Opponents Attempt to Oust Mayor over Pro-Cannabis Policy

Attorney Fenglan Liu and residents opposed to cannabis served El Monte, California Mayor Andre Quintero and Councilman Jerry Velasco with recall papers on Nov. 27 due to their progressive stances on cannabis. Liu recently reignited her battle against city leadership for the plans to open up the cannabis market.

Liu, who doesn’t live in El Monte, claims that Quintero sought after his own personal interests by helping “special cannabis interest groups in the city.” She also alleged that “he disregards El Monte residents’ public safety by introducing harmful cannabis business and associated criminal activities in the city.”

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Liu is known for her attacks on medical and recreational cannabis reform in the city, and successfully disrupted medical dispensaries from opening in the city.

Liu also claims that Quintero’s decision to move forward with cannabis is the reason Walmart dropped plans to open up a supercenter in the city. “I don’t control what Walmart does or doesn’t do,” Quintero said in response. “They had the entitlements and they abandoned the project. Why I should be held accountable for that, I don’t know.”

“They’re looking for excuses or reasons to try and convince people to sign, but this community has known me now for 10 years, and I’ve been very clear about the positions I’ve taken,” Quintero added. “We’ll see what they end up doing.”

For years, and after great consideration, Velasco and Quintero have maintained the stance that regulation cannabis is more effective at controlling illegal and underage cannabis consumption.

“I don’t believe this reflects the sentiment of the majority of the people in the community,” Quintero said. Liu recently vowed to continue her quest to recall Mayor Quintero and Councilmember Velasco.Despite Liu’s efforts, El Monte legalized recreational cannabis and approved six recreational stores for operation on Dec. 3. Two ballot initiatives to do so received more than enough votes to move forward with cannabis reform before regulations were hashed out in city council.

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