Marijuana flowers and buds are displayed at the Kind People's Collective in Santa Cruz County. Voters decide on Tuesday whether to approve a new business tax of up to 10 percent for medical marijuana businesses in the city and county.
Santa Cruz is known for being relatively friendly to taxes and to marijuana. On Tuesday, voters in the city and county of Santa Cruz weigh those two together as they consider a new tax on medical marijuana businesses.
The inside of the Kind Peoples Collective -- a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary on Soquel Avenue in Santa Cruz County -- actually looks a lot like a coffee shop or juice bar. There’s music playing, T-shirts for sale and the products are displayed behind spotless glass.
Walking into Salinas City Hall, the first thing you might notice are the business hours posted on the front door: “Closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday”. But this perpetual three day weekend is nothing to celebrate.
Salinas City Manager Ray Corpuz says, it’s a reflection of how the recession has hurt the city’s budget. “Trying to serve the public with just four days has been a very difficult challenge,” says Corpuz.
In the upcoming election, no race has been more contentious in Monterey County than the one for Sheriff. Deputy Steve Bernal is running to replace his boss Sheriff Scott Miller. The race between these two men highlights the discord within the Sheriff’s Department. During the course of the campaign -- Miller has been dealt a no confidence vote from the union representing his deputies – and settled a federal lawsuit brought on by the union over allegedly campaigning in uniform. Miller’s campaign calls these the acts of disgruntled employees, including his opponent.