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.


18 Responses to Bishop City Council votes no on cannabis operations

  1. Humanrights January 13, 2018 at 11:22 am #

    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

  2. Trouble July 17, 2017 at 2:43 pm #

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

    • Low-Inyo January 14, 2018 at 8:55 am #

      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 show how weak so many people have gotten to be and not able to stand on their own two feet…good thing is,of those 28 % of the trump worshipers,90 % of that 28 % won’t be around in 20 years to screw up this Country and the next generation and generations to come.

  3. INYOFACE July 17, 2017 at 7:32 am #

    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 January 13, 2018 at 4:11 pm #

      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 a real Sheriff ?….or better yet,a Sheriff in the olden days right here in our area ?….imagine how long trump would’ve lasted as Sheriff in Bodie…circa 1875…them cowboys wouldn’t have taken it lightly with his habit of groping on women,or trying to rule the town with his money….or the big mouth,no action and what he’d be doing back then like he does now.The West never would’ve been if guys like trump were trying to settle it…NEWS FLASH !!!….the majority of PEOPLE in California voted to legalize marijuana,which means (even to the trump people ) that’s MAJORITY..what trump says doesn’t mean majority..not like you said there in your sentence # 2….your putting out “fake news” there,INYOFACE…

    • Charles O. Jones's's January 15, 2018 at 9:18 am #

      “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 for others.

      Third, I thought conservatives were strong proponents of states’ rights? I guess only when it conveniently suits their agenda.

      Fourth, It’s humorous that your borrow a line from a movie where a convict pretends to be the new sheriff in town. Oh the irony. Haha.

      • Low-Inyo January 15, 2018 at 3:39 pm #

        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…

  4. Everett Holland July 17, 2017 at 6:25 am #

    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!!!

  5. Tex July 16, 2017 at 6:59 am #

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

  6. No Bad Days July 14, 2017 at 11:14 am #

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

  7. BobM July 14, 2017 at 4:00 am #

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

  8. FlyinEye July 12, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    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!

  9. KAR July 12, 2017 at 11:45 am #

    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.

  10. Kyle Crowle July 12, 2017 at 7:03 am #

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

  11. Trouble July 12, 2017 at 6:34 am #

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

  12. p ite July 12, 2017 at 6:13 am #

    neanderthals, wow, can you say recall

  13. BobM July 12, 2017 at 6:05 am #

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

  14. Get in touch! July 12, 2017 at 5:47 am #

    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 in the neighborhood using medical cannabis. I know Joe Pecsi and have a lot of respect and admiration for him but, Joe, Pat, and Laura are out of touch with reality. Why are our elected officials not listening to the community? Joe should move to Orange County if he thinks that is “the happiest place in the world”. Has the city counsel had a tour of the dispensaries in Mammoth, or any other city? They do not look like liquor stores or porn shops. They are very discrete, and are run very professionally. I feel that having a new smoke shop on main street has much more negative influence on the younger people than a dispensary. The front door is open and all you see are walls lined with bongs and hookahs. I think that Pat, Joe, and Laura still have images from Refer Madness on their mind.


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