your post .. it is his job to enforce the law, whether it be local or state of federal law.
          I think he was just trying to point out that there should be some caution in regard to the law passed by ML town council with respect to marijuana laws. All of this mess with medical marijuana, and local ordinances and state and federal law is just a big trap … actually.
          It all leaves too much interpretation for law enforcement agencies and leads to a lot of confusion with everyone involved.

    • jj April 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

      justsayn- I think you are 100% correct- I hope Watson reads it.

  7. SierraFan April 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    To the “hippy lettuce” lovers here….I doubt the Chief really has issues with pot for folks that truly need it but may really have issue with those that do not and are then breaking the law. It’s funny to see the big “puffing chest” of words when the one who is in charge of battling the “non sick” smokers. Many (not all) that are legally able to purchase this end up selling it to friends for profit.. this is the real issue. I know some that are legally able to grow it for medical purposes down below in So. Cal. and make a small fortune distributing it to the cough cough sick. But it’s funny to see the tokens piping up for their rights. lol

    • Rob April 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

      The “weed” is harmless compared to Alcohol, cigarettes, prescription drugs, and Red Bull.

      Chief Watson needs to go round up some illegals before he stands on his soap box.

      • Wayne Deja April 24, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

        Rob….Not the story or the topic to be getting on one of your racist rants again…Chill out…go smoke a bowl…maybe it will help you realize you are no better than anyone else.

    • Sierra Lib April 20, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      Legalize it. Tax it. Bail out the town with the tax.

      • SierraFan April 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

        Cracking me up Sierra Lib! The town may never get anything done then. But if it were legalized here then maybe the mountain could sell it off the roving cat and reduce the lift prices while raising tax rev.

    • Wayne Deja April 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

      Sierrafan…What you say is true…I don’t know of one person that has a med card(and I know of a few) that does not also sell and profit to those that don’t have cards,and just looking to get high.The way the law turned out,all it does is help a few in need(what it was intended for),and what it also does is make it to where those with fake illness’ can legally distribute.The voters,such as myself,got hood-winked into thinking it was a compassionate thing to do for those terminally ill or in great pain with a condition.Also wanted to say to those that post saying I am in favor of the tea-party beliefs,or a Limbaugh fan,nothing could be farther from the truth.I’m as liberal as they get.But don’t base my liberalism on marijuana or any other dangereous drug use.

      • SierraFan April 20, 2012 at 8:08 pm #


        I think you may have said it better than I did. For medical purposes this is great but only for those that are truly in need. But like anything, if you give an inch you lose a foot and they try to justify it.. lol. I guess that’s why we live where we live so we can all agree to disagree in an open forum. Coming pretty much from a center right conservative here…. And as for R. Limbaugh… he’s just more of a comedian than anything else. He’s all show… in fact he might like pot being legalized. lol Thanks for weighing in.

      • Big AL April 20, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

        The attacks Wayne is just way way of them lashing out against people who don’t see it as they do ..
        Your right about all of the non medical users .. using it to get weed legally, I have seen it happen .. I hear it from other people saying the same thing as you’re saying.
        It did truly start (like anything else) as a legitimate purpose to help people who truly need it. But as with (anything else) in life .. people end up seeing a way to take advantage of it and profit from it.
        Even the ML town council sees a way to profit from it, hens .. the “small tax” And maybe they like to partake in it as well .. but what ever blows their skirts up. I just think they are inviting more law suits later on down the road, toying with the idea of allowing dispensaries, until such time that the federal government legalizes it.

      • Just the facts April 21, 2012 at 5:35 am #

        So, do you drink alcohol, Wayne Deja (be honest, now)?
        If so, you DO know how dangerous ethyl alcohol is to both your body, society (it has known to ruin lives, families, cause traffic deaths …?
        Marijuana does not numb you out like booze- just relaxes you – You ought to try it sometime.
        Perhaps you would be better served to spearhead Prohibition II.

