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.

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Humanrights
Humanrights
4 years ago

Absolutely absurd. Out of touch representatives is an understatement. Bongs on main st. Ok…but medicinal cannabis no. Hello?? Can you say discrimination. Bongs n pipes consistent with view of bishop but cannabis not. Not representing the peoples demands at all. Runaway little town corruption

Trouble
Trouble
4 years ago

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

Low-Inyo
Low-Inyo
4 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Agree with you there ,Trouble…amazes me how so many…well,maybe 28 % of the population of the U.S. of A. anyways ,look at trump as their God and savior that can do no wrong,no matter what he says and does..acting as if,without him to worship, they couldn’t survive.What it does is… Read more »

INYOFACE
INYOFACE
4 years ago

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.

Low-Inyo
Low-Inyo
4 years ago
Reply to  INYOFACE

INYOFACE…..Sorry to tell you I just threw up in my mouth there reading your post..not so much what you said with the first part….We’re all entitled to an opinion on the weed issues…that second part is what did it….taking the “new Sheriff in town ” literally,can you imagine trump as… Read more »

Charles O. Jones's's
Charles O. Jones's's
4 years ago
Reply to  INYOFACE

@INYOFACE, “forcing their lifestyle on the Majority”???? First, nothing is being forced on anyone. I don’t care to use it and no one is forcing me to. Second, “the Majority” clearly voted in favor of legalization. So contrary to your rant, you’re in favor of the minority dictating the lifestyles… Read more »

Low-Inyo
Low-Inyo
4 years ago

Charles O.Jones….you got to realize ,many trump supporters think MAJORITY doesn’t mean what the people vote….they think majority means what trump says…

Everett Holland
Everett Holland
4 years ago

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!!!

Tex
Tex
4 years ago

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

No Bad Days
No Bad Days
4 years ago

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

BobM
BobM
4 years ago

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

FlyinEye
FlyinEye
4 years ago

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!

KAR
KAR
4 years ago

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.

Kyle Crowle
Kyle Crowle
4 years ago

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

Trouble
Trouble
4 years ago

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

p ite
p ite
4 years ago

neanderthals, wow, can you say recall

BobM
BobM
4 years ago

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

Get in touch!
Get in touch!
4 years ago

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… Read more »