12/04/2013 05:42 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Robert Jacob, Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owner, Becomes Sebastopol Mayor


A medical marijuana dispensary operator and advocate for safe access has been named the mayor of a California city.

On Tuesday, the Sebastopol, Calif. City Council voted in Robert Jacob, 36, as mayor. Before being selected for the position, Jacob served on the council as Vice Mayor and was the founder and executive director of the Peace in Medicine medical marijuana dispensary with locations in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa.

"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."

His appointment was celebrated by the medical marijuana community as a sign of its growing political clout.

"This historic, unprecedented vote in Sebastopol illustrates that the medical marijuana community has political strength and the influence to elect advocates to public office," Don Duncan, California Director with Americans for Safe Access, said in a press release from the organization.

Jacob may be the first leader of the medical marijuana movement to hold such a position.

“I am not personally aware of anyone who first made their living in medical marijuana and then were elected to office, but there have been some who have run for office,” Oakland attorney Bill Panzer told the East Bay Express when Jacob ran for Sebastopol City Council in 2012.


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