        • Wayne Deja April 21, 2012 at 10:15 am #

          Just the facts…..Haven’t had anytype of alcohol in over 2 years….and that was just an occasional beer…..Haven’t been drunk in over 9 years….You state all pot does is “relax” you….Well,maybe in the old days,that was true….Now,the stuff is a lot more potent….People I know of that smoke pot now,and just with a hit or two,are more or less babbleing idiots within minutes….one thing to do something to relax…another thing to be doing something to make you all stupid and irresponsible…and dangerous when you get behind the wheel of a vehicle.Some people can go through life that way,and all it does is age them about 20 years by the time they reach 43……Others,whoever tries to say pot can’t ruin lives, theirs as well as others around them,well,we all know people that has happened to.

          • Jake April 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

            My wife has a card and SHE DOES NOT SELL HER POT TO ANYONE.

            Stop assuming EVERYONE does that because they don’t. The real problem is the 420 doctors that give a card to anyone with $100 bucks. Maybe you guy can direct you hate at them.

            So sick of people lumping others all in the same barrel.

            Funny I bet most of you people posting are on meds!

          • Rob April 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

            They were probably babblilng idiots to start with..

  8. SierraFan April 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    If the law states that a certain number of dispenseries are legal then it should be but the abuse is the real concern. But that never happens… right?

    • Jake April 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

      Go take your meds…. lol

    • Just the facts April 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

      You are never going to put into place, enforce, punish, etc. laws or societal rules that will eliminate forever the very real tendancy for some human beings taking things too far – as they always do.
      Accept this fact and try harder to mind your own business.
      Or start over from square one and get to work eliminating the biggest problem – alcohol abuse.
      Or even better yet, find out how to improve yourself before pointing fingers here and there.

      • Big AL April 24, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

        Jake you’re right, and I hope anything i said didn’t sound that way, but there is a high number of people that do .. do that, and as you say, the Drs. that sell the prescriptions.
        but not all of the 420 Drs. are like that I’m sure, but a fair amount of them are.
        the other problem is people convincing Drs. to give the the prescription/license.
        It’s all a can of worms as I have said in another post. I do believe there are needs for some people to have it, there is no doubt, I have seen how it helps certain people I know with medical problems, but the abuse is out there, as in anything in life.

  9. Dingo April 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Let’s compare deaths caused by prescription drugs vs deaths caused by marijuana. Sheesh our society is messed up in some ways.

    • Rob April 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

      You got that right Dingo.

      More people die in America every year from prescription drug abuse than die from heroin and cocaine combined. That stunning finding comes in a new report Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

      The CDC found a fourfold increase in deaths from prescription narcotics over the past decade. Not surprisingly, it coincides with a fourfold increase in the number of prescriptions written for the powerful painkillers.

      • SierraFan April 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

        Those may be true statements but then again, pretty much every household has prescription drugs of some sort compared to MJ so the numbers are skewed big time. True that MJ pretty much just relaxes you but it does do harm over the long term based on a study I did several years ago as well as impairs your reflexes similar to alcohol… with a smile.

        • Rob April 21, 2012 at 9:21 am #

          smoking anything is bad

        • Dingo April 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

          If marijuana impairs your reflexes how would you explain the things kids, and some adults I guess, doing the tricks they do? On skis, snowboards, motorcycles, bicycles, skateboards etc? Certainly not everyone who participates in these sports is stoned but many are. So it does not at all impair like alcohol.

  10. Sierra Lib April 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    So why not go back to the Prohibition Era and end the sale and consumption of the real problem – the dreaded booze?

    • SierraFan April 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

      I’m good with that Sierra Lib…but the fed’s have come to love the revenue too much. MJ will probably be legalized at some point here in the near future so until then we can all have fun debating this. Coming from a guy that smoked MJ at the ripe old age of 5! Yes, 5…… not 50….5! lol

    • Big AL April 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

      Easier said than done … alcohol consumption is too deep seated in society … just as easy as it would be for the federal government to legalize marijuana. just sayin.

    • Dingo April 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

      Alcohol keeps many people employed from judges, lawyers (including public defenders), cops anyone and everyone employed in the penal system and maybe even those who work in a business near a courthouse let’s not forget correctional officers who who work in a county jail or state prison or wherever. Too many to list.
      Marijuana keeps the pizza delivery guy and a few individuals at Taco Bell employed.

