By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):
Source: City of Needles (Information and Agenda Packet):
Needles, California: Members of the Needles City Council approved Chapter 15A Recreation Area Use Policy prohibiting glass bottles and littering at city beaches.
Live Broadcast By ZachNews (Skip to 18:24 for Agenda Item #16):
The vote occurred during the regular meeting of the Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority that was held on Tuesday, October 12th, 2021, which you can watch at ZachNews on Facebook.
Initially stated in the documents from the City of Needles said on August 10, 2021, Councilor Longacre requested an Ordinance that would prohibit consuming cannabis, glass bottles, and littering at our City beaches. The attached Ordinance would amend Chapter 15A “Recreation Area Use” to include prohibiting the stated above activities.
As for the fiscal impact, the City of Needles said in the documents that would be Code Enforcement staff time and signage.
*** Agenda Packet for Agenda Item #16 (Unless otherwise noted, all downloadable agenda packets that are posted here are in a PDF file format so please make sure to have a PDF file reader or viewer): ***
But Needles City Manager Rick Daniels suggested to members of the Needles City Council a change to the recommendations in the Chapter 15A Recreation Area Use Policy regarding the cannabis consumption.
“We made an error in understanding what was requested. the council requested a policy prohibiting glass bottles/containers on the beach because when we clean up the beach this spring, there was surprising large amount of broken glass down there which we haven’t seen before. So then the council also wanted to prohibited… you asked us to… make sure we had signs; you know “No Glass Bottles” and “No Littering” with a warning about the fines. It is already illegal to consume cannabis on the beach – in public. So really, the only two places are in your home or in a license lounge. So we’re going to suggest taking the cannabis consumption out because it’s already prohibited; it’s redundant,” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.
Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre spoke afterwards speaking about the difference between Prop 64 and Prop 215 in regards to where can someone can smoke.
“You’re correct under Prop 64 but also Prop 64 was written to not abridge anything from Prop 215. I am a prop 215 patient – I’m a medical patient, and under state law I’m allowed to smoke anywhere anyone lights up a cigarette that’s allowed to smoke there. We battled prior on the beaches, and we decided the beaches weren’t our property, they were State property. So that was my only question on prohibited. To be honest, the phone calls to Ross’s office (Sheriff’s Caption) would be ridiculous; it’s $100 fine, littering is $500 in the State, but smoking cannabis in code is $100 fine… $100 fine, $100 fine, $100 fine; their really don’t want to do the paper work. Are we going to pay $100,000 in overtime for Code Enforcement so he can march in? You can sit on those beaches all day,” said Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre.
Needles City Council Member Zachery Longacre added, “Then you’re going to have the arguments of cigarettes, alcohol; these are all similar so I’m glad we’ll just leave it… it’s already illegal.”
After discussion and debate members of the Needles City Council as well as public input, members of the Needles City Council voted unanimously approving Chapter 15A Recreation Area Use Policy prohibiting glass bottles and littering at city beaches, with the elimination of the “consumption of cannabis” portion.
For more information, please contact Dale Jones, City Clerk at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113.