Rohnert Park Seeks Marijuana Club Regulation Ordinance

April 26, 2005

, CBS Th 6

Rohnert Park has joined the list of Sonoma County cities seeking to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.

The Rohnert Park City Council voted Tuesday night for a 45-day moratorium on the opening of any pot clubs. There are none in the city now.

The Sebastopol and Santa Rosa city councils are grappling with the same issue. Santa Rosa has three clubs and Sebastopol has none.

Rohnert Park Mayor Jake Mackenzie said the city's 'pre-emptive approach'' is in response to problems reported at one Santa Rosa dispensary. He said the city doesn't want any dispensaries near schools or popular parks.

Mackenzie said a proposed ordinance regulating the clubs will probably come from a working group of people rather than from the city's planning and legal departments alone. He hopes a finished draft of the ordinance will take less than a year or 18 months to complete, but the council wants to see what other cities do.

'We need uniformity from city to city,'' Mackenzie said.

California voters approved the use of medical marijuana for patients with a doctor's recommendation under Proposition 215 in 1996. Marijuana use, sale and cultivation are still illegal under federal law.

Rohnert Park's Assistant City Manager Steve Donley said there are no state standards for medical pot clubs.

'We want something we won't be sued on,'' Donley said.

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