Police chief says he will not sign off on any retail pot business at community meeting on city ordinances

Taft Chief of Police Ed Whiting added his voice to the opposition to retail cannabis sales in Taft.

He's not going to allow retail marijuana as long as as he's in charge

"Up until March 1 when I retire, there is no way I am going to sign off on a dispensary in Taft," Whiting said Tuesday evening.

The Chief joined Mayor Dave Noerr in coming out publicly against any sales of cannabis.

The Taft City Council is going to vote in the fall to establish its regulations

Whiting spoke out at a public meeting the city held to get public input for ordinances the city is drafting to regulate both the retail sales of cannabis and cannabis products and the growing and manufacture of concentrated cannabis.

All of those are going to be legal when Proposition 64 goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018

Noerr said earlier he is "adamantly" opposed to retail sales

Noerr spoke at length at the meeting of the dangers of marijuana use and the negative effects it will have.

"Think about the whole thing....think about the future, think about your kids," Noerr said.

No one at the sparsely attended meeting spoke in favor of the legalization, although two people said they are interested in opening a growing and manufacturing plant, possibly in the taft area.

Mike McCormick, president of the Taft City School District Board of Education, said legal cannabis is only going to make existing drug problems worse, even in schools.

"That's just going to only triple the problem," he said. "It's going to be even more difficult for (school resource) officers, as well as teachers and the administration."

Tom Twisselman also strongly voiced his opposition to the legalization and the effects drug use has on society.

City Planning and Community Development Director Mark Staples opened the meeting with a Powerpoint covering the important points Proposition 64, and the city's timeline to establish ordinances.