Carpinteria City Council Extends Medical Marijuana Moratorium

April 13, 2006

Jane Benefield, Coastal View News (CA)

With Mayor Brad Stein absent, the Carpinteria City Council extended a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries by a 4-0 vote at its Monday night meeting. The moratorium was revised and extended for 10 months, but not without reservations by some councilmembers.

“I think that the will of the people of the state has been made clear, we are state officers charged with implementing (California’s Compassionate Use Act of 1996),” referred vice mayor Michael Ledbetter to a state law allowing qualified persons to distribute and use medical marijuana.

“I support the moratorium but I would like to see us move forward … to having something that is workable in Carpinteria. I do not want to see this (moratorium) stretched out further and further; I’d like to see a proposed ordinance in a (short) amount of time,” said councilmember Greg Gandrud.

In February the council enacted an interim moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries to allow staff an opportunity to research health, safety and land use impacts of allowing one or more dispensaries somewhere in Carpinteria.

In her report, deputy city attorney Alexandria Barnhill noted that if medical marijuana dispensaries were established without the appropriate regulations, such uses might conflict with the city’s general plan, be inconsistent with surrounding uses or be incompatible with state and federal judicial rulings.

Staff has been researching other state jurisdictions’ experiences regarding secondary effects which include loitering, robberies, smoking marijuana in public, selling of legally obtained marijuana to non-patients and selling marijuana in baked goods.

Staff said it needed additional time to investigate not only the secondary effects of the dispensaries but conflicting state and federal legal rulings.

While state law permits medical marijuana use, “the Supreme Court rulings have found that there is no medical marijuana exception to the federal prohibition on marijuana use,” staff clarified.

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