Tuesday, March 29, 2011
A decade-and-a-half after California voters approved the use of medical marijuana, the San Diego City Council has finally approved regulations for pot collectives.
SAN DIEGO Medical marijuana collectives in San Diego now have a clear set of guidelines they must operate under. The city council passed the regulations after a marathon session of public comment.
The public comment portion of the meeting lasted nearly five hours. Hundreds of people filled the city council chambers to speak their minds about proposed regulations on medical marijuana collectives within the city of San Diego. The original proposal outlawed pot shops from operating within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, parks and other areas.
Ben Cisneros is with Stop the Ban, a group who says the law would impact every collective in San Diego.
"The reason that we’ve all come together to work so hard on this issue is that the ordinance before you as currently written is a defacto ban that will close down every medical cannabis facility in the city and will make it virtually impossible for them to reopen," he said.
In the end the city council voted to reduce the buffer zone from 1,000 feet to 600. But that wasn’t what Marcy Beckett wanted. She said the stricter the law, the better.
"I’m the parent of two teenagers and I’m very concerned about how these marijuana shops are increasing our kids’ acceptance of marijuana and their access to marijuana," she said.
The council voted 5-to-2 to enact the land-use restrictions, as well as public safety regulations that require background checks for all collective employees.
Councilman Todd Gloria said the rules may be strict, but he said they’re better than the unregulated status quo.