City council extends ban on medical marijuana

February 14, 2006

Abby Souza, Turlock Journal

Turlock's ban on medical marijuana just got a little longer.

At its Jan. 10 meeting, Turlock City Council approved an emergency 45-day moratorium on creating medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits.

Tuesday night, the council lengthened the ban 10 months and 45 days - making the moratorium on medical pot stores within city limits a year long.

During that time, city staff plans to continue studying medical marijuana dispensaries, said Regulatory Affairs Manager Michael Cooke.

“There's a lot of issues we want to look into,” Cooke said.

One of those issues is the continuing litigation surrounding pot stores around the state.

Cooke said last month San Diego County filed a lawsuit against California, claiming the Compassionate Use Act - authorizing limited marijuana use for medicinal purposes - violates federal law.

Council members also approved staffs requests to decide if zoning ordinances should be changed to keep medical pot stores like this out of the city.

The idea for a moratorium came after Modesto's passed a law prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries. Fresno, Rocklin, Concord, Susanville and Pasadena have also passed similar ordinances.

Back in January, Cooke said the fact that so many area cities have banned them could make Turlock an attractive place for one if an emergency moratorium wasn't put in place. Sure enough, Cooke said that Turlock received an inquiry about opening a medical marijuana store the day after it passed its 45-day ordinance on Jan. 10. The interested persons names were not released.

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