Newark may stress illegality of medical marijuana clubs

July 24, 2006

Angela Woodall, ANG Newspapers (CA)

 NEWARK — Pot, grass, weed, ganja, medical marijuana — whatever people choose to call it, Newark officials don't want businesses selling it here.

That is why the City Council will be asked Thursday to reinforce the municipal code, keeping medical marijuana outlets from operating in the city.

There have been a number of inquiries into setting up such outlets, and "it's an issue that's out there," Assistant City Manager Jim Reese said. Newark is just "putting an exclamation point" on existing city codes.

The first ordinance that council members will be asked to consider would block the outlets by stating that city codes are consistent with state and federal laws. That means, medical marijuana shops would not be welcome in Newark because federal law makes selling or possessing marijuana illegal. The second ordinance makes the change effective immediately.

Newark would be following a similarmove by Union City, which banned pot clubs in May.

In June, Fremont also made medical marijuana outlets illegal, citing federal law and public safety issues.

If Newark council members approve the move, it will "clearly state, in no uncertain terms, that the city of Newark considers that this use should not be permitted because it violates federal law," said a memo from Reese to the council members.

 

Staff writer Angela Woodall covers Newark and Ohlone College. She can be reached at (510) 353-7004 or at awoodall@angnewspapers.com.



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