The author of Measure C, a ballot initiative that would replace San Jose’s medical marijuana laws, announced today that he opposes his own campaign.
“We won that battle,” said James Anthony, the attorney who filed the measure for the June ballot. “Measure C has been wildly successful already. It gave us the political power and leverage to get City Hall to cooperate. I think that when you win, then you move on to the next battle.”
It’s a dramatic about-face for a man who has fought the city over marijuana regulations going on six years. This also puts Anthony on the same team as longtime nemesis Chuck Reed, the former mayor who’s leading the charge against Measure C.
Reed had his own change of heart last month when he stood side by side with collectives he once opposed to denounce Anthony’s measure.
“If this passes, then it’s essentially an invitation to the federal government to come back in and shut down dispensaries and start confiscating property,” Reed told San Jose Inside. “You have to have a safe and effective regulatory system or you become a target. We have one in San Jose right now.”
Anthony, who originally filed his initiative in 2014 after the city enacted its new regulatory scheme, revived the effort last winter to test the city. It appears to have worked. The measure pressured City Hall to relax some of its rules, particularly requirements that each collective create a closed-loop business model, where all products are grown or manufactured on site..
“Now, it seems to me like both at the City Council and the staff levels, there’s been a sincere attempt to understand how the industry works and how it’s evolving and coming up with something workable,” Anthony said.
He warns voters to look out for pro-Measure C campaign fliers, lawn signs and other material because somebody has co-opted the Sensible San Jose name to continue the campaign without him.
“Sensible San Jose says vote ‘no’ on Measure C,” he says. “We’ve got the city cooperating, so why would I want to push them back into harassment and busts and ridiculous inspections? I just want to be clear that as far as Sensible San Jose is concerned, we won that battle. It’s time to make peace.”