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Here's Why Some California Cities Are Rejecting Legalized Marijuana

Most people would expect everyone in California was overjoyed when the state voted to legalize recreational marijuana. But several cities have since banned recreational sales in their jurisdictions, and they have a variety of reasons.

The New York Times recently wrote a story about the reasons Compton, California banned recreational marijuana sales. On the surface, Compton seems like a logical place for legalization. It's an impoverished community that's been hit hard by the decades long War on Drugs. And yet the city voted by a three to one margin to ban legalized sales.

The writer of the story came to the conclusion that while Californians agree with legalization as a concept, they're not necessarily ready to embrace it. They want the increased government revenue and benefits associated with legalization, but they don't want dispensaries going up across the street. In Compton, specifically, the writer found people who wanted the city to focus on issues such as crime and homelessness before tackling legal marijuana.

And Compton's not the only place where this attitude is shared. Only 14 percent of California's cities have authorized recreational marijuana sales, despite the fact that 57 percent of voters approved of the ballot initiative that legalized cannabis. Of course, many of the cities that have authorized sales are some of the largest in the state, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. 

Of course, this is very much a case of people buying into marijuana legalization myths. The idea that dispensaries are linked with more crime, homelessness and other negative effects. In reality, dispensaries lead to higher property values and decreased crime.

Recreational marijuana legalization is only three months old in California, so perhaps it will just take these other cities time to get onboard once they realize how much they're giving up.

(h/t New York Times)


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