Fullerton planners to discuss medical marijuana sites

October 24, 2006

Barbara Giasone, Orange County Register

FULLERTON– A zoning amendment to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries in the city will be considered at the 4 p.m. Wednesday Planning Commission meeting.

The panel continued the agenda item from its Sept. 27 meeting to allow for further discussion and public comment.

State law permits the use of marijuana where medical use is deemed appropriate and when recommended by a doctor. But federal law prohibits the manufacture or distribution and use of various drugs, including marijuana.

Because of the legal conflicts, the city staff said it was imperative to amend the zoning code to address the dispensaries.

City Attorney Dick Jones accumulated information from the Narcotics Division of the Los Angeles Police Department that showed changes in crime patterns in districts in which dispensaries operate.

He also noted that Riverside County and the city of Cypress have recently created ordinances prohibiting the dispensaries.

In addition, Fullerton police Capt. Greg Mayes compiled a report based on research showing dispensaries are of particular interest to criminals, and will fall victim to armed robberies and commercial burglaries.

Mayes said he checked with the Anaheim Police Department after the dispensary in that city was robbed shortly after it opened.

He also predicted there would be crimes committed against dispensary customers after they pick up the merchandise.

The commission will make a recommendation to the City Council, which will make the final decision.

The commission meeting will be at City Hall, 303 W. Commonwealth Ave. Information: 714-738-6540.

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