City Council considers ban on medical marijuana dispensaries
October 31, 2005
Tracie Troha, Victorville Daily PressThe City Council will begin considering this week whether to follow the lead of other cities across the state in banning medical marijuana dispensaries. Principal Planner Dave Reno said there are no pending applications to establish a dispensary and there are no records that any exist in the city. The measure was created by the Planning Commission as a precaution.
Reno said he first became aware of the possibility of banning dispensaries after reading an article about the City of Rocklin, which adopted a ban similar to the one proposed for Hesperia.
"We discussed it among ourselves (in the Planning Commission) and decided to work on this," Reno said.
A city staff report indicates Oakland, Hayward, Fairfax and Roseville have reported several problems with medical marijuana dispensaries. Some of these problems include burglary attempts at the facilities, illicit drug dealers hanging around the area, driving under the influence of marijuana by people who bought at the dispensaries and people coming into communities from out-of-state in an attempt to obtain the drug.
"There are a lot of problems these jurisdictions have in common because of the dispensaries," Reno said. "This ordinance was created to help us avoid these problems."
The assistant city attorney also recently concluded the ordinance is consistent with both state and federal laws. It does not infringe of the rights of a seriously ill person to obtain medical marijuana and upholds federal law that makes marijuana distribution illegal.
Hesperia sheriff's Sgt. Ross Tarangle said the council's decision will have little effect on the deputies' duties regarding marijuana.
"The sheriff's department enforces all illegal marijuana laws and has zero tolerance with respect to marijuana and any other illegal drug," Tarangle said.
Reno said if the council approves to place the ordinance on first reading, the next step is have a second reading within 30 days before a final vote on the matter.