Grover Guards Against Pot Centers

Grover Guards Against Pot Centers
Posted by CN Staff on January 05, 2005 at 10:12:20 PT
By Cynthia Neff, The Tribune
Source: San Luis Obispo Tribune 
Grover Beach put a temporary ban on medical marijuana distribution centers Monday, joining two other cities in San Luis Obispo County concerned about the effects such dispensaries would have on their communities."We need to be proactive," said Councilman Dave Ekbom, who is in favor of a total ban of medical marijuana dispensaries.
Because San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande have approved such ordinances, Grover Beach officials are worried that any groups wanting to open a dispensary might target Grover Beach."It's precautionary," said City Attorney Martin Koczanowicz. "There's a high probability that people interested in this type of business would come to cities that don't have regulations in place."Koczanowicz added that he's not aware of any groups who have indicated they want to open a center in the city.The moratorium will be effective for 45 days and will come back to the council in February for a possible extension until a Supreme Court ruling is issued. Local officials hope the court will clear up the current conflict between state and federal law over the legality of medical marijuana.Meanwhile, staff will evaluate where such centers could be located within the city -- or whether they want to ban them completely.Federal law prohibits the possession, cultivation and dispensing of marijuana, regardless of purpose. But California voters in 1996 passed an act that protects patients, their primary caregivers and physicians who prescribe marijuana for medical treatment from criminal prosecution.The current case would decide whether the federal government can prosecute medical marijuana users in the state.But while local officials hope the high court's decision gives them a clear direction, San Luis Obispo attorney Louis Koory said "it's not going to happen.""It is an important decision, but it's not going to validate or invalidate the state law. We're still going to have a marijuana statute in our state," he said.Note: The City Council temporarily bans distribution centers for medical marijuana and may renew the ban again in 45 days; officials await a Supreme Court decision.Cynthia Neff covers South County for The Tribune.Source: Tribune, The (CA)Author: Cynthia Neff, The TribunePublished: January 5, 2005Copyright: 2005 The TribuneContact: letters thetribunenews.comWebsite: Article & Web Site:Medical Marijuana Information Links Eyes on SLO as City Looks at Medical Pot Medical Marijuana Archives 
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