Scott Huber hosts Conversations about Cannabis


Scott Huber (to the left) listening to citizens about their opinions about marijuana. Jessica Mackenzie (to the back left). Photo credit: Justin Jackson

Justin Jackson

Chico has the munchies for conversations.

Chico residents were invited to participate in Conversation about Cannabis, Sunday, to talk about making cannabis legal in the town of Chico. Chico City Council candidate Scott Huber hosted the event to talk about his history with the issue of cannabis, and present research he’s conducted from Boulder, Colo.

California made recreational use of cannabis legal in November 2016.

Huber said he was against legalization until around that election cycle. He said he talked to some “enlightened” people that were voting yes on legalization.

“I asked them to explain to me why they’re for it. They went down this list of reasons that included ending cartel violence and gang violence,” said Huber.

Huber also said he was worried about some of the potential crime that could happen with people selling it in a “clandestine manner.”

According to Huber, 61 percent of Chico voters voted yes on Proposition 64 back in 2016. He decided to make legalization in Chico part of his platform because of that 61 percent.

A citizen at the meeting asked about the estimated revenue that could be made if cannabis is legalized. Huber again referenced Boulder.

“Boulder, over the last few years has averaged about two million dollars a year in tax revenue,” Huber said. “They have a lot more dispensaries than I suspect we would have, but I think it’s a safe assumption that Chico can make a million to a million-and-a-half a year.”

A citizen wanted to know if there were any council members that were in opposition to legalization because of public safety. Another citizen responded that there was no way to test if you were under the influence of cannabis like there is for alcohol. The citizen claimed people with that point of view say it could increase the number of motor vehicle accidents.

Huber again noted his research in Boulder. According to Marijuana Enforcement Officer Rebecca Bostrak, from the Boulder Police Department, DUI reports related to marijuana have increased. She has also claimed that it’s not clear if the increase is due to actual rates of DUI or that officers are more aware of marijuana as an issue.

Jessica Mackenzie, of the Inland Cannabis Farmers’ Association, talked about the statistics from towns in California.

“There are dispensaries in Santa Rosa, Yolo, Shasta and Nevada City… Statistics show that not only the crime rate has gone down, but use among youth has gone down as well,” said Mackenzie.

Huber believes the big reason people are opposed to legalization is that they’re afraid of change and afraid for their youth.

“It’s an issue that’s not going anywhere, so we have to have a conversation about it,” Huber said. “It can either be something that can’t be monitored and regulated or something that we can monitor and tax.”

Part of Huber’s plan is to have a Marijuana Advisory Panel (MAP), similar to what Boulder created in 2016. According to Bostrak, the intention of the MAP was to create a forum for input throughout the community related to marijuana.

“This would allow us to not have shotgun solutions,” Huber said. “We also can’t forget about the opinions of the 39% that voted no on legalization. Both sides can bring in statistics that are going to contradict each other, but it’s ultimately what you feel in your gut.”

For more information about Scott Huber, you can visit his website, or contact him here.

Justin Jackson can be reached at [email protected] or @JustJack0176 on Twitter.