San Francisco adopts ‘deprioritization’ ordinance

November 16, 2006 – San Francisco, CA, USA

San Francisco, CA: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 this week to enact an ordinance ‘deprioritizing’ the local enforcement of marijuana prohibition laws. The Supervisors are expected to confirm the vote next week, making San Francisco the sixth California municipality to approve such a measure.

Under the ordinance, sponsored by Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Chris Daly, Jake McGoldrick, and Ross Mirkarimi, all law enforcement activities relating to the investigation, citation, and/or arrest of adults engaged in the private use of marijuana will be the “lowest priority” for San Francisco police. The measure also establishes a citizens’ advisory board to monitor whether police are complying with the law.

San Francisco’s ordinance closely resembles a 2003 Seattle ‘deprioritization’ law that has reduced citywide marijuana arrests to approximately 60 per year.

Voters in three California cities Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Santa Monica also approved pot ‘deprioritization’ initiatives in last week’s mid-term elections. Oakland voters endorsed a similar ordinance in 2004, as did the West Hollywood city council this past summer.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Dale Gieringer, California NORML Coordinator, at (415) 563-5858.


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