Dave Cortese (D - CA)
Dave Cortese has been on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors since 2008, and ran for San Jose mayor in 2014 with the support of organized labor. Before that, he was a defense attorney, and was disturbed by the number of marijuana and drug offenders in prison. Cortese has been one of two Santa Clara supervisors to support establishing local cannabusiness.
"It's time to turn the page on overtaxation," Cortese told the state of cannabis conference, saying that taxation should be modest and not used to fund other state services. He regards expungement as "justice served."
In 2014 he said, “We need to protect unincorporated Santa Clara County from a potential migration of medical marijuana dispensaries from San Jose.” But in 2018 he voted against banning marijuana cultivation, arguing that prohibition is an ineffective way to deal with illegal grows. "By not regulating pot, the county loses out on sales tax that could help combat black-market cultivation and preserve farmland for other crops," Cortese told his colleagues at a board meeting. In the first quarter of 2018, the state raked in $33.6 million in cultivation and excise taxes from the newly expanded legal market, he pointed out.
He was recently helpful working with the Public Health Department’s Emergency Operations Center to determine whether it would be willing to revise or amend the FAQs to restore on-site access to cannabis for people who need it during the COVID-19 crisis. “We don’t want customers to be in pain because they can’t get their medicine, but we also don’t want them to die trying to get it,” Cortese said. “So it’s a difficult balancing act.”
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