      • SierraFan April 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

        LOLOLOL….Well said Dingo.

  11. Bill April 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    If we live in a “free country” why don’t we allow people to be free.

    Let those do what they want to their bodies – why does the government need to control us so much?

    • Trouble April 21, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

      Bill- don’t take this wrong because i agree with you. But in my opinion it’s because our government/politicians has sold us out to big business interest ,that stand to loss big money if pot is legalized. In this case the big drug makers stand to gain the most. Like Rodney said ” corporations are human beings”.

    • Wayne Deja April 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

      Bill…IMO, I think it’s mainly because people are not the smartest creatures on this planet…and if you allow everyone to ingest anytype of drugs into their bodies,legally,it puts others at risk for lots of reasons…safety on the highways is most important.I knew a guy in Oregon that one time got stoned on weed,and when he attempted to go home,which was less than a mile from where he got high at,he ended up going 15 miles the opposite direction,and when he finally realized he took a wrong turn,he had an accident involving an innocent driver.If someone is high all of the time,they either can’t,or don’t want to work…therefore,when they need to eat,pay bills,etc.,they got to steal it,or rip people off to get their money,putting others at risk of theft,robbery,and scams…or they mooch off others..And,in most cases,drug abusers are also domestic abusers,meaning a life of hell for their spouses.Extra health care because of their drug abuse,taxing those who have jobs and have to pay for their treatment of illness’ they get.I know of 2 unemployed guys that have med cards…because of their “conditions” (one being “anger issues”)…guess who is paying for his “medication”?

    • SierraFan April 23, 2012 at 11:34 am #


      LMO……. I posted a comment earlier that I smoked this stuff at 5 years old (not proud of this fact at all) that was given to me by a few hippy’s that thought it would be funny to see me high. My Mother came home, and as I remember, just about killed these guys. This gave me the taste for MJ for a number of years which I had to fight through and made it real tough not to succum to the peer pressure. Along with pretty much my entire family being destroyed because of MJ, speed (which they admit they started while smoking with friends) and alcohol. Folks don’t think this but one does lead to another.

      Can you imagine this being totally legal, with the free will that we all have, and seeing a bunch of irresponsible people as I stated above doing this to kids? Or having it around the house for their own kids to enjoy? This is why the Government has to step in have rules / laws.

      Trust me, there’s some area’s of Government that I’d like to see be eliminated but unfortunately as a general rule we Mj should not be legalized for the above reason.

      • SierraFan April 23, 2012 at 11:36 am #

        And by the way, I’m not proud of the fact that I smoked this at 5 years of age so I’m certainly not meaning to glorify this statement. I wish it never happened but id did. Thanks Bennet for making this blog possible.

      • Wayne Deja April 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

        SierraFan…..Your story isn’t the only one,as you state.Back in the early 90’s,I had a girlfriend living with me that I had found out when I would go to work,and she had her party-friends over getting high and passing around the bong,to quiet her 2 year old daughter,and keep her out of the way,they would blow pot smoke in her face….a 2 year old…I found this out after we parted ways a while later…and after she did,indeed,graduate onto harder drugs,which resulted in her losing her daughter You say people don’t believe one leads to another,when ,in fact,in many cases it does.And not so much because pot smokers eventually need a “bigger high”,but because when you hang around those type of people,a good chance one or more of them are also into meth,coke,and willing to pass it around,and be selling it too.I have seen good people literally turn into thieves,liars and a drain on society because of getting into drug use,and unable to get out,or take a long time to do so after stints in jail or prison.And I would be willing to bet more than half of them started out smoking pot,and thinking it would never go beyond that.In your case,I’m glad you fought through it…..been there,done that…me too.

        • Trouble April 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

          Wayne- I would bet 99% of these people drank booze or took Dr. prescribed pain killers first. I heard something the other day that made sense to me. When you make something illegal that many people are going to do anyway, it just makes people disrespect authority more.

        • just the facts April 24, 2012 at 11:27 am #

          If sharing your personal story has been therapeutic for you Wayne Deja – terrific.

          Perhaps it’s time to move on now.

