Quirk introduces bill allowing public pot use at special events

Monday, February 5, 2018

With the East Bay on the cusp of becoming awash in legal cannabis, a bill introduced Monday by Hayward Assemblymember Bill Quirk would afford local governments the ability to host cannabis-related special events in their cities.

Under the legislation, to be heard in an assembly committee sometime in March, cannabis use at these special events will also be allowed.

Currently, such special events are only allowed on county-owned properties, typically fairgrounds.

“These events support local economies and small businesses," said Quirk. "Despite the fiscal and communal benefits such events bring to a city or local community, current law prohibits local governments from approving applications for cannabis sales at special events if they are held anywhere but county property."

Assembly Bill 2020 is sponsored by the City of Oakland.

Despite Quirk's often professorial demeanor, he is actually been one of the East Bay's most ardent supporters for dispensaries and legalization going back to his days on the Hayward City Council.

While Hayward city officials were moving toward a moratorium on medical cannabis dispensaries back in 2010, Quirk defied the majority, and at one point, rationalized allowing dispensaries for no other reason that students in Hayward schools were already quite adept at procuring cannabis on the black market.