Marin strengthens social host ordinance — pot, party buses – California News

Marin strengthens social host ordinance — pot, party buses – California News

Marin supervisors agreed Tuesday to enhance the county’s social host ordinance to add more specifics on marijuana use, expand locations for alleged violations to party buses and limousines and to increase the range of mandatory restorative justice programs for offenders.

The board voted 5-0 in favor of the changes following testimony from members of the Marin Youth Commission, the Marin Youth Leadership Institute and Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol.

“This is a strong law, and this is an evidenced-based law — and it’s going to be made even stronger,” county Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis told the board. “I hope other jurisdictions (in the county) will follow suit.”

The ordinance, first enacted in November 2006 to deter underage drinking, was last year expanded to include controlled substances. As a result of Tuesday’s action, the law now adds marijuana, specifically prohibiting “loud or unruly gatherings where marijuana is served to, ingested by or in possession of underage persons,” according to the text of the ordinance.

Such gatherings also are now prohibited on party buses and limousines, in addition to other standard places such as homes or social halls. According to Assistant County Counsel Jack Govi, that addition was spurred by an incident last year involving 30 teens and alcohol and drug use on a rental party bus.

“In Marin County, 40 percent of 11th graders currently (in the past 30 days) consume alcohol, 24 percent are binge drinking and 30 percent use marijuana,” Govi said in his staff report to the board. “This is…

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