Carlsbad gives thumbs-down to pair of ballot measures

CARLSBAD — Just one week before the statewide elections, City Council members voted to oppose two measures on the state ballot — Propositions 19 and 23 — at a meeting Oct. 27.
While council has abstained from taking a stand on issues in the past, the current members unanimously voted to pass a resolution in opposition of Proposition 19, which if passed would legalize marijuana.
Four council members, excluding Mark Packard, voted in opposition of Proposition 23. The proposition is backed by the oil industry and would suspend California’s Assembly Bill 32, or AB32, which is aimed to reduce greenhouse emissions.
“In the past, the council has always taken no position — we usually write an article to the paper,” Mayor Bud Lewis said. “We each have our own feelings.”
Two speakers urged the council to oppose Proposition 19. They said that the council — which had just delivered a proclamation in support of national drug prevention campaign Red Ribbon Week — would send the wrong message to Carlsbad’s youth community if they didn’t publicly oppose it.
“As you can imagine, those of us in prevention are very concerned about Prop. 19,” Judi Strang of the San Dieguito Alliance for Drug Free Youth said. “What drives the choices that teens make is availability — it will decrease the messages of harm around marijuana.”
Aaron Contorer of Equinox Center, a group that researches and promotes a healthy environment and strong economy, along with 17 others, spoke in opposition of Proposition 23 while also urging the council to do the same.
“AB32 is often thought of as an environmental law. We see it as a quality of life law,” Contorer said, noting its importance to North County residents. “It’s designed to reduce danger to our quality of life and our economy.”
Sustainability proponent Barbara Hamilton, a member of the citizens group Envision Carlsbad, said, “Prop. 23 works in opposition of the goals identified by our community. It would hinder our progress toward our stated goals.”
A local doctor, homeowner, student and scientist also spoke on a variety of reasons in opposition to Proposition 23 — ranging from health concerns to climate change.
“I have no problems opposing both propositions because it’s the right thing to do,” Mayor Pro Tem Ann Kulchin said in closing.
“I am absolutely opposed to Prop. 19 and 23,” councilman and mayoral candidate Keith Blackburn said.
While Councilman Mark Packard said he opposed Proposition 19, he would not take a position on Proposition 23 because the council was only presented one side of the issue during open comments.

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