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Keri Brenner, Napa Valley Patch
Sebastopol City Council voted Tuesday to seat vice mayor and medical marijuana community leader Robert Jacob as mayor of Sebastopol, according to a news release from the medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access.
It was the same night that Napa City Council voted to repeal its medical marijuana ordinance, closing the door on the possibility of having a dispensary in the Napa Valley city.
Jacob, 36, is founder and executive director of Peace in Medicine, two licensed medical marijuana dispensaries -- one in Sebastopol, the other in Santa Rosa. He was the city's vice Mayor for his first year before becoming mayor.
According to the news release, Jacob opened Peace in Medicine in 2007. He began serving on the Sebastopol Planning Commission in 2011, then successfully ran for city council in 2012.
"My life has been about service," Jacob said. "By addressing social problems such as homelessness, HIV/AIDS, and access to medical cannabis, we can shape a better world for ourselves," continued Jacob. "As mayor, I will work to facilitate even greater changes to public policy, from affordable housing and safe routes to schools to supporting real immigration reform. There is so much we can and must do to improve our communities by working at the local level."
In addition to his work as an elected official, an entrepreneur and a community organizer, Jacob has worked to establish statewide dispensary regulations in California, as well as helping officials establish local regulatory ordinances in cities such as Napa, Sacramento, San Jose, and Stockton.
According to his bio, Jacob serves on the city's Business Outreach and Legislative Committees, the Chamber of Commerce, and the League of California Cities, among other official posts, and was recently named in the "Top 40 Under Forty" list by the North Bay Business Journal for his leadership and business acumen.
"This historic, unprecedented vote in Sebastopol illustrates that the medical marijuana community has political strength and the influence to elect advocates to public office," said Don Duncan, California Director with Americans for Safe Access, the country's largest medical marijuana advocacy group.
"Although medical marijuana enjoys the support of 80 percent of Americans, Jacob's election as mayor of Sebastopol brings additional legitimacy to the patient community," he said.