          When it comes to substances – all of them, you will find there are those that drink, smoke, eat, … whatever, who are completely responsible and know their limitations when it comes to such things.

          Then there are those (who are in a clear-cut minority) who clearly do not.
          Once, again, if you are that concerned for others, I’d focus on the #1 social culprit – those that consume alcohol in excess.
          And as you know, Prohibition was/is a dismal failure.

        • Rob April 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

          sounds like Wayne’s a poor judge of character in his personal life

        • Big AL April 24, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

          It is true … one drug .. can lead to another, not to say they do .. like an automatic next step.
          but yeah as with anything like Wayne say’s .. they can lead to the next better high … if .. the individual is so inclined to do so .. but that inclination usually as stronger when you’re high, or impaired.
          And as for getting off of a drug, it is also an individual thing .. some people can not stop something so easily, while others can not. Look at cigarettes, some people quit them easily some don’t.
          It’s all in an individuals personal fortitude. Just as it is for some one not to give in to peer pressure and try it. Peer pressure can be a very strong influence in how you react to a situation.

  12. Rob April 21, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    Prohibition didn’t work.

    Legalize it all!

  13. MJA April 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    How many laws are there,
    Can they even be counted,
    And what do they all mean?
    Oh and… where or how does freedom fit in?


    • SierraFan April 24, 2012 at 11:23 am #

      Where does law come from? You have me thinking because I’m with you in a lot of ways for sure as we are way over regulated in many areas and probably not enough in others. My first instinct is to go rogue and 100% agree with you but then I started thinking realistically. If we didn’t have the most basic laws there would be complete chaos everywhere with fighting (for everything) and the best man wins kind of thing. So I get it but unfortunately with the free will that we have, it’s needed. Here’s a link I found on a Google search that pretty much sums everything up.

  14. NewEra April 24, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    This issue is so petty compared to other problems we should be addressing. I dont like giving another human being the will to pick and choose who they want to cite or just let go on such a small issue like pot possession. Sure go after those that are lazy enough to not work and sell it, and the cartels are evermore profiting on it through the current system which fuels the more dangerous drug trade. People need to wake up and smell the coffee or the skunks that are growing next door and realize it can be more of a good thing then a bad thing!
    If you take your paper towels and napkins for granted then keep raping the trees for something so simple.
    we can make paper, rope, medicine, strong fabric, all from a resource that can be produced here. not to mention the money we can tax from recreational use. think about the jobs in all fields that it would create. millions of people smoke it just in california, california grows top notch herb that is very much in demand. why let the cartels and those that cant be productive in society profit from it and let the cops choose who they want to charge and who they want to give a break when it come to possession.

    • SierraFan April 24, 2012 at 10:55 am #

      New Era,

      No disrespect….Are you kidding me? Think about this… if you legalize it and create more jobs, they’re going to be less productive in abundance due to the mass amount of MJ available. That seems to be a down hill slide all under the guidance of let’s create more tax revenue which is a terrible idea. That’s not a good enough reason to legalize something that clearly doesn’t help the un sick. It’s the best argument folks can come up with? Tax revenue? For who? The government needs to step up and stop giving what they have away. And the Cartels? Why would we want to further encourage them to come where the money is legally and become even more violent and powerful here in the US? I think the legalization of it fosters much more violence and riches for those that clearly don’t need to be…. the Cartels. Just my opinion! Thanks for weighing in on this.

      • NewEra April 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

        No I am not kidding. employers still will have the option to hire anybody they want. and to say society would be less productive is only speculation. the more terrible idea is to keep crimalizing people that arn’t criminals, they are only criminals cause the feds keep it that way. our current system is driven through how much money they can rejuvenate. In my opinion it dosent make sense to keep something illeagal only because it didnt draw as much of a uproar at the time it was claimed illeagal like alcohol did!
        tax revenue for a better system that is more sustainable for futures to come. On the cartel issue at least they wouldnt be profiting on something that is easy for them to produce and as easy for them to sell, My opinion is it would let the law enforcement focus on the more dangerous drugs that they bring over and would have people that fund their drug trade by buying there marijuana would be cut out of the picture.
        Thank you SierraFan for weighing in on my comment and have a good one!!!


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