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David Downs, East Bay Express
The North Bay city of Sebastopol's new mayor, Robert Jacob, is also the founder of two licensed medical cannabis dispensaries called Peace in Medicine. Advocacy group Americans for Safe Access is lauding the historic, unprecedented move, saying it “illustrates the political strength and legitimacy of the medical cannabis movement.”
Dozens of California towns have banned dispensaries based on inaccurate claims they lead to crime. Conversely, the Sebastopol City Council voted Tuesday to name councilman and mmj leader Jacob, 36. to be the city's mayor.
"My life has been about service," Mayor Jacob said in the ASA statement. "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."
Jacob is the founder and executive director of Peace in Medicine, with two licensed medical marijuana dispensaries — one in Sebastopol, the other in Santa Rosa. He opened Peace in Medicine in 2007, began serving on the Sebastopol Planning Commission in 2011, and Sebastopol residents elected him to the city council in 2012.
Jacob also 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.
"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."