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Pre-election roundtable talks ballot measures

Bruin Professionals Long Beach chapter hosts Pre-Election Political Roundtable ignores the presidential candidates and talks about statewide measures.

Xochitl Abarca, Staff Writer

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Legalized marijuana and taxes were up for debate at the Long Beach Pre-Election Political Roundtable hosted by the Long Beach Chapter of the Bruin Professionals Wednesday morning.

The roundtable, which took place in Downtown Long Beach, featured Long Beach Vice-Mayor Rex Richardson and Hermosa Beach Mayor Hany Fangary as guest speakers.

The Bruin Professional group is a UCLA alumni club dedicated to the development of business opportunities and relationships. Meetings and networking lunches take place once a month every third Wednesday of the month, Bruin Professional Long Beach Chapter Member Allison Green said.

Instead of focusing on the presidential nominees, the roundtable looked at ballot measures that would affect the Long Beach community such as Proposition 64 and Proposition 55.

According to Ballotpedia, Proposition 64, the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative —  also known as the the Adult Use of Marijuana Act  —  will be voted on Nov. 8 in California.  

A “yes” vote supports legalizing recreational marijuana for people who are 21 years or older.  A “no” vote opposes the legalization of recreational marijuana under state law.

If Proposition 64 passes, recreational marijuana dispensary revenues would offset costs of regulating the marijuana industry as well as creating revenue for Long Beach Richardson said

“It is a very complex issue…these things are going to pass, get ready,” he said.

Richardson also said that there is more to think about than just the medicinal value of marijuana.

He said that Californians need to take into consideration the amount of resources it takes to control and manage marijuana operations; they should also consider public safety and concerns.

“I want to be strategic and have long range plans to address these problems,” he said.“It is going to stress us [Long Beach city government and police] out.”

Richardson said that many problems will arise with the legalization of recreational marijuana. Long Beach has previously tried to legalize medicinal marijuana shops, however Richardson said it wasn’t successful.

“We spent a lot of resources and man-hours to go through the administrative process to regulate and shut down these illegal operations,” he said. “Ultimately there was a lawsuit, and the city council took action and banned medicinal marijuana in Long Beach.”

According to Ballotpedia, those who support the bill, such as the California Democratic Party, say the bill will provide an environment for safe, controlled and taxed marijuana use.

As of the moment there is an ordinance that was brought forth from a petition signed by 30,000 signature petition that would allow up to 32 medicinal marijuana dispensaries in the city of Long Beach.

“Its strategic investment —  public parks, health, public safety —  we have a plan there,” Richardson said.

Proposition 55, the California Extension of Proposition 30 Income Tax Increase Initiative, will also be on the Nov. 8 ballot.

A “yes” on Proposition 55 vote supports extending the personal income tax on people’s incomes that is over $250,000. Proposition 30, which was originally approved in 2012 for 12 years, a “no” vote on Proposition 55 opposes the continuation of Proposition 30, allowing it to expire in 2019 which would cut funding for education and healthcare.

On the opposing end, Fangary said that the city of Hermosa Beach does not Support Proposition 64.

Fangary said that at several council meetings, not a single person on the council was interested in talking about the issue. However, he said said he personally will not be supporting it.

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