Phoenix City Council nips marijuana tax in the bud

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- Phoenix City Council met Tuesday afternoon to discuss a proposal to boost public safety funding.

One idea would tax medical marijuana dispensaries to pay for more police and fire personnel. Ultimately, FOX 10's Matt Rodewald reported that the proposal was killed.

"Why the public including the council members were kept in the dark from day one on this thing," said Councilmember Sal DiCiccio. The council represents District 6, which covers Ahwatukee and parts of North Central Phoenix

The full dysfunction of Phoenix City Hall was on full display for all to see Tuesday afternoon, as councilmembers challenged the transparency of the quick-to-the-floor marijuana dispensary tax. DiCiccio, who made a rare in-person appearance at the council chambers, was lectured by a defensive mayor Thelda Williams.

"Because of your attitude, you make it difficult to work up here," said Williams. "I have people coming up and asking for a rule of conduct for the council because it's adversarial, and I don't want it to be adversarial. Would you not interrupt me? Stop it! Right now!"

The bickering stems from Ed Zuercher ordering staff to work on the tax proposal over the weekend. The frustration in the room came from medical marijuana supporters, who wanted a seat at the table.

"It brought us out here today. Honestly, to know that something could have happened this quickly without a lot of buy in and really imposed on our industry on our business without us having any say so in it at all, that was very upsetting," said Robert Smith.

With the bill dead, the process will start all over.

"I was pleasantly surprised by the end result, going in I think a lot of us showed up and were prepared for a discussion that did not unfold the way it did," said Yoli Worth.