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Friday, March 5, 2021
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Culture Puff Puff: Why isn't SF a cannabis sanctuary city?

Puff: Why isn’t SF a cannabis sanctuary city?

Berkeley's doing it—and will probably reap the rewards of a green economic boom. Meanwhile, San Francisco digs deeper into the tech rut.

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PUFF On February 13, the city of Berkeley declared itself a sanctuary city for recreational marijuana, firmly kicking San Francisco’s cool cred in the butt. As proposed by mayor Jesse Arreguin and passed by the city council, no Berkeley department, agency, commission, officer or employee “shall use any city funds or resources to assist in the enforcement of federal drug laws related to cannabis.”

“The city of Berkeley does not support cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration in its efforts to undermine state and local marijuana laws,” the resolution states.

“In light of threats by Attorney General Sessions regarding a misguided crackdown on our democratic decision to legalize recreational cannabis, we have become what may be the first city in the country to declare ourselves a sanctuary city for cannabis,” Arreguin tweeted.

Good news for sure—and this is the kind of thing San Francisco should have been doing from the start, but conservative elements grabbed the plant and turned it into a blunt, political tool rather than a joyous, recreational element that could transform this city.

The keepers of the city have consistently shrugged at this new green world and seem to miss the fact that the marijuana industry currently emerging may eventually have the economic and cultural power to send the tech bros packing. San Francisco, the city closest to the Emerald Triangle, could position itself to be THE biggest cannabis vacation destination on the planet especially once you throw in wine country, foodies, and the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Looks like all those emerald tourists will be going to Berkeley instead.

(So: Why would the green bros be better than the tech bros? From my experience, green bros are more chill, smoke weed and support the arts. They come from the medicinal marijuana world which is much more compassionate and social. They have all kinds of diverse interactions through outreach, meetings, and clubs—political, potlucks, dab sessions, smoke outs, seniors groups…the list goes on.

Many of the techies I know aren’t adding to the City’s cultural diversity because they are too busy working. They get on the Google bus every work day, go to their Google office, eat in the Google cafeteria, ride home on the same bus, play video games and order food delivery. 

Now, I like and use Google all the time as well as video games and food delivery, but I also go out, see people, take part in the community I live in and support the arts as much as I can on my non-Google salary.)

So Berkeley gets it. They have made the big move to welcome cannabis with an open mind, open heart and open wallet. Let it rain green manna from heaven on them, and we can sit here across the Bay Bridge and play with our stupid pot envelopes and complain about ordinances.

And of course, the feds do not get it. They are too busy trying to push the agenda that marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug and has no medical merit at all despite all the evidence to the contrary. 

San Francisco is really slow at getting it. If the powers that be are so concerned about where we get high and how far from “the children” we must be not to corrupt them, then provide a place for us to go once we smoke legal cannabis. (Weed World, from my previous column is still on the table. I need a venture capitalist pronto!)

Make it fun! Why this stigma? We have been happy medical marijuana patients for years here in this amazing city, only to suddenly feel less legal under legalization!

So Berkeley wins this round. They see the past and look forward to the future by making a bold move against Sessions and his anti-marijuana agenda. To the victor, the spoils.
San Francisco, it’s now your turn. Time to light up!

Dan Karkoska
Dan Karkoska is an independent producer, promoter, film critic, and DJ on the San Francisco scene. He also works with Maria Konner at Under the Golden Gate and is currently producing and hosting PUFF, the first queer marijuana rock-and-roll drag party every first Thursday at The Stud. He is a big stoner. Photo by Sari Staver.

8 COMMENTS

  1. yeah, no, the tech bros aint going away despite what the remnants of the bay guardian and their fans think. sf progressives are against marijuana and the progs on the board of supervisors sided with a right wing pro trump group over medical cannabis, and they tend to change their minds based on whatever is in fashion.

  2. “ride home on the same bus, play video games and order food delivery”

    And get high.

    Tech vs. cannabis is a false dichotomy.

  3. They did something similar in 2008 with different parameters (not really about city and county employees, but cops already have deprioritized marijuana offenses. Here’s the resolution: https://sfgov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=2607968&GUID=E0DABDE6-86AD-4156-A35B-6703A7126CBA and this on deprioritizing cannabis offenses: http://sfgov.org/sfc/mooc/Modules/Ordinance0297-06__09a0.pdf?documentid=417
    Also condemnations of DEA raids in the form of resolultions
    Nothing as direct as we won’t cooperate with the DEA on cannabis.
    But historically, Berkeley had the first sanctuary churches for immigrants too, and the first idea of sanctuary was made by Pastor Gus Schultz in Berkeley in the 1970s for war resisters. So Berkeley has always been ahead of the game.

  4. This article demonstrates why progressives are not to be trusted with anything having to do with economic policy. This is comically stupid. Also, I’m quite happy having all the idiot stoner tourists head to Berkeley. Better there than SF.

  5. “The fact that the marijuana industry currently emerging will eventually have the power to send the tech bros packing”

    Have another toke, Pot Bro. Getting spliffed and stoner tourism aint gonna send the Tech Bros nowhere.

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