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San Diego Council Repeals Medical-Pot Ordinance


It's back to the drawing board for medical-marijuana in San Diego. City Council voted this afternoon to repeal the ordinance it passed in March establishing restrictions on where pot dispensaries could be located.

Critics say the council ignored its own task force in establishing highly restrictive rules that would have limited the number of dispensaries in the city. They mounted a successful signature campaign to put the ordinance to a vote on next June's ballot.

Council members preempted that move today in voting to overturn its ordinance instead. Council member Carl DeMaio, a proponent of the strictest rules possible, said the entire process proved unworkable.

"It doesn't make for good policy. It's not a good process," DeMaio said. "Both sides could have done better."

Money was one issue. It would have cost San Diego hundreds of thousands of dollars to add the issue to the June ballot. While Council member Marti Emerald feels it's worth it, other council members disagreed.

Medical marijuana advocate Eugene Davidovich said something needs to change. He believes the original ordinance effectively banned collectives from operating within the city.

"That's really all the community is asking for, is to find a compromise," Davidovich said. "(What's needed) is one that both patients and the community can live with. This ordinance, the way it's written is not a compromise."

It took two years of hearings and haggling for the council to come up with its medical-marijuana ordinance.

Now it's back to square one.